I have 5 kids, 1 keyboard, 1 guitar, 1 ukulele, and several layers of dust. My kids have played around with all of these instruments using youtube videos, but we simply don’t have the money for weekly private lessons.
*Disclosure: I received free resources from Rainbowresource.com for review purposes and am being compensated for my time. I am not required to give a positive review. As always, I am sharing my honest opinion with you. This post contains affiliate links.
I decided to see if it was possible to learn how to play our instruments using music books from Rainbowresource.com. I carefully researched the options before placing my order, hoping that I made wise choices. I am very pleased with the results!
I have a bit of music knowledge from four years of playing clarinet in Band. As best I can, I’ve tried to look at these books through the eyes of someone who has no musical experience.
Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. 😀 I think it is super important to give kids a good foundation in music theory. They need to know the names of all the notes & symbols and how to actually read music instead of just memorize notes. The music lesson books each have an overview of these things, but only the guitar book includes adequate music theory instruction.
These two reproducible workbooks are very easy to teach:
Music Lesson Books
My older teens are able to go through these books independently. The younger kids need some guidance. The lessons are easy enough to understand, but it gets confusing for them when they are trying to read & learn, assume the correct positions, and follow the notes.
Progressive Piano for Young Beginners Book 1 – includes book, CD, and DVD
This colorful book starts with how to play the treble staff with the right hand, then the bass staff with the left hand, and finally combines the two after they are mastered. The DVD is a big help for visual learners, and playing along with the CD helps set the pace.
Progressive Beginner Piano – includes book, CD, and DVD
Chords are the focus of his book. The DVD allows the student to study finger placement, and playing along with the Cd helps train the ear.
Alfred’s Kid’s Guitar Course Complete – includes book and 2 enhanced CDs
This book teaches how to read and write chords. It includes enough music theory emphasis that no other book is necessary. Tune your guitar with the CDs, or load them into the computer for additional tools.
Children’s Ukulele Method – includes book and CD
Strum along to simple chords in this easy-to-follow book. The CD is a great accompaniment for all the songs.
Music for the Holidays
We love holidays and looks for every opportunity to add a new level of fun. I ordered a few extras to supplement our music lessons.
Irish Penny Whistle w/Booklet – includes tin whistle and book
My husband and I lived in Dublin for a year before we got married, so we are quite fond of Irish music. We have a tradition of watching the High Kings every year on St. Patrick’s Day. My favorite song on that DVD is Mairi’s Wedding, so I might have squealed a little when I discovered it was one of the 30 songs in this little book.
Christmas Joy! Level A for piano – Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Up on the Housetop, Go Tell It on the Mountain, We Three Kings of Orient Are, Jingle Bells, Come Little Children, Deck the Hall with Boughs of Holly, Good King Wenceslas
Christmas Joy! Level F for piano – The Coventry Carol, The Holly and the Ivy, Jingle Bell Rag, Rise Up Shepherd and Follow, Silent Night, We Three Kings of Orient Are, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, What Child Is This?
Music Placemat – an easy way to learn about the instruments we hear in beautiful Christmas carols.
Affordable Music Lessons
The total for everything listed above is $120. For the price of a few weeks of private lessons for one child, all 5 of my kids are learning how to play multiple instruments. And I’m about to start piano lessons myself!
Connect with Rainbowresource.com
If you are unfamiliar with Rainbowresource.com, I highly recommend them for all of your homeschooling needs. I’ve been ordering from them for over ten years. Browsing through their big-as-a-phone-book catalog is something I look forward to every summer.