3 Reasons Why Your Child Needs To Learn History Of Music

Are you an ice hockey fan like me?


A soccer fan?


A baseball fan?


A basketball fan?


If you are a fan of any sport, I’m sure you already know that all sports stars and coaches often analyse great games that were played in the past?


Did you know that chess masters often evaluate and analyse games played by the grand masters?


You know that entrepreneurs often read about, analyse and learn strategies implemented by other great business leaders from the past, don’t you?


I guess you know where I’m going with this……




If you are serious about teaching your child to play piano or any musical instrument in the homeschool, then it is essential that you incorporate the History of Music into your child’s homeschool music lessons.


Not sure what I’m talking about?


Well, here are 3 of the main benefits/reasons why your child needs to learn the History of Music.


Reason No 1

When children learn the history of music, they become exposed to a variety of different composers and different eras or periods in music. As a result they learn to appreciate music and develop a keen ear for it. Learning about the life and the works of great composers helps children to find role models and learn about the hardships experienced and the intense work ethic that finally led to them becoming world renowned. This in turn will help mould your child and help him/her attempt to model the work ethic of these great composers.



Reason No 2

Research has shown that at all levels (university included) when the study of music history is included alongside normal piano or guitar lessons, students become more engaged and are likely to stay on in the program in the long term. This is one of the many reasons why all renowned music exam administrative bodies like the ABRSM in the UK, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada and the Conservatory led Music Development Program in the United States all require students to learn music history from a young age.


Reason No 3

When children learn the History of Music, they are not limited to learning only about the instrument that they are playing. On the contrary, the study of music history teaches children about a variety of different instruments, composers, genres, periods of music, world history, architecture, culture and even religion, which then makes it a very holistic study and something all children will enjoy.


Wouldn’t you agree then that if you are serious about teaching your child music in the homeschool, then teaching the History of Music is very important too?


While there is a proliferation of online piano and other music courses online, most of them simply teach you Guitar Chords 101 or Play Popular Songs On The Ukelele. While there is nothing wrong learning to play an instrument in that manner, would you teach your child to count from 1 – 10 and just stop there?


I’m pretty sure you would not.


You will no doubt agree with me that it is important to teach kids Math Facts and give them a variety of different strategies when they learn addition, subtraction, multiplication and continue on.


This is why all my courses incorporate music history, and that is what makes my courses stand out from the rest of the online music. I even have a stand alone History of Music course, which you should definitely check it out.

4 Super Easy Ways To Teach Rhythm & Beat In The Homeschool

Something I often hear from homeschooling parents is how much they wish they could teach their child music at home, but are unable to simply because they either didn’t learn music as children or simply don’t feel competent enough to teach even if they have some musical background.


So I thought this week I should write a simple blog article to guide parents (yes even those who’ve never learned any music), how to teach rhythm and beat in the Homeschool.


Here are 4 super easy ways you can teach rhythm and beat in the homeschool.


Method 1 – Clapping In Tune

Yes, its as easy as clapping. Almost all of us can clap and this is a super easy way to teach your child beat. If you feel that you are unable to clap in time or your child is finding it difficult to clap in time, then you definitely must read my article on 5 Reasons Why Learning To Clap is important. Toward the end of the article I give you some simple tips on how you can develop your child’s clapping skills.


Method 2 – Tapping Feet or Jumping or Skipping

Similar to clapping you can teach your child to tap his feet to the beat or jump or even skip to the beat. Doing this for simple songs and nursery rhymes will teach your child that all songs have a steady beat.


Method 3 – Use a Metronome

Unlike in the past when you had to purchase a metronome, today you can find apps, which provide the function of a metronome. Use a metronome to provide a steady beat for the song and sing or clap the tune (not the beat). Once you do this with a few easy songs, your child will understand the difference between the beat (the metronome) and the rhythm (the tune).


