*I received a copy of SQUILT volume 1 at no charge to facilitate this review. A positive review was not guaranteed. All opinions are my own*
Music is so important to developing brains, it helps brains work more efficiently and nothing can define our shared human experience more than music. Music Lessons are only part of a solid musical education, appreciation is the other half.
But how exactly does one teach music appreciation? I am a classically trained pianist and this is something I really struggled with. A good friend sent me a text recently asking if I’ve ever heard of SQUILT and would I please do a review. I immediately wrote the incredibly sweet Mary Prather, the voice behind Homegrown Learners and Squilt, and much to my delight she was happy to have me review her product!
What is SQUILT?
SQUILT stands for Super Quiet Uninterrupted Listening Time. The idea is to discuss some musical terms and ideas, then play a piece of music for your child. During listening time there is no talking, just listening. When the piece is over you listen to it again, this time your child fills out a notebooking page, or for younger kids a drawing page.
What do I need to use SQUILT?
SQUILT was written to make music appreciation easy to teach, and as such you only need an internet connection and a printer. You teach the lesson directly from the PDF on your computer or interet-connected tablet as each lesson contains link to various places where you will hear music and learn about instruments. You need only print out the student notebooking/drawing pages.
Lessons are scripted just enough so even the music novice can teach a quality lesson that will be retained. Yes, these lessons are very easy to teach but the best part is that these lessons can be fit in anywhere, you don’t have to worry about finding a large chunk of time! I find the lessons are perfect to add to our “Friday Art” days but because very little preparation is needed they’re just as great to do on a random Tuesday afternoon when we find ourselves home unexpectedly with nothing to do.
What ages are best matched with SQUILT
The author states that SQUILT is best for preschool through elementary, but I don’t necessarily agree. Yes, I think SQUILT is great for those ages, but I think it’s great for middle schoolers. Actually, I think SQUILT would be a great base for a high school music appreciation class as well and I include my 16 year old in on the lessons! If your child needs more elective credits there are enough SQUILT lessons available to equal half a credit, and you could easily extend it to a full credit with a little extra work.
How many volumes are available and how much do they cost?
There are currently 4 volumes available!
Volume 1 teaches the Baroque era, including works by Pachelbel, Bach, and Vivaldi and contains 10 lessons. $9.99
Volume 2 moves on to the Classical era and consists of 10 lessons that feature famous composers like Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven. $9.99
Volume 3 teaches the Romantic era and features Liszt, Chopin, Wagner, as well as other famous composers, and is also 10 lessons. $9.99
Volume 4 is especially fun, it’s Christmas Carols! This volume features 5 popular Christmas carols and activities for the entire family! $7.99 (it’s currently on sale for $6.99 as of the date of this post)
A bundle is also available, get volumes 1, 2 & 3 for just $26.99!
Worldview: These volumes are secular but please note that some music was written to have religious significance and this is touched upon briefly in some lessons. There is no religious preference or teaching in these volumes.
Looking for some more info and samples>?Click here to view samples of SQUILT and purchase a copy
SQUILT is a program that we are greatly enjoying and plan to continue.
Meg Grooms is a decades-long secular homeschooling mother of 6 children, ranging in age from preschool to married with kids of their own. Always a vagabond at heart, Meg and her family have embraced a slow travel lifestyle, currently calling Southern California home. Your guess is as good as hers as to where they’ll end up next.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool.