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Music is a Life Skill

Music is a Life Skill

Many of us consider music an elective and one of those homeschool subjects that we may “get to.” But I contend that music is a life skill which informs us in many areas of our lives. Chiefly, It allows our kids to develop executive functioning as well as transferable skills.

I encourage you to carve out time for music. Just consider that you probably already do. What’s on your playlist? How many hours a week do you listen to music while you workout, or are in the car? Music is an integral part of our lives. Accordingly, the songs we listen to, the movies we watch, as well as the worship we offer can change our mood and – above all – lead to redemption. 

Close-up of female hands correcting music score

A Universal Language

Music is a Universal Languages, along with Math and Latin. As has been noted, we can communicate to others with music, even if we lack a common language!

I’ve teamed up with Melissa Grande, a professional Musician and one of our amazing True North Homeschool Academy teachers to talk about some of the obvious benefits of studying music!

10 Benefits of Studying Music  

  1.  Stress Management & Therapeutic Benefits – Music calms the soul, gives kids the ability to express emotions and work off the wiggles! It utilizes many neural pathways to learning. Music education is kinesthetic, and auditory, but also visual as they develop eye-hand coordination and the ability to read music.
  2. Quick Thinking Skills – playing an instrument requires the student to think quickly. That requirement increases exponentially if they are playing with a band of any kind. Kids become quick thinkers as they have to check what’s going on with other musicians.
  3. Social Skills – these become well developed through music as students learn collaboration & communication skills. Skills are required for coordinating with others in the home about best practice times. Social skills are used when working with other musicians, coordinating with teacher and developing as a performer. 
  4. Responsibility and Discipline – are a natural outcome of music studies as students learn to take care of their instruments. It also requires that they focus on practicing and tough out the physical hardship of developing their craft.
  5. Problem Solving – is one of the many gifts of studying any art. Students must simply work to understand the music. The sounds of their instrument and how to create music with others involve problem solving skills.
  6.  Time Management and Deadlines – are integral to developing as a musician. You must show up to lessons on time, show up to practice and performances while juggling other responsibilities and demands. 
  7. Pride in Accomplishments (and learning that you have the ability to Do Hard Things). We want good things for our kids, and might even have to guard against serving up fun too often. Instead, teach them to hold out for deep joy and fulfillment when they have overcome and can enjoy their accomplishment.
  8. Perseverance and Patience – we know that good things come from years of practice and investment. Excellence comes with practice. Our kids learn this as they wrestle with loving their instrument and playing music over the long term.
  9. Creative Expression – this might seem obvious but is not to be overlooked. Music allows our kids – and us- creative expression. Who hasn’t lip-synced at the top of their lungs in the car alone? Who hasn’t cried, hearing a touching song, or choked up singing Handel’s Messiah? Music moves our spirit and soul and unlocks hidden emotions and allows us to become more fully human.
  10.  Self Expression – along with creative expression, music allows us to express ourselves as individuals. We all have a song to sing and a beautiful story to tell. Music allows us another avenue to share that with others! 
Pretty young musician playing classic digital piano at home during online class at home, social distance during quarantine, self-isolation, online education concept

A Lot of Bang for Your Homeschool Buck!

Music is one of those courses of study that give you so much bang for your buck. Your kids learn a fantastic academic skill, that can garner them scholarship dollars and amazing opportunities. As they develop their skills, music will help them maintain their positive mental health. They will develop transferable skills that will hold fast throughout their lives. 

Not sure where to start with Music Education in your homeschool? Check out True North Homeschool Academy Music classes. We believe in and value music education so much that we offer k-12th grade opportunities that will inspire and delight! 

Boy with a clarinet plays music. Online music lesson concept

Check Out K-12 Classes to Get Their Creative Energies Flowing

  • Music at the Movies– a life changing Music and Apologetics course! Pair this with Strategy: War and Peace for an integrated approach to world view and history !
  • Introduction to Music Theory -learn the Basics of Reading Music
  • The Art of Songwriting – perfect for budding musicians and writers! 
  • Introduction to Voice – learn how to sing- this course can also count towards science credits.
  • Art & Music I – one of our most popular Elementary classes last year! This is a Charlotte Mason inspired course that teaches Art through the Seasons. Children learn to play the tin whistle along with learning about music.
  • Art & Music II – for those who couldn’t get enough of Art and Music I. (or for older kids) Students will again have inspiring Art through the Seasons lessons and learn rhythm through bucket drumming! 

From Handicrafts to Technology

Take a look at more than 30 electives available on our website. True North Homeschool Academy offers elective courses that are creative and practical.