Method 4 – Find different beats and rhythms in the environment

Some say that were meant to be musical because our hearts have a steady beat. Now, who can argue with that? Like our heart beat there are many different beats and rhythms in our everyday environments. Clocks, windshield wipers, motors, crickets, washing machines etc. Help your child identify or recognise as many beats and rhythms from the natural environment. Once your child starts identifying beats and rhythms on his own, ask him to play a beat back – he or she can clap it out, tap his feet or even use chop sticks and tap it on a table or a chair.


Do you see how easy it is to incorporate music into your daily homeschooling or unschooling activities? Most importantly I hope you see that you don’t always need a degree or even an advanced certificate in music to teach basic yet very important concepts like rhythm and beat in the homeschool.


Want to learn more and access free material to help you teach music in the homeschool?


Then you should definitely join my Tuesday Treat List, where I share a freebie every single Tuesday.


Click here right now and join the list.


Don’t forget to look out for the confirmation email and say that you want to be on the list.

Karen Cadera

Karen Cadera

Creator of the Teach Your Child Piano Series

Karen’s programs are grounded in her signature method the Transformational Five Framework, which ensures that all learners gain a solid foundation to help them master the art of playing piano.

It is Karen’s dearest wish that all children, irrespective of their background are able to experience the joy of music in their homeschool. And to this end, it is her vision to reach out to a million or more moms’/parents’ who have always dreamed of teaching their kids music, but couldn’t do so because they were not taught music as kids.

3 “Must Know” Reasons Why You Should Be Involved In Your Child’s Music Education

Over the last 40 years or so, between my aunt, my mom and myself I believe we must have taught 1000s of students in our home studios. While I personally only taught a fraction of that number, I was often intrigued why some kids continue to learn music for a decade or more and others would just stop coming for classes after a year or so.


When I first started questioning this, I thought that it was talent and a good ear for music that kept children engaged.


But this was not true, I found that just as many kids who could play by ear gave up learning music in a year or two as the number that continued on.


Basically, I found that a child’s natural ability in playing piano had nothing to do with them sticking with piano lessons in the long term.


The analyst in me just couldn’t figure out what the anomaly was.


Then I decided that I should try tracking for several different variables.


Talent obviously was a key, but I knew that it was not the common denominator, so I looked at variables like older siblings learning music and parents musical background.


Again I came up with nothing.


There just wasn’t enough of a pattern.


The results were very diverse.


And I was totally confounded for a while.


Fortunately for me after mulling over this issue for about a year or so, I had a ‘light bulb’ moment when a parent, who had no background in music whatsoever, asked if she could sit through her child’s classes?


This was one of my mom’s students’ parents.


At first my mom was reluctant to allow it but finally said yes.


My initial thought was that having the parent sit through the class would have a negative impact on the child and also be awkward for my mom as the teacher – the ultimate outcome was far from that.


The parent took a keen interest in her child’s music class, didn’t get in the way of my mom and the teaching session, but was always ready to help her child get over the difficult and challenging areas and all in all was a very good influence.


It was at this point that I felt that I should now start tracking the students’ likelihood for long term music success by testing for the variable ‘parental involvement’.


Yes, I think you guessed it.


I finally found the answer.


Children whose parents were involved in their musical education for the first 4 years (which often are the toughest) were more likely to stick with it and become advanced musicians than those whose parents took a ‘hands off’ approach.


While there are now many research papers that support my own theory, the first hand knowledge I gained about this one variable had a profound impact on how I looked at teaching piano and it is what greatly shaped and influenced my online course design.


As you know, there are many different online piano courses,




Teach Your Child Piano, is the only online piano course that is geared a 100% toward teaching parents how to teach their child.


I am a true believer that there is no better teacher than yourself for your child and here’s why I think so.



Reason No. 1 – No One Understands Your Child’s Difficulties Better Than You

Children have a variety of different learning abilities, styles and needs. Whether a child is gifted or has special needs, I believe that no one knows the child’s specific learning preferences more than his parents.


If you are of the same opinion as me, then you will no doubt agree that no one would be better at understanding what motivates your child, and what challenges your child may have with a specific subject and no one would be better suited than you to help your child overcome those difficulties.



