Music Class Made Easy


I did not enjoy music class in school. It was full of theory and no application and no appreciation at all…until I reached my senior year in high school when we had the most amazing music teacher, Mr. A. For the entire duration of our music class, he would just play the piano with finesse, and we would sing songs from our school hymnal.

I confess, singing songs from the hymnal during weekly chapel services was a little boring mainly due to the ho-hum song leader in front. But when Mr. A. led our class in the small music room (The acoustics were fantastic.) with his skillful piano playing, I always sang at the top of my lungs.

I looked forward to music class that year. It was one of the best periods. Sure, I enjoyed literature and English, but there were no tests in music class; we just sang the whole period. Oh wait, there were graded “exams.” Mr. A. would group us in threes or fours, and we needed to pick a song to sing in front of the whole class. I remember two of my talented classmates sang “The Prayer” a la Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli with the Italian lyrics and all. If one knew a musical instrument, we were welcome to show off our talent. Our class president played “Sweet Child O’ Mine” on the guitar. Since we were a very conservative Christian school, it was cool that Mr. A. sang along to the song (in falsetto) and even high-fived my classmate after his performance.

It was from Mr. A. that I learned how to sing the Philippine national anthem in harmony. We were an ensemble assigned to sing it in our turnover ceremony (between the juniors and seniors). I was proud to be a part of that year’s TOC choir as I never thought I would get in after auditioning. Mr. A. taught each of us our parts (soprano to baritone) on that same old piano in the music room.

The most important thing is that music be enjoyed as it should be.

Now that I graduated years ago from high school—I still keep my tattered hymnal with me—I would sometimes play the songs on the keyboard and feel grateful for those chapel services. Because of them, I learned a lot of Christian hymns.

Mr. A. reminded me that music should be enjoyed. The theory is good to know, but singing to it and appreciating it is most important. I only internalized music theory now as a homeschooling parent because I have been teaching my son how to play the piano. “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” “All Cows Eat Grass,” etc. Those musical note acronyms just suddenly came back to me. But before sitting down and saying “Ok, let’s learn how to play the piano,” we started listening to musical pieces online. We listened to an assortment of classical and folk music so it was pure fun. Then we read about the lives of composers and became familiar with their music.

I think each family can have a different approach to learning and appreciating music. There are tons of free music resources available online. And you do not need private lessons for them, at least when your child is just starting to appreciate a certain instrument—if you choose to go that route. In our case, we never really had a curriculum with a fixed schedule for this “subject.” Well, I stuck to my old hymnal and piano books and researched on the internet for songs to listen to. Yet that’s us. We are quite unstructured in that manner, and it works for us.

But if you are here already, for a start or basis, you might want to check out the music courses offered at and see how you can start in your homeschool. Music can be studied by application, appreciation, and in theory, history, and literature. Even listening to certain musical genres together counts—I think this is the easiest. The most important thing is that music be enjoyed as it should be. I got that from Mr. A.

Written by Katherine Tanyu

Aside from God, her family, homeschooling (and books!), Katherine's love lies in stationeries. She and her husband manage growing stationery brands Forestmill®, Prevailed®, and FengShui Power® in the Philippines. She is also the community moderator of a Facebook group for Office and School Supplies Wholesalers.

See more articles on The Canadian Schoolhouse written by Katherine.

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).