Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Enrichment - Charlotte Mason Style Electives: Hymn Study...

As I'm planning for our upcoming year, I thought I'd write a few posts on what some may call electives, however, Charlotte Mason considered these subjects necessary...
The Habit of Music. - As for a musical training, it would be hard to say how much that passes for inherited musical taste and ability is the result of the constant hearing and producing of musical sounds, the habit of music, that the child of musical people grows up with.  Mr. Hullah maintained that the art of singing is entirely a habit - that every child may be, and should be, trained to sing.  Of course, transmitted habit must be taken into account.  It is a pity that the musical training most children get is of a random character; that they are not trained, for instance, by carefully graduated ear and voice exercises, to produce and distinguish musical tones and intervals. (Vol 1, Home Education, p. 133-134)

Last year, I decided to incorporate hymn study into our day.  Our school age kids were 4th and 5th grade.  I have an old hymnal that I used to choose one hymn and one folk/patriotic song for each of our three terms.  One to two days per week, we would sing the chosen songs for a twelve week period.   This worked for the first and second term.  However, our kids entered a formal homeschool choir program in the third term so we did not continue hymn study at home for that term.  Here are the songs we learned last year:

Term 1

Star Spangled Banner
Come Thou Fount

Term 2

America the Beautiful - Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies
O Come, All Ye Faithful

Term 3

Homeschool choir
Continued practice/review with Term 1 and 2 songs

The kids were also singing in church this whole time, including singing to the congregation once a month throughout the school year with children's choir.  Last December, RileyAnn was Mary in the Christmas play and had to sing a solo.  This was quite an experience for her at 11 years old!

This year, I intend to continue hymn study.  I haven't chose the songs yet, but I know I will weave it into our morning time.  A couple days ago, I downloaded a Thanksgiving Hymn Study by Kim Sorgius through Homeschool Giveaways...hurry, it's only FREE until 08-03-2015!  More than likely, I won't use the hymn study as suggested, primarily, because of the rapid suggested pace.  However, I really like the way it's laid out with copywork and a short biography on the author of the hymn.  I also like the idea of learning hymns of thanksgiving and tracking daily blessings.  I'm thinking of incorporating one of the hymns from the study for our first 12 week term, along with a folk song.  

Here are some other websites with hymn study suggestions and tips:

Jimmie's Collage - Beginning Hymn Study
Ambleside Online - Hymn Rotation Schedule
Charlotte Mason in Community - Studying Hymns and Songs

Do you do hymn study?  If so, what is your method?  Please feel free to comment below...

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