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15-Minute Music Lessons Review by Crystal McClean

Gena Mayo
Music in our Homeschool

15-Minute Music Lessons are on the Teachable platform, along with additional music classes that are offered by Gena Mayo. There are 19 lessons in this course, as well as How to Use and Optional Resources sections. This course is currently listed at $32.40 on Teachable.

At the simplest level, the class is open and go. Log in to the class, read the short text in a lesson, and watch the embedded YouTube videos. Most of the lessons have 3-6 videos that can be watched in a short time period. There is one lesson in which the music collection takes an hour, but this can be divided over more than one day or listened to while doing other things.

For most lessons, there are also downloadable PDFs that can be printed. At the end of the lessons, there are three to five multiple-choice questions to answer by clicking on the correct option. These are self-correcting and will tell you if you have chosen the correct answer before moving to the next question.

Many of the lessons also present additional resources students may want to explore to delve deeper into the topics.

The lessons can be adjusted to the abilities of the student, as well as how deep each topic will be explored. Using fifteen minutes a day, it would take about three weeks to complete the course. Going deeper into the topics, a student may want to take a week or more to complete a lesson.

The lessons can be used in different ways depending on the ages and abilities of the student. For younger children, the lessons could simply be to open the lesson, read the short texts, and then watch and listen to the music linked via YouTube.

For middle-range students, there are easy PDFs provided that can be printed for students to complete. Some of the PDFs are quite easy such as coloring or matching. Others are more in-depth and require students to think about how the music makes them feel, or to do a little research into a composer.

The lessons could also be expanded for further learning by older students by asking them to do short assignments or papers about specific composers, styles of music, or even periods of time.

My children enjoyed this class as it was not too taxing, and it gave them something relaxing to do during their school day. They completed the course in roughly three weeks, usually completing a lesson a day. I was able to use the same PDFs for both of my children, expecting more of my elder child than my younger when it came to researching instruments or learning interesting facts about a composer. I would have preferred more differentiated PDFs, and perhaps an answer key for a few of the sheets that asked about tempo changes in a specific piece, for example as my children had different answers, but for the majority of the PDFs the answers were clearly found in the text of the lessons.

15-Minute Music Lessons is a good introduction to different genres ranging from Handel’s Messiah to A Cappella to Music of the Olympics and music from the movie, Frozen. Students will begin to learn about music appreciation and how to think more critically about it than simply enjoying it or not. Such skills will expand their musical world into the future as well.

-Product review by Crystal McClean, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2020