YMB #101 Bethany Stuard: Choral Music the Great Room

Bethany Stuard has both an extensive knowledge of and great passion for choral music. That is what makes her such a fun guest for this episode of the podcast. In this episode Bethany likens choral music to a great room with doors that lead to all areas of knowledge. It is a fascinating glimpse at a tool we can use in our Morning Time to inspire our kids in ways we hadn’t considered before. Enjoy!

mom and children at piano


Yeah. If I can make an analogy. Choral music is a great room to be in. It is its own beautiful art. It is a gorgeous part of being human, lifting up your voice to the Lord. And then we’ll talk about some of those benefits later, but because choir has language and because it’s old, that room has doorways connections to a lot of other great rooms, great educational areas.

This is your Morning Basket, where we help you bring truth, goodness, and beauty to your homeschool day.

Hi Everyone, and welcome to episode 101 of the Your Morning Basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host. And I am so happy. You’re joining me here today. Well, sometimes wonderful guests and wonderful topics fall right into our laps. And that is the case with this particular episode. So on today’s show, we have Bethany Stuard with us and Bethany is a homeschooling mom of three, who has a passion for choral music. She has a passion for choral music and choirs and helping kids sing. She’s a choir director of a children’s choir and she just loves choral music. And she wanted to share that love with other homeschool moms.

