My Favorite Charlotte Mason Hymns and Folk Songs Resources

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Charlotte Mason Hymn and Folk Song Resources - ahumbleplace.com

In April, I introduced a series of blog posts I have been going through over the last few months, sharing some of my favorite resources we use in our homeschool using the Charlotte Mason method. These are the ones we’ve tried and have been so helpful in making our days run more smoothly. They have also engaged my kids in whatever subject we’re covering. In some cases, they’re resources that were created by other homeschooling moms or are from reputable homeschooling companies, and sometimes, they’re just different items that have been helpful to us in a specific subject.

These are by no means the only resources out there, and I will offer others in some subjects that I have heard of but haven’t had the chance to try yet, or I have friends who have used them and appreciate them. But the main list will be the resources we’ve used in our homeschool over the last six years that have been so helpful to us.

Today, I’m sharing my favorite resources for hymns and folk songs!

I was also going to discuss music lessons, but up to this point, the only thing we’ve done in that vein is two years of Hoffman Academy online piano lessons, so I don’t feel like I can contribute much to that part of the conversation. The online lessons worked well for us, so if you’re looking for an option for piano lessons, check out Hoffman Academy (and use my link to get 10% off a new subscription)!

I have one resource to mention in this category that covers all parts. A Touch of the Infinite: Studies in Music Appreciation with Charlotte Mason is a book I first heard about several years ago on the Mason Jar Podcast. In it, Megan Hoyt discusses all aspects of music in a Charlotte Mason education. I have not been able to look at it myself, but I have heard good things about it, so I wanted to list it here.

Charlotte Mason Composer Study Resources - ahumbleplace.com

Charlotte Mason Hymns and Folk Songs Overview

I must close, with the disappointing sense that subjects of importance in the child’s education have been left out of count, and that no one matter has been adequately treated.

Certain subjects of peculiar educational value, music, for instance, I have said nothing about, partly for want of space, and partly because if the mother have not Sir Joshua Reynold’s ‘that!’ in her, hints from an outsider will not produce the art-feeling which is the condition of success in this sort of teaching. If possible, let the children learn from the first under artists, lovers of their work: it is a serious mistake to let the child lay the foundation of whatever he may do in the future under ill-qualified mechanical teachers, who kindle in him none of the enthusiasm which is the life of art. I should like, in connection with singing, to mention the admirable educational effects of the Tonic Sol-fa method.

Children learn by it in a magical way to produce sign for sound and sound for sign, that is, they can not only read music, but can write the notes for, or make the proper hand signs for, the notes of a passage sung to them. Ear and Voice are simultaneously and equally cultivated.

CHARLOTTE MASON (HOME EDUCATION)

Perhaps we do not attach enough importance to the habit of praise in our children’s devotion. Praise and thanksgiving come freely from the young heart; gladness is natural and holy, and music is a delight. The singing of hymns at home and of the hymns and canticles in church should be a special delight; and the habit of soft and reverent singing, of offering our very best in praise, should be carefully formed. Hymns with a story, such as: ‘A Little Ship Was on the Sea,’ ”I Think When I Read That Sweet Story of Old,’ ‘Hushed Was the Evening Hymn,’ are perhaps the best for little children.

Charlotte Mason (School Education)

When we were still in our homeschool co-op, two of the moms were assigned the task of picking and teaching our hymns and folksongs for the term. Fortunately, the mom who taught our hymns the last two years that we were in the co-op (I taught folksongs during this time) was more musically inclined, so she always gave us sheet music and implemented some singing lessons, which were somewhat along the lines of solfège. I linked to a YouTube channel above that includes many videos about solfège, which Charlotte Mason mentioned specifically in Volume 1. I’m not particularly musically inclined, I like to keep our Morning Time simple, and solfège was part of our piano lessons, so I chose not to include it during our hymn/folksong time. It’s a lovely way to help your children learn more about music and singing, though, if it’s something you feel would fit well in your homeschool!

Now that we are no longer in the co-op, I pick our hymns and folksongs. Last year, I chose the hymns based on the liturgical year, a practice we also did in our co-op. I chose our folksongs based on the time periods in which we were studying. I have not decided whether to do this again next year or follow the AmblesideOnline schedule.

We sing our hymn and folksong twice per week during Morning Time. For our first “lesson,” I’ll play a recording of the song on YouTube so we can listen to it together. Then the next time, we’ll read and narrate the words of the song, and I’ll briefly share any background about it if I have any (I use the Then Sings My Soul book linked above for hymns). In the following “lesson,” we’ll listen to it again, then listen once more while we hum along with the tune. After that, we’ll sing along with a recording (I usually try to find instrumental-only) as we feel comfortable with that. This was the general pattern we had in our co-op, and it worked well for us, so I also chose to implement it at home.

The Hymns and Folksongs YouTube channel is so helpful as she records beautiful versions of the AO rotation hymns and folksongs. I also appreciate Andrew Remillard’s channel as he offers instrumental recordings of hymns, which is what I prefer to use as our accompaniment for most of the term. Hymnary is where I research and find hymns when picking them myself. And the last link for the Folk Music of England. etc., is especially helpful when looking for folksongs from specific time periods.

So these are most of the music-related resources we use in our homeschool. Again, though I appreciate music and have my favorite composers, I am not enormously musically inclined, but these resources have helped. What indispensable music resources would you add to this list?

In my next post in this series, I’ll be sharing our favorite homeschool supplies! If you’re not signed up for my newsletter, click here to get a notification when the new post is available!

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