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Upside-Up's Music at Home - Early Elementary Music Curriculum

Upside-Up's Music at Home - Early Elementary Homeschool Music Curriculum
Lui's hands
photo by Susan Wilson

"Music to me is deep mystery; its power leaves me in awe.  It is our birthright: a form of expression, a way to learn and transmit information, to explore, process, and communicate emotions.  It's powerful stuff.  It has the capacity to touch us beyond words, to bring us back to some long ago place and time, or to move us forward into a new way of seeing and being in the world.  Because of these traits, it is matchless as an educational tool.  However, because of the joy that music brings to me and what I see as its potential in the life of any person, I choose to share and teach music for its own sake." – Lui Collins

Rhythm helps develop motor skills

Upside-Up's® Music at Home is an early elementary homeschool music program based on the Kids' Jam Family Music Workshop lab classes created by Lui Collins of Upside-Up Music.   The songs and singing games are organized in 3 progressive levels of difficulty, appropriate either for grades K-2 or for grades 1-3. Music at Home can be used alone or in conjunction with instrumental study. Because most of the learning is informal, it is easily adapted to include younger and/or older siblings in the family music circle.

Music at Home is designed to offer homeschooling families a comprehensive music program for their family. Extensive support materials make it accessible to all, regardless of a parent's own musical background. Each level is divided into 4 seasons, so families can focus on learning a few songs at a time. The curriculum includes recordings of all songs and singing games, song pages with melody, lyrics and chords for all songs, instructions for singing games and other notes. For each of the Fall, Winter, and Spring seasons, families are provided with 10 weekly lesson plans and support videos of ear training exercises and more. Additional songs and singing games are provided for the Summer season.

The Music at Home curriculum can be used by families whose children attend school, to provide musical enrichment for those years between the early childhood music class and formal instrument instruction. It may easily be adapted for use in a school setting by the elementary music teacher or classroom teacher. It is also appropriate for use in a Homeschool group music workshop.


Origins of the Songs

When I went searching for songs for Kids' Jam/Music at Home, I discovered a treasure trove in my local libraries, in old song collections from the late 1800's and early 1900's. They were full of thousands of songs that I had never heard, or early variations of songs that have become well known in recent years in other, quite different, versions.  Some of these songs were perfect for Kids' Jam/Music at Home as is, they needed nothing from me other than my re-interpretation from written sheet music of what would have been handed down via an oral tradition.  Other songs needed a tweak here and there – and sometimes a lot more than a tweak! Many of these songs were not children's songs per se, just beautiful songs, whose potential I recognized: songs that I knew children would love, but that would require some editing of words or dropping of verses to be usable.

Sometimes I found wonderful lyrics set to uninspiring music.  For these I rewrote the music, often adding verses and/or a chorus with additional words to flesh them out and bring them to life.  And of course I was also writing songs from scratch, often to meet a particular need, musical or topical.

It was a delightfully creative process and I had a perfectly wonderful time immersing myself in this work.  I hope you will enjoy the songs as much as I have. - Lui