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And so we are so thankful that Bethany reached out to us because this is a fabulous podcast episode. So inspiring to listen about how choral music can actually connect to so many other topics and subjects in our homeschools. So on this episode, Bethany is not only going to tell us all the reasons why we should study choral music, but also a bunch of different ways that we can make this happen. What do we talk about with our kids when we're listening to choral music, where do we find choral music and so much more?
I think you're really going to enjoy this episode.
And speaking of choral music, did you know that there is a hymn or a folk song included in each one of our monthly Morning Time Explorations. Morning Time Explorations are topical studies that we release every single month.
So you can dig deep with your kids into really fun subjects like sharks, snow and ice, Cowboys, friendship, and so much more. So if you would like to try out a set of our Morning Time explorations, you can do that by coming to Pambarnhill.com/explore, where you can find our latest selection full of all kinds of truth, goodness, beauty, poetry, music, art, everything that you could need and want to bring into your Morning Time. That's at Pam barnhill.com/explore.
And now on with the podcast,
Bethany Stuard Is a choral conductor, vocal performer music, educator, and homeschool mom of three. She is the artistic director for the first Colony Homeschool ensemble choirs in sugar land,Texas, and received the Texas choral directors association, Young director of Distinction award in 2012. Bethany is active in the music community as a member of the Texas music Educators Association and the Texas Choral Directors Association. She enjoys providing professional development for choral music instructors, especially in the area of cultivating creativity and fostering team spirit in the choir classroom. Bethany, welcome to the podcast.
Thank you so much, Pam. I'm so happy to be here. Well, I am so happy to have you. I have heard some wonderful things about you from Dawn Garrett and just your enthusiasm for choral music and vocal performance and all of that stuff. And I think it's just, it's something new and it's something great. So thanks for coming on.
Oh, it's my pleasure. I'm such a fan.
Tell us a little bit about your homeschool. You have three kids, right?
That's right. That's and they're little. They're six, four and two. So my homeschool barely exists. I go to my first homeschool convention next week. So, like I said, I'm new to this. I taught high school choir and public schools for a decade, and I loved it. We traveled and performed it. Didn't musicals and festivals, but I've always known that I was home with homeschool. I was homeschooled when I was little and it was an awesome experience. My mom is a great teacher, my siblings and I are close, and she actually did Morning Time, like activities back in the olden days. Like she would read Proverbs and we would write about it, or she would do read alouds. And those are my memorable homeschool moments, those things we did together. So when I stumbled upon your Morning Basket, and when I read your book, I thought with, this is for me, this is it. So I do love being a choir director but I quit, that I've been doing judging and conducting gigs just as they come.
But mostly I've been raising my babies and preparing to homeschool. I started reading up when I was pregnant and my cousin recommended For the Children's Sake. So I've had years of reading and podcasts. And so next year we're going full Ambleside Online. Oh, I'm very excited.
Awesome. Awesome. Okay. So have you been doing a little Morning Time in your house?
Cause my next question is usually, well, what does Morning Time look like in your homeschool? So are you doing something like that?
We have, we started when they were little three and a half in a precocious 22 month old, we called it a snack and storytime time and I would start singing the doxology and they would sprint because there were snacks and we would just memorize a verse and then do our activities and read our books from the Peaceful Preschool. And it was wonderful. That's when we did anything, like learn our address or our telephone numbers, just that linchpin in the day at time of connection.
During the first quarantine, we added hymns and a longer scripture memory, but then the baby started to walk and my oldest started some gentle kindergarten. Then things got a little tougher. My youngest is a destroyer. And when, like, when people would say that to me, I would think of some like wild-eyed insane child running around and knocking everything over. But no, he's so sweet. He's so happy. He's just happily ruining all my things. And so the only time we could do anything organized was he’s strapped down. So if the toddler was done eating his food and I kept schooling the others, all the toothbrushes would go in the toilets and he would throw the blankets, stuffed them in the diaper pale, and then unlock the garage and crawl in the car and drink my day-old coffee and eat some quarters like that was what was happening. And so we had to divide Morning Time into two parts. So we would do memory work in the living room.
I would sing a hymn, the poem and Bible passage. We're memorizing, maybe a folk song while they play blocks or trains or rolled around. And then we would go to the table and I would pass out snacks and we would read our Peaceful Press nature guide and do those books and any activities that we could. But if the toddler is done eating his food and he's just going to go pour all the spices out.
So having that, having that set aside time gave me so much peace. And then part three of Morning Time is after afternoon nap. Then we have fruit and read poetry. So dividing it up really helped with the baby problem.
Oh, I Love that. The I, and it just walked away to find a great solution to a problem that was presenting itself. And, you know, in six months, probably not going to be quite as much of a problem.
No, it's Not. He just turned two it's much better. It's much better. And all those things I learned from you and from your guests. And so I'm just so thankful for you and for your ministry.
Oh, wonderful. Wonderful. Well, I know what we wanted to talk about today. And you've mentioned something a couple of times, guys, if you have been listening, you have picked up on this thread of singing. We were singing a hymn, we were singing a folk song. And so that is what we're going to be talking about today is music, but choral music specifically.
So Bethany, what is it about choral music? Why should we seek out choral music as opposed to just listen to classical music?
I think the short answer before I give a long answer is language. It's language. There are more access points to choral music because it has text. And that text is almost always poetry, scripture, or liturgy. That is this special place of classical vocal music, as opposed to just folk songs. Although a lot of choral music is an arrangement of a folk song or just instrumental music. You know, there are some peripheral pieces with nonsense syllables or prose or speeches, but almost all the time in choral art music, you're learning poetry, scripture, or liturgy.
Another thing about choral music is that it's older. It was the music of the church. So the literate people or the people notating music. So we have choral music for like 1200, you know, from the middle ages. And we have high-level art music from the Renaissance, which we don't necessarily have from instrumental music. Like we can sing Gregorian chants. That is so old, which is awesome. So I, I have to say here, if, if I can make an analogy, it choral music is a great room to be in. It is its own beautiful art. It is a gorgeous part of being human lifting up your voice to the Lord. And then we'll talk about some of those benefits later, but because choir has language and because it's old, that room has doorways connections to a lot of other great rooms, a great educational areas. Can we talk about those now?
We can, but before we dive off into that, can we talk about like give us some examples? So I just want everybody to be aware of like a recording, like if they were to go to, you know, their Alexa or if they were to go to Spotify or even YouTube or something, and they wanted to look up some choral music, and we're probably going to talk about a ton of these, but just give us a couple of examples of what could we search for what kinds of pieces are we talking about.
When you're talking about art music?
Well, honestly, if you're memorizing great poetry, you can probably find a choral arrangement of that. If you were thinking, oh, I'm in the middle ages, you know what, Pam, I actually have a whole, a whole music list. It's five pages, long of recommendations of things people can, people can look up, but if you're, if you're looking at the Baroque era, look up just Bach and you will get all the passions and all the motets.
If you're, like I said, if you're memorizing great poetry, you can find an arrangement of that piece. And if you're learning about certain liturgical things, you can find those things, whether it's the mass or the vespers. So you can search that out and get really specific as your needs get specific.
Right. I think a lot of like what most people would be familiar with would be like Handel's Messiah or something like that. That there's a big choral element to that piece.
Absolutely. Absolutely. And that is not, that's one of the greats, but not the only auditorio out there. Right? There's an auditorio of the story of Jeftha that Haydn's Creation. He wrote out Creation for choir and soloists. So all of those kinds of things, and, oh, I'm going to tell you so many examples as we go through these and you'll have to stop me from singing them. Cause I probably will.
Awesome. Okay. So let's now start opening some of those doors that you were talking about earlier.
Okay. So let's, let's talk about poetry, the doorway into poetry when you're kind of in the doldrums of memorizing in your homeschool, even worthy, beautiful selections of poetry, choral music can be that new source of inspiration and motivation.
You get to hear it interpreted and brought to life. You know, I always wanted to have great knowledge of poetry as a child because I loved Anne Green Gables and she just flows with poetry references. But I, I didn't have that mental wherewithal to sit and read poetry and, you know, quote Tennyson. But I realized as I started studying classical education, “Hey, I know passages from Shakespeare, I've sung sonnets.”
As I began to get books of poetry for my children, I flipped through these books of greats and go, I know that I know that I know 15 settings of The Tiger by William Blake or I listening to the literary life podcast and Cindy Rollins and says, one of her favorite poems is Jenny Kissed Me.
And I would go, Oh, I know the most lively, fun setting of that by Eric Barnum. So lo and behold, a lifetime of choral music has given me way more poetry than more than most normal humans. A chorus does repeat reading and memorization of more poetry than any English class out there. So we can talk about some examples and what a composer might do to aluminate the text. I think about this little French poem by Madeline lates, LA petite, PHY sachet, wrong title. They call it it's about a little girl. She comes home. She sets her basket on the table, checks on the baby, sits on a rock, and looks at the stars. But Poulenc sets that the composer Poulenc sets it for a treble choir. And all of a sudden that moment that she describes becomes eternal. He makes it sublime because of the way he sets it.
Composers can paint the text with the music. So there's a poem Choose Something Like a Star by Robert Frost. Randall Thompson sets it. And what he does is have the Sopranos go, “Oh Star.” They hold that note while the rest of the choir speaks the poetry, “The fairest one in sight.” So there's that touchpoint above you? That never moves? Well, they're the star, right? So he's auditorily painting it for you. I think Gallant Weaver by Robert Burns McMillan sets it. And you hear it later, the voices weave in and out, they layer in, you actually hear the tapestry. So sometimes it's really literal like that.
I think about one of our favorites, The Lake Isle of Innisfree by Yates and there's a setting for women's choir and it arises, it says I will arise and go to Innisfree and the voices go, now. It's so good. I have a dream of making a convention performing choir out of homeschool moms and having them perform like a wonderful hymn setting, The Lake Isle of Innisfree, at a keynote address. This, this, my, my dream
Sign Me up. That would be awesome. I would, isn't that a good idea?
Yes. I'm a soprano. I'll be there.
I thought that you were a choir person. I thought I remembered hearing you say that. Oh, excuse me. Go ahead.
No, that's awesome. That's awesome. Okay. So poetry, what's another door we might open. So language learning, you can't go to a choir concert without hearing Latin. So many motets masses and major works, and you'll probably hear whatever language you're studying. If you're gonna acquire it enhances your auditory language skills. You're practicing, shaping syllables attentively and precisely, or you're being exposed to new languages and sounds, and it might spark an interest for your student.
I loved the music of Brahms. So I took German. The concert I just did with my homeschool choir. This spring, we sang in Ben bay, Norwegian, German, Serbian. And my prayer is that they develop a love for other cultures because of that experience.
You know, whatever language you're learning. It's good to listen to music in that language. And if you're very tired of listening to trite, annoying children's songs in Spanish, maybe you can listen to some Spanish choral music. There's so many great arrangements. For example, if the Andalusian folk song El Veto so much fun stuff. So you can kind of elevate that language learning time.
Another doorway that we've kind of talked about is folk music. Every folk song you can think of is arranged for choir from the Water is Wide to Loch Lomond, to What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor. My kids just run around the house in circles, listening to a really fast men's choir version of this Shenandoah. And you know, maybe you're learning Barbara Allen in your Morning Time. And your teen is real uninspired by the ukulele arrangement on YouTube, but they might be into a choir of 60 talented college dudes singing it in this barbershopish arrangement.
With that said, you don't want to learn a folk song necessarily by hearing listen to a choral piece. It might be too layered and complex and the ear might not naturally find the melody. So at home you want to learn it simply, and then you can enrich that experience with a choral arrangement and ask your kids, what did the composer change did they add an interesting rhythm? So this is a really special place of choral directors.
At a conference I was at recently, I just heard her director say, we are the keepers of American musical culture. We are passing this along. So that's one.
Choral music is a doorway into geography. So, you know, all music has a place in the world that it came from. You can hear that flavor of its origins, but it's stronger in choral music just because of the language. Like I didn't care about Russian literature or history, but then I got to know the music of Rachmaninoff.
And I signed up for Russian and read the, you know, who read the books. And if your child hears the music of a culture, they might get interested in that country. And doorways go both ways. If you had a kid who's into reading the Russians, how cool to introduce them to the sacred music of Grechaninov enough or Rachmaninoff.
Often you hear how it's based in that old monodic Eastern Orthodox chant. And you know, we say in Charlotte Mason, world education is the science of relations, right? Making connections and choral music is the perfect way to do that with a country. I think about backpacking with a friend of mine in my twenties in Salzburg. And we went to that cathedral where Mozart was baptized and grew up in played.
We were the only guests there and we just stood in saying the Mozart vespers in the middle of the cathedral. We were connected to it because we knew the music and that's, that's what we want for our kids. We, so if you're studying a country, seek out its choral composers, you can visit the country with your ears.
I have, I have two more doorways for you.
Okay. Okay. Two more doorways.
So it's a doorway into history, especially church history, right? Particularly with this art, every culture has its music and you can hear the difference between Eras, the difference between Baroque and romantic. That's huge for learning. We're using our sense senses to enter into the narrative of history. It's especially a great way to learn about us histories by learning spirituals.
You can find incredible choral versions of every major spiritual from Joshua Fought the Battle to Didn't my Lord, Deliver Daniel to Sit Down Servant to Deep River, like a textbook can never describe that yearning for freedom and the spirit of an oppressed, but faithful people like these spirituals can. So I highly recommend listening to the works arranged by African-American composers, Moses Hogan, Stacy Gibbs, and listening deep river. My home is over Jordan. It will, it will change you.
Choral music was my introduction to liturgy. I grew up in a Baptist church in west Texas, but then we sang Catholic and Anglican and Lutheran service music and prayers. The prayer of St. Francis. I didn't know, there was such a thing as pre-written prayers and we sang so many masses. So it educated me on church history and other branches of our faith.
Like we said before, choral music is older. So if you're studying the middle ages, you can, you can go there. I think about Carmina Burana by Orf. It's this huge masterwork of really dramatic settings of 11th and 12th century poetry and all these languages and your Latin student can totally get into, get into, Oh, fortuna. You know, it also makes you ask, ask questions. Why in the 17th century did all the sacred choir music suddenly changed from Latin into other languages. There's a reason for that. Why do languages expand in the 19th century? The art music, wasn't just French and Italian. It's all of a sudden it's Hungarian and check. Well, that was the rise of nationalism. So there it connects you to your, to your history.
And finally, choral music is a doorway to spirituality. It's worship. It is Psalms. It is liturgy. It's such a gorgeous experience to sing the Bible and we can be taught by composers. We can be spiritually moved by them. I think about the Brahms Requiem. And he says that there's the second movement of the Brahms. Requiem is done. All the splice assists to be cross. All flesh is like grass. And he has the clarinets going by. Yeah, it's growing up and falling away. So you're hearing the shortness of your life. And then it goes into this grand sturdy, but the word of the Lord lasts forever. So you're being taught spiritually. Every time you go to choir rehearsal.
And of course every hymn has gorgeous choral settings. Every hymn you could listen to a Bach passion and hear the suffering of Christ. So it has being a choral musician has affected and enhanced my spiritual life so greatly. So choir kind of touches everything
It really, really does. I just love that all of the different places where choral music and choir can next with what we're learning. And so just it's integrated whole here.