  • Computer Illustration - One Semester
    Computer Illustration – One Semester
  • Introduction to Computer Science
    Introduction to Computer Science – One Semester
  • World Religions - One Semester
    World Religions – One Semester
  • The Story of Christianity - One Semester
    The Story of Christianity – One Semester
  • The Four Gospels - One Semester
    The Four Gospels – One Semester
  • Art Level 2 - One Semester
    Art Level 2 – One Semester
  • Art Level 1 - One Semester
    Art Level 1 – One Semester
  • Form and Color - One Semester
    Form and Color – One Semester
  • Proverbs Bible Study - One Semester
    Proverbs Bible Study – One Semester
  • Music at the Movies - One Semester
    Music at the Movies – One Semester
  • Life Skills 101 - One Semester
    Life Skills 101 – One Semester
  • Introduction to Apologetics - One Semester
    Introduction to Apologetics – One Semester
  • Dance at the Movies - One Semester
    Dance at the Movies – One Semester
  • Watercolor, Winnie the Pooh & You! - One Semester
    Watercolor, Winnie the Pooh & You! – One Semester
  • Art and Music - Level One - One Semester
    Art and Music – Level One – One Semester
  • Art and Music Level 2 - One Semester
    Art and Music Level 2 – One Semester
  • Adapted Life Skills
    Adapted Life Skills
  • Watercolor, Winnie the Pooh & You!
    Watercolor, Winnie the Pooh & You!
Future of Work

Future of Work

The future of work is an important topic. It’s where our kids will live. We are training our kids for that future, whether we are mindful of it or not. Homeschooling offers us many opportunities to prepare them.

Today’s students will be working at jobs not yet created, working in technology that is just now being developed, and will be part of a fast-paced and ever-changing world. Technology is developing at a rapid pace!

Today’s Workforce

Today’s workforce is quad-generational with different values, motivations, and work styles. Work is less structured and more agile. Employees want flexibility and immediacy and customer expectations are growing; they want immediacy in response and getting their needs met. Furthermore, technology is accelerating the pace of business.

What Economies will Play the Biggest Roles in the Future?

  1. Big Tech Economy
  2. Precision Economy
  3. Exodus Economy
  4. Empath Economy
  5. Gig Economy

Let’s take a look at each of these economies and consider some of the new technology that will affect and change the future!

Big Tech Economy:

Robotics & Automation

  • drone deliveries
  • driverless cars

AI will affect industries across every aspect of life:

  • Transportation
  • Medical
  • Finance
  • Health Care
  • Education
  • Urban Planning

3- D Printers

  • 3-D Printing is changing industries across the board

Precision Economy:

  • Sensors more widely adapted for business
  • The expansion of data will require more analysts
  • Behavioral scientists & Gamification experts
    • help people detox
    • get the most out of people
Go ahead and continuously improvement concept, silhouette man jump on a cliff from past to future with cloud sky background.

Exodus Economy:

People looking for sustainable lifestyles

  • upcycling and
  • community energy

Empath Economy:

  • Tech will be stewarded and managed by IT
  • Managers and automation will take over many dull, dirty and dangerous jobs
  • Living high tech will force us to embrace emotional work
    • Education
  • Spiritual Leaders
  • Mental Health Workers & Emotional Care
  • Entertainment

Gig Economy:

Includes a Labor Market Characterized by:

  • Short-term contracts
  • Freelance work

Future workers will need technical skills and soft skills, particularly Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, and Communication Skills. The good news is that a solid high school course of study will lay a solid foundation for all students. Future workers will need the ability to upskill and re-skill and have a zeal for lifelong learning.

What’s the Best Way to Navigate the Future?

As always, I recommend start with the end in mind and working backwards. What kind of lifestyle does your student want to have, where do they want to live, what work do they believe in and want to invest in doing?

Assess your student, your current resources, and your location, as all of these offer various challenges and opportunities.

And don’t forget that you are one of your student’s best resources. What are your areas of interest and trained vocation? Your kids have a jump start on whatever it is you share with them, because of what you already know.

If you aren’t sure where to start to prepare them for the future of work, begin with a typical course of study and build from there. Still unclear? Our Academic Advisors would love to help you craft a plan for success!

Blue Digital cyberspace and digital data network connections concept. Transfer digital data hi-speed internet, Future technology digital abstract background concept.

True North Homeschool Academy classes that will set your student up for future success:

As you can see, homeschooling provides unique opportunities to prepare for the future of work! If you want to read more about how to help your children explore careers take a look at our blog post on How to Accelerate Your Career as a Homeschool Student and take a look at the classes mentioned above to learn specific skills.