Reason No. 2 – You Are Able To Customize Material

The next reason is, online piano courses are not geared to change according to the child’s needs.


Yes, many of them say that they learn your child’s habits and then adapt to them.


But would you really put your child’s education in the hands of technology and not do anything on your part?


Even the most talented child is likely to lose motivation, get stuck, require a pep-talk on work ethics etc. Do you think that current technology can do that and even if it did, would you be happy if it did it, thus taking your place?


I know I wouldn’t and if you are anything like me, you would like to have some oversight into your child’s musical education.


Also since you understand your child the best, then I would assume that given the right tools and guidance you would be able to customize the material to suit your child’s specific needs. Am I correct?



Reason No 3 – Seeing You Struggle Inspires Your Child To Work Harder

You are your child’s best role model and when you learn something alongside your child, you will struggle (because its new to you).


Not only will this deepen your empathy for your child and his struggles but it will also show your child that you are willing to make mistakes, you are willing to learn and you are NOT willing to give up.


Can you imagine the character building lessons that are involved in this process?


And best of all is the fact that you are not simply telling your child that he should not give up, you are not simply telling your child to work harder but you will be showing him with your actions and leading by example.


Can you think of anything better than that?


Now you see why my online piano programs are different from others and why parents and children are seeing such high success rates?


You should definitely join myself and other parents in my Free FB Group and start teaching your child piano, today.

Karen Cadera

Karen Cadera

Creator of the Teach Your Child Piano Series

Karen’s programs are grounded in her signature method the Transformational Five Framework, which ensures that all learners gain a solid foundation to help them master the art of playing piano.

It is Karen’s dearest wish that all children, irrespective of their background are able to experience the joy of music in their homeschool. And to this end, it is her vision to reach out to a million or more moms’/parents’ who have always dreamed of teaching their kids music, but couldn’t do so because they were not taught music as kids.

4 Essential Reasons Why Children Who Play By Ear Need To Learn Music Theory

In my last blog post, I talked about my observations on how parental involvement was the common denominator that guaranteed success in children advancing in their musical studies.


I have to say the responses I received via email were overwhelming.


It’s so nice to know that so many of you are in agreement and want to hear more about my own personal observations over the years.


In this week’s article I want to revisit the thorny subject of learning music theory.


Yes, this really is a very contentious subject with many.


There are numerous opinions out there about playing by ear and how the study of music theory can impede their growth.


I thought the same too.


You know I hated music theory and simply couldn’t understand why I had to learn it.




As I grew up something finally clicked and I realized the important role that music theory played in creating well-rounded musicians.


Another observation I keenly became aware of as a teacher/student in my mom’s and aunt’s music studio was that children who could play by ear actually excelled at music in the long term




they learned music theory as opposed to those who chose not to learn music theory.


Again I was truly intrigued by what I was seeing because it was quite contrary to what I thought would happen.


It was my belief that children who could play by ear would actually be hampered by having to learn music theory, because it would disrupt their continual musical ear development by forcing them to read music and focus on technicalities.


But as I continued to track their progress I realised the effect was totally the opposite of what I expected.


Based on my personal observations here are the 4 reasons why I believe children who play by ear should learn music theory.


Reason No 1

When children learn music theory, they not only hear what they play, but they see it as well, because they have to sight read.


Using the auditory and visual senses together helps to reinforce what they learned, it helps increase retention and fine tunes their already strong musicmanship skills. Thus, increasing the probability of them advancing and succeeding in their musical studies.



Reasons No 2

I have found that children who are able to arrange and create their own music are often those who are able to not only analyse the music that they hear but also the music that they see.


While most children with a well developed ear for music are able to hear the chord progressions and changes in tone etc, when they learn music theory and learn these concepts in the theoretical form their ears become even more attuned to the sounds and they are able to visualize the changes on paper as well. This helps to increase their analysis capabilities and in turn enhances their creativity.