Okay. So you've convinced me that we probably need to study a little bit of choral music in our, in our Morning Time. So what are some ideas for the average mom like me who, you know, I can carry a tune maybe, but I wasn't, you know, I don't have this background in music. What are some ideas for incorporating choral music into my Morning Time?
So whatever you're memorizing, find a choral setting to mix it up. When it gets boring, the poetry, the hymns, the folk songs like we talked about. And I, the list I provided has a lot of things from the IEW poetry memorization lists from the Ambleside poetry readings, and then go on your own rabbit trail. If there are things on, there you go, oh, I love this group. What else have they done? I really recommend before doing attentive, listening in Morning Time to introduce choral music as background music. You know, they kind of grow to like it without realizing it because our ears are like taste buds and don't always love new sounds.
So it's important to expose kids at a young age if you can make them used to the style. So background music can help them to acclimate to something unfamiliar. But let's say you're trying to listen to a setting of a poem you're memorizing and you want to listen to it attentively. How can that work during Morning Time? You can ask, as it's been said, many times you can ask those John Muir nature questions. What do you notice? What do you wonder? What does it remind you of? I like to ask kids, how did, how were you surprised by this music? If you have small children, you can ask them to make a face that matches the mood of the music and practice. But if it's shocking, what if it's disappointing or satisfying or sounds angry or joyful? So make those faces. It doesn't have to be too academic. Also with all music listening, have kids listen for the opposites. Is it faster, slow, loud, or soft speeding up or slowing down? Are the notes shorter or longer? Is it smooth and connected or rhythmic and disjointed?
Is it high or low? So kind of just keep your opposites in mind. As you're listening to music, you can ask kids how many voice parts do you hear? Hold up your fingers. Oh, can we try to sing along with a part? If there's like a layered piece with ostinato, maybe they can reproduce one of those parts. Or if you're listening to a major work in the orchestras there, then you say, raise your hand when the choir enters or every time a new voice enters. I know that you've really encouraged music appreciation on your show and that, and I just love that. A choral piece may be easier for kids in some ways, because you can print out the words. And so maybe they can't follow a huge orchestral score, but they can follow the words and know where they are, right. And download. You can download the music, even from the choral public domain library. If you're looking at a major work, you can ask him for emotional descriptors, this music feels fill in the blank, or you can ask them to describe the scene. My little ones like to do that, that sounds like a wedding or a battle or a butterfly flitting around or a bear searching for food.
You know, Carnival of the Animals is a great introduction into that type of thinking, making it pictorial, Eric Whitaker composed I'll have to provide this Eric Whitaker, compose settings of these super silly poems by Ogden Nash. And they're so silly. And the, the music is like very grand and it makes it hilarious. Hilarious in the best day of my life was this one time with my five-year-old was drawling.
And she looked up, we're listening to Sorcerer's apprentice. And she said, that sounds like St. George fighting the dragon. And I was like, yes, this is great to so have them describe the, describe the scene, have them draw as they listen. They don't have to just be still, you know, have them dance while they listen.
I ask them how the song changes as it goes along. I also think it'd be really cool. This is not something I've done, but to make your morning read alouds like a super rich audiobook experience. So like you're reading the white company aloud to explain in the 14th century, so you can play these 14th century. Motet are chance as the book opens on a monastery,
that would be so cool. And you can also use choral music as a mood setter with like a beautiful interlude in between your activities. I think that would be great. And also poetry discussion that, I mean, that's huge. I don't think you have to ask kids a lot of questions about poetry, but if you do you want it to be open-ended, you know, not, not a right or wrong question.
I love the idea of, you know, having to, you know, taking a poem that you're familiar with. And if, if you have two different settings listening to both and then talking about the different ways, like which one do you like better? And you know, which one do you feel closer to?
So, so many, so many good ideas. And I really love that you said, you know, get them used to it first because I think the tendency would be okay, I'm, I'm so excited. Now I'm going to start this with my kids and I'm going to play a choral piece for them. And they might turn up their nose at it at first because they're not used to it.
And it's like, well, I'm going to write this off because this, this didn't work. My kids didn't like it. We're just going to move on and do something else. And so that little tidbit of information about playing it as background music first, and you do this when, when you're eating meals or you're, you're cooking in the kitchen and maybe they're sitting during afternoon quiet time or something, you just listen to it yourself and have them even be walking in and out, or they're playing nearby. Or maybe they're doing some kind of art project at the table or something like that. And they're listening to it. They're getting used to it before you come in and introduce it as a lesson. I think that is such a key and vital and vital point.
Oh, I do too. And just as a, as a warning, they really may not like it. But by if they're listening to, if you're memorizing EE Cummings, I thank you God, for most of this amazing day and you listen to two different settings of it, or maybe you listen to Eric Whitaker setting, first of all, they will like it because it's incredible.
But if they say I hate this, this is not good. The composer completely missed the point and the mood of the poetry. And here's why that is a great discussion of poetry. Like that's, that's effective to say no, he missed it. That's that's okay, but it's not going to happen because that piece is amazing.
But you can ask what, what did the composer draw your ear to in this piece? Did he set it up? Did he do the text painting in some way, like we talked about before? Yeah. You can ask them if they agree. I have to, I love ask about the relationship. You know, how, you know, novelists are not present in their novel, but poets are often present in the poetry like that. Poet is present there. So asking about the speaker, asking about the relationship really works.
So this one time in my choir, we were discussing, he wishes for the class of heaven by gates. And it's the, the guy says that “I had the heavens embroidered cloths and rot with golden silver light. I would spread them under your feet, but I being poor have only my dreams tread softly. You tread on my dreams,” right this the whole point. And so I just asked them, what can we guess about the speaker and the recipient, and what does this poem remind you of? And they said, oh, it must be two people in love.
And that phrase of night and light, and half-life represents time, the how for their past and present and future that give to one another, their nights and days. I thought that was so good. I know a lot of us out there, like we're really organized type a homeschool moms. And they, your kids might be way better at interpreting poetry than you are.
And that is a beautiful thing. These other kids were like, oh, this is like a Jane Austen novel. Like, I don't have a dowery. I only have love. And then another kids said, this could be a parent to a child. Parents wrap their dreams up in their children. It was such a good discussion. And then this kid was like, that's like Aladdin offering the magic carpet to Jasmine and the whole thing unraveled. But it, it was good. So using, using choral music as your basis for your poetry, discussion it as you listen, you're having to read slowly and thoughtfully, and then you can have such a good talk about it. If you want to, or you can just let it lie. You can just let it be there. I think that can be a great Morning Time activity.
I Love it. I love it. So do you have to be able to sing in order to bring choral music into your Morning Time?
No. First of all, you can sing whoever you are out there. You can do it. Second of all. No, we've of course, we've been talking about a lot of listening. I mean, we're so blessed to have access to incredible recordings, right? So we can do all those activities, but I would encourage you to sing any way. And your singing is about delight and not perfection. I also would encourage moms out there to join a choir because you can learn.
Singing is not a fixed skill. It's a growth skill. What an awesome thing to demonstrate for your kids. I don't feel competent in this, but I'm going to go seek something out so I can, so I can get better at it. But if there's somebody out there who's wanting to get a little better. I can encourage you to just find your head voice.
You know, people who have trouble singing. Usually what happens is they have trouble matching any pitches outside of their own speaking range. So like you speak down here, and this is the only note that you can really sing. But if you can get yourself out of those couple of notes, by going up higher and down lower and doing choral warmups, maybe along with a YouTube video.
Cause there's awesome stuff out there like seriously, Google, choral warmups. You're good. They'll do exercises, guiding you slowly and slowly higher and lower. But if you really don't feel comfortable, there are great recordings just to listen to or concerts to go to that. There'll be live concerts this next year. Please, Lord. That would be awesome.