What are Soft Skills?

What are Soft Skills?

What are Soft Skills?

What are Soft Skills? Soft Skills are those personal attributes that allow us to interact well with others, allowing us to have peaceful and healthy relationships. They are also known as power skills or personality traits. Soft skills are those skills that everyone seems to understand implicitly. They are related to manners and social mores. For kids with learning disabilities, however, soft skills can be elusive and confusing.

Hard skills are easily definable skills that are often job-specific, such as knowing how to speak German, code a computer, or write in cursive; those skills that get us the job.  Soft skills are more difficult to define and are those skills that allow us to keep the job. You know the adage,

“You are hired for your hard skills, you’re fired for your soft skills.”

What are Soft Skills?

3-t have recently heard about the “4 C’s of Education.” These would include

  1. Communication
  2. Collaboration (Teamwork)
  3. Critical Thinking
  4. Creativity

Public Schools are beginning to work specifically to train kids in these basic soft skills, as they are so necessary for success in academics, job ability, and stability, and managing and maintaining healthy relationships.

Communication

Communication, in particular, is easily identified as the queen of soft skills, as without it, we can hardly function.

Communication Skills Consist of 4 areas:

  1. Verbal
  2. Written
  3. non-verbal
  4. spoken

Employers are currently stressing the need for students to have excellent communication skills, including the ability to persuade by written and spoken communication. In particular, they want to hire those who can “sell” (i.e., persuade) both orally and using the written word.

Collaboration

Collaboration is better known as teamwork. Can you lead, follow, and interact maturely with other team members? Do you problem solve and handle your own emotions well, or are you causing problems for others on your team? Do you understand the team hierarchy well? Are you willing to lead, follow, and get out of the way?

All of these skills go into being a good team player, at different times and various seasons.

Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking is the ability to analyze facts and form a conclusion, using deductive and inductive reasoning, formal and informal logic, and the scientific method. Critical thinking allows us to be proactive, instead of constantly reactive, strategize, and take the long view, deferring our own short term gratification for long term pay-offs.

 Creativity

Creativity is all about thinking outside the box, generating new ideas or tweaking old ones to fit new situations, and interacting with materials, people, and resources in unique ways.

Time and Distraction Management

Time and Distraction Management is the ability to manage one’s time effectively to accomplish small and large tasks, repetitive as well as on-going tasks. This also has to do with the ability to manage distractions, be that a little sibling, social media notifications, or our self needs or interest. Developing good time management habits is critical to being able to interact with the world maturely.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Flexibility and Adaptability require having the ability to change and flex as needed. Our world is growing increasingly complex with radical and sudden shifts occurring on both a micro and macro scale. We must teach our kids to flex and adapt as needed as well as to know how to set appropriate boundaries and to stand firm when time and circumstances demand it.

Work Ethic

Work Ethic is the value that hard work is intrinsically valuable and worth doing for its own sake. Having kids who are diligent and detailed oriented in their work can mean the difference between success and failure in so many areas of life.

Leadership

Leadership is both the ability to research and prepare for what’s ahead as well-being to lead, guide, or instruct a group or individuals, teams, or organizations.

 Loyalty

In a world that makes it increasingly easy to “block” or “ghost” someone, loyalty is a soft skill worth developing. Standing by one’s faith, family and friends is the mark of someone with integrity and other well-formed, soft skills. Everyone is irritating, demanding, and in need of salvation and standing by and next to each other while recognizing our own and each other’s humanity is what being loyal is all about. The soft skill includes patience, kindness, self-control, and the willingness to overlook the other’s failings.

Integrity

Integrity is the foundation of all soft skills. It is the quality of basing our behaviors on principles instead of situations, being honest and morally upright—integrity based on the Gospel of Truth, instead of our own or others’ desires.

What are Soft Skills? Soft skills are those skills that take a lifetime to master and can always be improved upon.

All of us have soft skills that come naturally to us, and those that are a struggle. Regardless, we can all develop a lifestyle of learning so that we continue to grow and develop to glorify God-given who He has made us to be, and in doing so, shine His light in a world that is growing increasingly dark.

What are Soft Skills and Where do I Find Out More About Teaching Soft Skills?

Click on the links in this post to view courses offered by True North Homeschool Academy teachers who have goals that are aligned with yours as a homeschool parent.

We believe in the importance of Soft Skills so much that we host a weekly podcast on Soft Skills 101: Life Skills for a Digital Age!

Please join us over at the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network for more great discussion and information on Soft Skills!