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Best music home education resources

Best music home education resources
Spark a life-long love of music and rhythm with singing, listening, playing and exploring activities for all ages. Whether it's learning about different instruments or doing some digital composing, help encourage your child's interest in the world of sound with our pick of the best music home education resources.

Best for creative projects inspired by music

The BBC's Ten Pieces at Home website suggests weekly activities for schools, home educators and parents to try. Every week there's a Ten Pieces film to watch and a linked creative activity – writing a poem, drawing a portrait, trying some body percussion – to be completed by children at home (no special materials or preparation required). A free, easy way to keep listening, enjoying and creating music.

Best for an introduction to instruments and the orchestra

Watch video introductions to the orchestra from Albert’s Band, from the Royal Albert Hall. Each member of the band presents their instrument, explains how they make their sound and plays a few short pieces. From trumpets and trombones to violins, which instrument will steal the hearts of your family members?

You can also download the My Great Orchestral Adventure booklet, perfect for KS1, for an illustrated introduction to each instrument.

For more about the instruments in the orchestra you can also read and watch BBC Teach's Bring the Noise guides to Orchestral Families for a brief description of the most recognisable instruments in an orchestra, music performed by the BBC Philharmonic and information about the history and sounds of each instrument.

Best for musical challenges


Every week the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's #RSNOchallenge offers a fun, family-friendly musical task, from singing in canon to making a bottle instrument or creating a samba band. Join the RNSO musical community and catch up at any time with the videos on YouTube.

Best for interactive music games

Classics for Kids® is designed to help you introduce children to classical music through games, musical definitions, audio samples, kids' guides to styles and eras, guidance for choosing an instrument and lots more. 

The interactive music games are free and help children learn more about rhythm, musical terms, musical instruments and composers.

Best for one-to-one music tuition for children

If you've never been able to fit a weekly music lesson into your family's schedule, why not trial a regular online class? The Gentle Guitar School has been providing long-distance one-on-one lessons in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand since 2015. Children learn to play the guitar online, at home, with a live teacher using Skype or FaceTime. Book a free trial lesson to see if the method would work for you; tuition starts at $25 per week (approximately £20), the going rate for private music lessons with a teacher in person.

Best for worldwide sounds

Look through the BBC Radio 3 World Music archive to discover the musical traditions of countries across the globe, ranging from Brazil to North Korea and Cuba to Turkmenistan. There's more than a decade of on-location recordings to choose from – will you find out about the panpipes of Lake Titicaca, British music from the Shetlands, Chinese opera, polyphonic choral music, Masai singing or Tamborito drumming?

Best for hands-on sound experiments

Experiment with sound with Chrome Music Lab, a hands-on way to explore music and its connections to art, maths, science, movement and more. Use Song Maker to make and share your own songs, build your own rhythms, compare spectrograms (pictures that show the frequencies that make up a sound and how they change over time), play chords and arpeggios, trace sound waves and create melodies. Intuitive and simple to use (and free!).

Best for family music classes


Myleene's Music Klass is a video series from musician and mum Myleene Kass's home to yours – with lots of support from her children she introduces dynamics, major and minor keys, basic rhythms, melodies and more. Fun, accessible and curriculum-based.

Best for virtual composing

Wish your child could try picking up different instruments to experiments with the sounds they can make? "Play" musical instruments online using your PC keyboard and mouse as the interface – the online musical instruments you can use for free at include the virtual guitar, virtual piano, virtual drums, virtual bongos and the virtual pan flute.

We also love the Stars & Catz list of music composition ​games that allow children to compose music and rhythms online without needing a real instrument. Whether you want to learn about chords, play with a voice on a loop, create a melody or compose music with items found in the kitchen, look through the recommended resources to become an online composer.

Best for a kids' introduction to opera


Play Opera with Welsh National Opera (WNO) is an interactive family show, specially made to introduce children aged 3-8 to opera. Members of of WNO Orchestra and Chorus perform and one of the technicians who work behind the scenes exaplin how they make wigs and costumes, do make-up, get the opera onto the stage and more. There's the opportunity to learn about famous composers and hear some of opera's best-known songs brought to life through cartoons, animation, games and stories. 

Best for a classical music education


Naxos MusicBox is an online music resource specially designed for children aged 4-12. The colourful, interactive interface and age-appropriate text introduces families to classical music with quizzes and listening activities, print-out resources and puzzles, themed playlists, audiobooks and over 4000 tracks. Subscriptions (monthly, annual, lifetime) start at £2.50 a month. 

Best for primary school music lessons


If you want to include some music activities in your child's day, lesson plans and resources for teaching primary music from the Benedetti Foundation are free to download. Each activity is accompanied by videos presented by some of the UK’s top music workshop leaders

Teaching Primary Music was created by Jimmy Rotheram, primary music specialist at Feversham Primary Academy, and edited and developed by the Benedetti Foundation.

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