Well, what can You do to encourage your children to sing because it is a skill. I mean, it very much is a skill and the more you do it, the better you get at it though, there's always, it always seems like there's farther to go, but how, how do you encourage your children to sing? If they get embarrassed or if they're not comfortable singing.
Join a choir, it is so much easier to sing when everybody's doing it right. A good choir director will have ways of exploring the voice and developing a good sense of pitch, but you can do those kinds of things at home just by making noise, exploring the voice. I'm going to add that to do a lot of silly stuff. You do kind of have to get silly, to be able to put your voice out there. You can do whale noises like that one movie or no. Yes, that's it. I was like the fish. You can make owl noises because this is your head voice. And we want kids singing in head voice, small children, especially and not yelling up to a pitch. You can take a measuring tape and have them measure your voice rule, like a whistle slider, Ooh, play echo games. I'm going to do something. And then you do it after, but you make fun of me, right? Ha ha. I'll save you. Hello. You know, these just doing these big range, high and low notes, getting comfortable making noises outside of your little speaking range, or just start singing in a British accent with your hymns every day, it gives you a little distance and that's like silliness without being hitting hideous. So my kids love to sing in a British accent. They have a gift in that very specific skill or, and, or find great recordings of cool guys, singing of acapella groups, and then go out to choir concerts. If you don't know what to do, I would say, look up symphony, chorus or chamber choir. A professional choir is likely to be small. So look up a chamber choir in your area or university choir, a great high school program, just so you can normalize singing for your kids. You know, we've lost that kind of casual sing around the table atmosphere.
Actually, I, I went to Russia once with a team of people and we were in someone's home and they said, after the meal, we'll sing you a Russian praise song. And then you can sing us an American. And all of the Americans looked at me panicked like you're the professional, you can do this. And it was so sad because we think it has to be perfect. It has to be professional to put our voice out there. But, but guess what? All these homeschool moms that you're reaching, they're fighting against culture and that's awesome. And it's really worth it.
Also, musicals can be a great introduction to the choral music. You know, something classic, especially with a big boisterous chorus like Hello Dolly or Oklahoma or music, man. They have a good bel canto supported stinging style and the chorus. So that could be really fun.
Oh, So many good ideas. And yeah, you know, I, I spoke with Cindy Rollins earlier this year and one of the things that she talked about, I'm like, if there's just one thing we can do in our Morning Time, what should it be? And what she said was singing, we should be singing in our Morning Time.
And you know, that's something it's funny. We did some folk songs this year and it was really the first time we'd ever done folk songs. We'd done music appreciation and things like that before we had done, we had done some hymns, but this was the first time we had done folk songs and my kids just really enjoyed them. And my, my husband came to me and he's like, I think I heard Thomas in his room, singing Waltzing Matilda, You know? And I'm like, yeah, he Probably was because we studied it in school this year. But once I got them over the hump of why should we do this mom? They really just enjoyed singing. They just enjoyed doing it.
So I think it's something that, you know, if we, as, as moms have kind of a hangup about singing in front of our kids, let's find a recording and get them singing because you never know. They could really, really enjoy it. Yeah. I love that.
So you've mentioned a number of times joining acquire and, and I'm going to be honest. I haven't, I haven't been, other than church. I haven't been in a choir since college. We had a wonderful community choir when I was in college and I sang with them 300 people strong. It was fabulous. Yes. So good. But I haven't had the opportunity. I haven't lived anywhere where I found another non-audition choir since then. So how can, how can you go about finding a choir to participate in?
That's a great question. And of course, there are the right group may not be near you, but it might be, I think it's important to define your purpose. What kind of choral music are we talking about? We're talking about today about art music, right? Not necessarily show choir or musical theater, although those things are awesome and can develop confidence and give a lot of singing skill. But, that won't necessarily give you like the poetry, liturgy, and musical learning that we've been talking about today. So you wanted to search out a program of quality and particularly one that teaches healthy, supported vocal technique and sings, highly artistic music. So the best thing that you can do is train, train your ears, right? You know, that whole, it's better to, it's the best way to know a good choir. When you hear one is by listening to great choirs all the time, you study that legitimate dollar to recognize a fake. So like I said, I provided a lot of recommendations that I know you'll make available but listened to the Spivey Hall Children's Chorus and the Indiana Children's Choir and San Francisco Girls Choir. Listen to these great groups to know what they're looking for.
And I think that you can ask directors if you're thinking about joining an organization, ask them real questions, ask for an old concert program. Do you recognize any of the texts or poets or is it just something forgettable? Do you recognize composers? What, what tone is being used? Is it that head voice that we talked about or are they yelling? Are they screaming? My God is a rock in a church choir and that's okay to do it's okay to get psyched, but maybe not for a consistent thing. It's not vocally healthy. Right. Are they doing tall vowels or spread vowels? Is it Oh, or, ah, are they teaching music literacy, teaching them to read music? Are they using solfege?
So these are questions you can ask a director. Hey, how do you help kids learn to read music or do they just learn everything by ear? Maybe a great is often do things by ear. If you ask some of these questions, they might give you a clue about finding a quality organization for older kids. Are they singing anything acapella? That's a good clue to whether we're talking about a choir of quality too. I, like I said, but the best thing you can do is listen to great groups and then you'll know when you hear itl
Such good tips. They're such good tips. And yeah, I can remember being in junior high and high school and we moved in between. And so I went from a great quality choir program into one that was in a much smaller school and not quite as good.
And so yeah, the difference between the two and, you know, when I think back on my choir experiences, when I was younger, the songs that I remember enjoying singing and, and the concerts that I remember enjoying being a part of were the ones from junior high school when I was in that really great choir.
Yeah, Yeah. So much, so, so much so well, Bethany, I just cannot thank you enough for coming on here today and sharing your passion about choral music. I honestly, I'm going to tell you, I had no idea that just about any poem that we've studied in our high school, we could find a choral arrangement for. So I am going to be looking at that resource that you provided for us and seeking those things out. So I can introduce those to my kids.
Never occurred to me before, even as somebody who has sung choral music in the past. So that's absolutely wonderful. And just thanks for sharing your passion with us, I really appreciate it.
Oh, it is my pleasure. Thank you for having me on this is such a dream for me. Like I said, I'm such a fan. You have blessed my kids by the information that you give out by your writing and all that you do. I really appreciate you. And I'm so happy to be here.
Well, thank you so much. We enjoyed having you.
Thank you.
There you have it. Now, if you would like access to the wonderful, generous resources that Bethany has provided for this episode of the podcast, including the list of choral music, resources, and pieces that you can study, as well as the playlist that she's put together for you guys, you can find them on the show notes for this episode. Those are pambarnhill.com/YMB101. And I just want to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has left a rating or review for the Your Morning Basket podcast in your favorite podcast app.
We really appreciate you doing that because a lot of times that's what helps us get word out about the podcast to new listeners, the more ratings and reviews we have, the more the podcast apps will suggest the podcast to new listeners. So we really, really thank you when you take the time to do that for us.
Now we'll be back again in a couple of weeks, we're going to have Jessica Lawton on. Jessica has been on the show before she is actually the author of the Morning Time plans that we have pambarnhill.com and Jessica and I are going to be talking all about leveling up Morning Time in your homeschool. So if you are doing certain activities in your Morning Time with your younger kids, how can you add a little more richness and a little more level up to those activities so that your older kids want to participate as well?
So we'll be back again with that episode in a couple of weeks. Until then keep seeking truth, goodness, and beauty in your homeschool.