Want to read more about the benefits of learning to read and write music, then you should read my article 7 Reasons Why Your Child Needs To Read and Write Music.


Reason No 3

Many children (mine included) lack focus and the ability to concentrate. This is something most parents tend to struggle with even when children don’t have special learning needs.


I like to blame it on the excessive amount of time they spend in front of screens playing mindless games, but really I’m not too sure that, that is the only cause.


As a parent I have decided to stimulate them interesting and even challenging tasks that require a gradual increase in attention span. I think you will all agree with me that this is one of the best methods to help kids stay focused.


The thing with children who have a keen ear for music, they only want to play what they hear, or create their own music and if it is hard they give up. This is because, for them playing by ear is easy.


When we bring music theory into the mix, its challenging and it requires attention span and now even though they can create their own music, writing it down requires more focus than simply playing what is in their heads, and this is a fantastic activity that helps them to gradually increase their attention span.


Reason No 4

I saved the best for the last.


Your child can really excel at music if he or she can play by ear.


However, in order to truly advance and be able to share his or her creations with the world he not only needs to have a good understanding of music notation but also needs a strong understanding of technical aspects like rhythm and beat, symbols, terminology and much, much more….


…and this knowledge can only be derived from the systematic study of music theory.


Yes, for a person who as a child hated music theory, I really seem to harp on its importance don’t I?


Well, for one thing, over the years I have come to the realization that learning music theory is vital for the study of music and having understood that fact I have gone to great lengths to make music theory really fun for children.


You should join my Read Music Notes in Six Weeks Challenge, if you want to teach your child basic music notation.



If your child can play by ear and you wish to teach him music theory only then you should check out my Learn Music Theory Course.

Karen Cadera

Karen Cadera

Creator of the Teach Your Child Piano Series

Karen’s programs are grounded in her signature method the Transformational Five Framework, which ensures that all learners gain a solid foundation to help them master the art of playing piano.

It is Karen’s dearest wish that all children, irrespective of their background are able to experience the joy of music in their homeschool. And to this end, it is her vision to reach out to a million or more moms’/parents’ who have always dreamed of teaching their kids music, but couldn’t do so because they were not taught music as kids.

5 ‘Surefire’ Ways To Ensure Your Child Continues To Learn Music

Many people believe that simply because I now create my own online piano courses, I must have been the perfect piano student all my life.


Nothing can be further from the truth.




You would be shocked if you know the number of times that I gave up piano, and told my mom that I will ‘never ever ever ever’ play piano as long as I live.


Long story short, I did return to learning piano again and again, but the cycle continued.


However, as I grew up I reflected quite a bit on my false starts and stops and realized that as a child I had very high expectations of my abilities.


This was not my fault alone.


As you know all the messages we seem to give our kids, make something as advanced as playing piano seem very easy when in fact it is not. This along with my mom’s teaching style (which I don’t always agree with) seemed to have a ‘grating’ effect on my nerves.


Needless to say, together it was a bad combination and my musical studies suffered.


Looking back on my experience, however, I’m glad that I was such a bad student and that my experiences with piano lessons and practicing piano and all things music in general, were not very pleasant.


It is that unpleasant experience that drives me to strive harder to design online courses that will give you and your child the enjoyment that I didn’t have.


Based on my own experience as a student, as a teacher and also as a parent I have figured out that there are 5 ‘surefire’ ways to ensure your child sticks with online or offline piano lessons or any other type of music lessons.



It Is Normal To Make Mistakes

I simply cannot stress how important this is.


Coming from a family of musicians, they all had very high expectations of me and my abilities at the piano. Mistakes were not acceptable and even though I often self-corrected during practice sessions, I was always yelled at before I could do it and it somehow killed the joy in playing the piano.


This is why I always reiterate throughout my Teach Your Child Piano courses that as a parent you should not point out the mistakes but rather let your child figure it out. If and only if your child cannot figure it out after a few attempts should you point it out and that too in the gentlest manner possible.


