If we learned one thing from 1990s classics like Sister Act II: Back in the Habit and Mr. Holland’s Opus, it’s that music education can be life-changing for kids (and, spoiler: their teachers too), but it’s often woefully under-funded. The funding situation hasn’t really improved much, but for close to a year, school has looked and operated differently for students across the country.
Whether your child is lucky enough to attend a school where music education is still a thing, or are in a position where you’re solely responsible for that aspect of their learning, you might want some backup. Fortunately, a free set of online music education lessons and materials is currently available, courtesy of none other than the legendary Carnegie Hall. Here’s how to access them.
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The Musical Explorers program from Carnegie Hall
Musical Explorers is a curriculum from Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) recommended for children between the ages of four and eight. It’s been used in classrooms throughout New York City and the rest of the world, but now those behind the program have adapted their classroom curriculum for families with children to use at home.
The aim of the program is to connect kids “to rich and diverse musical communities as they build fundamental music skills through listening, singing, and moving to songs from all over the world,” according to its website.
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Activities and resources
The Musical Explorers program features activities, a variety of different artists and digital concerts, including the following:
- A lesson on bomba and plena from Puerto Rico, resulting in creating your own “Sung Newspaper” by writing and drawing
- The Hip Hop Soul Science Lab
- A lesson in “social dances” from Indigenous Peoples located in the southwestern United States
- A digital concert experience featuring Greek folk, Malian traditional, and Indian classical music.
- An entire section full of resources and activities for everyone from babies to middle schoolers.
Sure, it still takes “practice, practice, practice” to get to Carnegie Hall (plus herd immunity that will allow the venue to reopen), but for now, this is the next best thing.