Key Ideas about Choral Music in Morning Time

Choral music is usually arranged around great poetry, Scripture, and Liturgy. As a result, it is deeply connected to language in a way that other great music, like classical, is not. So, even if you are already doing music appreciation in your homeschool, and are listening to great classical works, it is still worth it to listen to great choral music.

Choral music can be seen as a doorway into various other subjects and therefore, provides a wonderful jumping-off point for studying other topics. For example, choral music can spark an interest in another culture by exposure to the music that originated there. In this way, choral music can become a doorway into geography.

You can introduce choral music into your Morning Time by looking for choral arrangements of your favorite poetry. You can also play choral music in the background during the day to acclimate your children to this style of music.

For moms who are worried about singing, don’t be. Join in with your kids and learn the music with them. And if you feel so inclined, join an adult choir and allow your children to join a choir as well.

Find what you want to hear:

  • [3:00] Meet Bethany Stuard
  • [8:20] why choral music is more than just listening to music
  • [11:45] choral music as a doorway into poetry
  • [15:00] choral music as a doorway into language learning, folk music, and geography
  • [18:40] choral music as a doorway to history and liturgy
  • [22:20] ways of including choral music in Morning Time
  • [31:30] message for the mom who can’t sing well
  • [33:07] encouraging our kids to sing
  • [37:33] benefits of joining a choir

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Thanks for your reviews

  • Always a favorite!
    by Lizzie O' from United States

    Pam continues to do an amazing job with this podcast. She is a wonderful host, never hurried, asks great questions and really lets her guest share his/her experience fully. The variety of experience & wisdom here is fruit for the homeschooling community at large. I’ve been listening from day one and this podcast continues to be a top favorite. Thank you Pam!

  • Morning time will change your life
    by RachBoz from United States

    I’ve listened to YMB and Pam off and on for years, and she literally changed my life 7 years ago when I was just starting to homeschool. I’m so thankful for her ministry and encouragement to homeschool moms of all ages! I highly recommend doing morning time!

  • Life Affirming
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    This podcast is amazing and has helped me so much as recovering perfectionist homeschooling mama! Pam gives so much great insight into so many aspects of life and focusing on homeschooling.

  • Life giving!
    by lapatita5 from United States

    This podcast has been so great. It’s so practical and encouraging without being overly preachy or narrow. It gives ideas in a take-what-fits kind of way. I have used many of the recommended resources and ideas mentioned and been inspired by many others. Even the episodes that I found less relevant to me specifically, often had tidbits that I could use. Pam’s podcasts, books, and resources have been a godsend to me in my beginning years of homeschooling, helping me discover my own way to teach my kids in a way that prioritizes what is most important to us.

  • You've made my school year!
    by Lizzie O' from United States

    Pam, My children are almost 11 and 13 and I never sent this review in! I found it sitting here. This is testimony that I am still so blessed by this podcast years later. So here it is: I wrote you an email when I first felt it placed on my heart to homeschool my now 6

  • Love the show!
    by Startup Travis from United States

    Love your content and the guests you have visiting the show! I am a huge believer in using the morning hours well. Thank you for your direction and products!

  • Enjoy the podcast & some thoughts…
    by rufocused from United States

    I enjoy listening to tips on starting and using morning time as I am just starting it this year. We have kind of done it in the past, but when you only have one child you tend to just call it bible, story time, etc… but now that my second one is old enough to join we’re going to have more of a true morning time. I did notice Pam mentioned CNN ten in one episode. CNN can be pretty liberal biased in the main news, I’m not sure if they curb that in the “CNN ten”, but thought I would mention the Daily Wire, which is from a conservative viewpoint (and often covers indoctrination in public schools) and could be fun to compare and contrast with CNN. Our family also recently discovered Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family which has a very Christian perspective, which has been refreshing as news can be so depressing sometimes! Just thought I’d throw that out there… but really do appreciate the perspectives and insights of these women who have been doing this for awhile!

  • Very helpful and pleasant to listen to.
    by Heather homeschooler from United States

    I have listened to many episodes of this podcast and have highly recommended it to others. It has been a wonderful source of inspiration and encouragement. Pam has a great voice and presence and I love that she does not interrupt or talk over her guests. Thank you for your hard work!

  • Always insightful!!
    by method_money from Canada

    Pam always has great great guests who bring great insights and encouragement! I so appreciate her down to earth style and ability to ask great questions! Keep up the great work!!

  • A wildly encouraging and equipping podcast for homeschool families.
    by Eryn Lynum from United States

    As a homeshool mama of four (Ages 2-9), Pam's podcast has been an increidble encouragement to me. Not only that, but I have discovered so many helpful resources for focusing on what is lovely and true during our homeschool days. I love that it is not overwhelming in nature, but instead a gentle help for moving forward one day at a time in our homeschooling adventure.

  • Best podcast for homeschooling/variety of topics
    by Bethetal from United States

    I love this podcast for so many reasons. (1) Pam is friendly, funny, humble and kind (2) She covers a multitude of topics (one at a time)- I have learned about nature notebooks, classical music study, narration, living books, Shakespeare and so much more. Whenever I have a question about a new (to me)HS term or practice, I come here to listen to Pam interview someone about it. Her interviewees have all been all-in on their respective areas of interest/expertise and I love the way she interviews/asks questions to really let the guests shine as they speak. I have changed the structure of my homeschool, found books for my kids and me, purchased materials, and found inspiration due to this podcast and I can’t recommend it enough! This podcast has shaped my homeschool in so many positive ways, most of which I probably can’t even articulate yet, as the changes have been done inside of me. Thanks, Pam!

  • Great!!!
    by Eloblah from United States

    I love the variety of things that are talked about on this show for homeschooling - things that I would never even think about including or doing - with easy ways to do them. Very much recommend this podcast

  • New home schooling mom
    by A prit from United States

    I am listening to the past episodes and loving it. This podcast has helped me develop my own homeschool. So many ideas!! I love morning time so much, we do a nightly family time so my husband and public school attending son. We do all the things instead of watching tv, playing ps4, and YouTube. My kids hang around me every evening asking if we are doing family time. I can tell they love it but don’t want to admit it.