Read my article on why making mistakes when practicing is perfect, to use the tips I have suggested, to help your child through his/her frustrations at the piano.



The Story Behind The Glory

We are constantly bombarded with images of sportsmen and women, entertainers, and musicians who are excellent at what they do.


While there is nothing inherently wrong with this. Many children falsely believe that these individuals mastered their craft or sport with little to no effort and hard work.


So when kids make mistakes while practicing their first thought is ‘I will never be as good as…..” and they decide to give up.


Don’t you think that it is sad, that all we see is the final results and not the decades of blood, sweat, and tears that might have gone into making those individual sportsmen and women, entertainers and musicians who they are today?


If you want to ensure your child continues to learn music online or offline, then you should be willing to set the record straight.


Tell them that there is always a story behind the glory.


Tell them that often, the story behind the glory is not a pretty one, but one fraught with hours of tiring practice, which ultimately makes the victory all the more sweeter.


The study of music history and reading the biographies of great musicians can be of great value here because many of the most loved composers are known to have refined their skills through tens of thousands of hours of practice and hard work.



Go For Progress Not For Perfection

This is something I have found to be very useful when teaching children of all ages.


I’ve seen the results of focusing on progress rather than perfection to be profound and thanks to Carol Dweck, I have even found a term for it.


As parents, when we focus on progress, we are able to celebrate even the tiniest of improvements as a great victory for our child. This, in turn, helps build the child’s confidence and as you know success builds on success.


On the other hand, if we go simply for perfection alone, we can never celebrate victories and anything short of perfection will be considered as a failure.


As you may already know, doing so would be a recipe for disaster.


So don’t you think the better option would be to go for progress and keep your child feeling, happy, engaged and confident in her ability to play a piece or perform perfectly after many rounds of practice?



Celebrate The Victories Even The Small Ones

I’ve already told you this, but I decided to dedicate more space to it because I simply cannot stress how important it is.


If your child is trying to master a piece that has 20 bars of music and he can only play one bar perfectly, that’s ok. Celebrate it!


Set a goal to play the next bar of music with as little mistakes as he can and when he does, celebrate that too. When he perfects it celebrate it even more.


You get the picture, don’t you?



Lead By Example

As I have mentioned in my previous blog posts, children who have a high likelihood of learning to play the piano are those with parents who are willing to be fully involved.


To this extent, I have created a program that is geared 100% toward putting all the tools in your hand so you can teach your child piano even if you’ve never touched a piano in your life.


So take this opportunity to learn alongside your child. Do the same worksheets, play the games, practice piano with your child.


When your child sees you making mistakes and struggling just like her, you will see the transformation.


Your child who once was frustrated with herself will now see that even mom is finding it difficult, she might even realize that she is better at it than mom (yippee!!)


You won’t just be telling her that mastering a musical instrument takes time, patience and a lot of practice, you will be showing her with your actions.


You won’t simply be telling her that ‘failures are the pillars of success’, you will be showing her that you truly believe it.


When you tell her not to give up, she will see that you are not going to give up either and that you are persevering through the difficult parts.


Just imagine what doing all of this can do to building your child’s character.


So follow the steps that I’ve laid out, starting today and help ensure your child’s long-term success at mastering a musical instrument.


Want an online piano course that is not simply a course, but a course that will support you, hold your hand, take the guesswork out of teaching and all in all help you bond with your child like never before while taking a magical musical journey with her, then you should definitely check out my Teach Your Child Piano – Level 1 course.

Karen Cadera

Karen Cadera

Creator of the Teach Your Child Piano Series

Karen’s programs are grounded in her signature method the Transformational Five Framework, which ensures that all learners gain a solid foundation to help them master the art of playing piano.

It is Karen’s dearest wish that all children, irrespective of their background are able to experience the joy of music in their homeschool. And to this end, it is her vision to reach out to a million or more moms’/parents’ who have always dreamed of teaching their kids music, but couldn’t do so because they were not taught music as kids.