  • Morning Time Magic!
    by DrewSteadman from United States

    I am so excited Pam is back to her morning time focus for 2020. Our homeschool has been shaped by the rich ideas and practical wisdom shared here.

  • Yay! Morning time is back!
    by Homeschooler in Germany from United States

    I was so happy and excited to learn that Pam is shifting her focus back to Morning Time for 2020! I’ve missed the morning time exclusive podcast and can’t wait to hear her back in my earbuds.

  • So excited for 2020!
    by JCrutchf from United States

    I absolutely LOVE this podcast and was so disappointed when I realized you were not actively producing it! I’m NOW relieved to know there is a whole year of episodes ahead! I’m beginning my homeschool journey with 4 little ones very close in age and my style falls somewhere in the Classical and Charlotte Mason. I found your podcast by chance via Instagram recommendation as I was doing research on “morning menus.” Your content is beautifully philosophical but at a level most parents will be able to grasp and appreciate. Filled with truth, beauty, and goodness! Your episodes fill me up and leave me feeling inspired personally and in regards to my children’s education. Everything is so good! Please don’t stop producing ever again! I’ll be grateful forever!

  • So glad Your Morning is back!!!
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    So glad to have the morning basket podcast back! Thank you for bringing it back!!

  • So good I ran out of gas.
    by JoanieHummel from United States

    This podcast is awesome! It was recommended to me a few years ago by a very wise and experienced homeschool mom but I didn’t start listening until I saw it come up a few more times on Facebook, recommended in various groups (in particular, episode number 41). I wish I had picked it up years ago! So much great information, I’m learning so much! Be careful though, I was so interested listening to this podcast that I didn’t notice how low my gas tank was getting! I ran out of gas and as I write this review I’m stranded on the side of the road waiting for a friend to come rescue me! Happy listening!

  • Knowledge Goldmine
    by A.J. Edwards from United States

    I’ve just been eating up every episode of this brilliant podcast over the past few months. The guests are stellar and Pam’s interview style is wonderful. She gets each guest to the meat and potatoes of their topic but it’s anything but a plain meal. This is a feast for the homeschool mom’s mind. I know I’ll be revisiting many of my favorite episodes again and again. Feeling so inspired by each guest!

  • Myths and fairytale truths for homeschoolers
    by Allierhn from United States

    Mind blown! I’m listening to the myth podcast and it’s absolutely perfect. It is answering so many questions I’ve struggled with my whole life. It helps me to view our curriculum and informs my teaching so much more.

  • Super Helpful!
    by Jennlee C from United States

    I can’t speak highly enough about this podcast. It has been a huge inspiration and a practical help to my homeschool! Thank you so much Pam Barnhill and everyone else who contributes to this. It has been an amazing blessing to me and my children… And possibly generations to come!

  • Practical Inspiration
    by Mamato3activeboys from Australia

    Not only am I inspired by each episode of this podcast but I have actually put so many of the ideas into practice in our own morning time. Such a huge help as I seek to inspire my non-stop boys to truth, goodness and beauty. We are now memorising poetry as they jump on the trampoline and they love Shakespeare. That's a parenting win in my book!

  • So many great ideas!
    by Parent 98765 from Malaysia

    Thank you, Pam! I’m now bursting with inspiration and can’t wait to start our 2019 school year with a strong morning time routine.

  • Joy
    by Ancon76 from United States

    My heart is enriched and I can’t wait to learn more.

  • Just what I was looking for!
    by Joey5176 from United States

    I was looking for morning basket ideas—simple ones. These podcasts are giving me a picture of a good morning basket.

  • Wow!! What amazing nuggets of knowledge
    by HeRo84 from United States

    This is truly life changing information for me as a homeschool mother. Thank you Pam for this amazing series.

  • Love it!
    by s chenvmv from United States

    I love all of Pam’s podcast but this one is prob my favorite. I love to listen to all her guest and see the different ways a morning time can be done

  • Excellent
    by W.A., R.A. Hall from United States

    Love this!

  • Love, love, love this show
    by SarahPMiller from United States

    And I'm not even a homeschooling mother! But I've created a Morning Time for my children nonetheless, and I wouldn't have been inspired to do it -- nor could I have done it -- without this podcast. It's my favorite, and I get something out of every single episode.

  • Wonderful resource!
    by honebubble from United States

    This podcast has changed what I thought I could offer my children, my family and myself... I never would have believed that it would be possible to live a life as so many people actually do. Thank you for these tools and for what you do to help women, teachers, moms and all those on this path. You are amazing and I just can’t get enough, each episode teaches me so much!! Thank you again!

  • A wonderful podcast!
    by NoName2018 from Canada

    Great ideas and interesting guests - thanks Pam!!

  • Insightful, Inspiring, Life-Giving Podcast
    by Mackenziechester from United States

    I love this podcast. It has turned cleaning my kitchen into a really valuable part of my day. There are great tips here for gathering your family together and finding ways to share the things you are passionate about but can never quite find the time to fit in to a typical school day. So many ideas, so many varied topics. Great, inspiring guests. Life-changing podcast. Thanks so much for sharing these ideas!

  • Such great choices of guests
    by andinic from United Kingdom

    This podcast is inspirational for your homeschool plans. Pam Barnhill has a delightful interviewing style and her guests share their insights and enthusiasm for their topics. Among my favourites are the episodes with Cindy Rollins, and Angelina Stanford. Don’t miss this encouraging podcast!

  • Great
    by WifeyKayla from United States

    Some great interviews and very helpful for figuring out the flow of our mornings.

  • Interesting ideas
    by Lisa1932 from Canada

    Just started this podcast. There are some very interesting ideas here on how to create quality time with your children, learning together and focusing on the things that are most important in life. Great hearing other moms' stories too.

  • WARNING: This podcast will revolutionize your homeschool!
    by JoysTeacher from United States

    Honestly, I started listening to this podcast because I had run out of other homeschool podcasts to listen. I really didn't think we needed a morning time! I homeschool one teen daughter and I thought the concept was too "baby" for us. WOW! I was completely wrong!! We needed a morning time, and it has changed the climate and the productivity of our homeschool. The habit was so important to us, we still do morning time when we are one break. (And neither of us is a "morning" person). Pam is an talented interviewer and will not waste your time (her time is precious, too)!

  • Excellent!
    by Jodylleigh from United States

    I'm really enjoying the ideas and tips Pam bring up in this podcast!

  • Truly an inspiration!
    by Soaring2him from United States

    I have started a morning basket just because of listening to this podcast. Pam sold me on the beauty of having a morning basket. I love all of the ideas I've gleaned from listening and I've implemented many of the ideas I have heard about through this podcast. It's really helped simplify some things in our homeschool day!

  • Easy to listen too, incredibly practical
    by HarrisFamily0323 from United States

    I really enjoy Your Morning Basket. Pam is a great host and I have taken away many practical ideas and had many unrealistic expectations corrected. I don't listen to all the episodes, but the ones I've thought were pertinent to my needs and have been able to apply something helpful to our homeschool. Thanks Pam!

  • So helpful for this new homeschooling mom
    by klund08 from United States

    I'm planning our first homeschool year and have really enjoyed this podcast! The interviews are great and I enjoy hearing from different homeschooling moms and how things work in their family. I'm excited to start Morning Time with my kids!

  • You've made my school year!
    by Lizzie O' from United States

    Pam, I wrote you an email when I first felt it placed on my heart to homeschool my now 6 & 8 year old children and you responded with a warm response. I then began to listen to every podcast you have (all 3!) and I have been so very inspired and encouraged in so many ways that it would take up too much time here to explain it all. This Morning Basket podcast is really a light for me and my children as not only are they the recipients of our mornings of gathering but so am I. I have learned so much from your guests (and you!) and have been able to take tips/ideas to add to what my own mornings look like. We truly have experienced Truth, Goodness and Beauty. God certainly has chosen you for this type of work and serving to others. Thank you for what you do!

  • Thanks Pam!
    by BraveMomma from United States

    So many great ideas every single week! Thanks!

  • Truth, goodness, and beauty
    by I'm Sonny from United States

    Need I say more? I am deeply grateful for this profound and practical resource as we seek to surround our children in the truth, in goodness, and in things beautiful. I leave feeling encouraged, refreshed, determined and equipped.

  • Very encouraging
    by .....hk..... from United States

    So helpful with recommendations for new things to do in morning time.

  • A wonderful podcast full of useful tips!
    by Klarnold79 from United States

    I have listened to almost every episode over the last few months on my morning runs and they have made me look forward to running! I have learned so much and have been inspired to add truth, goodness and beauty to our homeschool days. Thank you so much!!

  • Wow! Talk about a solid series!
    by KastenbauerFamily from United States

    Each episode is fabulous alone, and when you've been listening for a while, they all continue to be full of new information!

  • Hope for the weary
    by MomToTheMasses from United States

    I enjoy the variety of topics covered as well as Pam's cheerful personality. Thank you for being a cup of cold water for so many homeschool mamas.

  • Great guests and host
    by My Life as a Rinnagade from United States

    I love the people Pam has on and all the great morning time tips! Thanks for a wonderful show :).

  • Mamma of Five
    by Mamma of Five from United States

    The ideas, information and encouragment that Pam shares through the different guests and talking about the purpose and practice of Your Morning Basket has been a huge blessing to our family. Helped me to practically see how to bring truth, beauty, and goodness to our day.

  • Great Homeschool Resource
    by KS Becky R from United States

    I have just started listening and am gaining so much knowledge and practical advice. I can't wait to keep listening to more.

  • Really great!
    by BeeGerW from United States

    I love hearing all these ideas!

  • californiafamily
    by californiafamily from United States

    I absolutely love Your Morning Basket podcasts. Pam interviews excellent people & so far, I've incorporated information from each podcast & have purchased many items that the interviewee's suggest. I think all families could benefit from this even if they don't homeschool! Thank you so much!

  • Love Pam's podcasts
    by Flourishing Mama from United States

    There are many homeschool related podcasts that I enjoy, both for their content and the host. But I must say that Pam Barnhill's podcasts are top-notch for the following reasons: 1) the content is both relevant AND in-depth, 2) she NEVER interrupts the guest speakers with incessant (annoying) "uh huhs," "ummms," and such, 3) she provides multiple lists and links to supplemental materials that are really useful and interesting, and 4) she shares forms she's created even though she could make you pay for them. She has a gift for tapping in to the issues homeschool moms are REALLY dealing with. Thanks Pam. Keep up the good work!

  • First Things First
    by Lukenoah from United States

    Every episode inspires me to start my day bringing my children the true the good and the beautiful through our family time.

  • So helpful!
    by jofcrich from Australia

    Every time I see that I have a new podcast from Pam Barnhill I know it's going to be good. Every one I have listened to (which is all of them!) have helped, inspired and encouraged me in some way or another. Pam is so good at summarising what her interviewee has just spoken about; a great knack which helps me distill the main ideas from all that good conversation. I really like that she always has links to whatever is discussed so that I can go back to it in the future and find what I need.

  • Great resource
    by Ejs0928 from United States

    Such a help for a new homeschooler. Highly recommend that you check it out if you'd like to learn more about starting your day with morning time.

  • Amazing!
    by CDefnall from United States

    This podcast is filled with great information to help you take full advantage of morning time or all together time in your homeschool. It also has great tips for extending your child education whether they are in public or private school as well. We all want to aid our kids in thier success and no matter if you are a homeschool parent or a public/private school teacher this podcast will enlighten you and provide valuable information you to to better help your students.

  • Inspiring and enlightening
    by spycej from United States

    One of my favorite podcasts and I love and subscribe to all of Pam's podcasts. Thank you for the fabulous interviews.

  • Must-Listen for Homeschooling Moms
    by DaffodilSocks from United States

    This podcast has revolutionized how I homeschool my young children. A must-listen.

  • One of my favorites
    by FaithAZ from United States

    Love Pam and all of her podcasts - can't wait for new episodes!

  • Great Ideas
    by Hiphooray from United States

    Just found this podcast and have been listening to them over the summer break. Pam is a great host and has fun guests and together they bring a lot of inspiration to the concept of morning time in homeschool. Thanks for the great resource!!

  • TaraVos
    by TaraVos from United States

    I would not be exaggerating if I said that I have learned so much from this practical, encouraging podcast that has changed our homeschool. Thank you Pam!

  • Lots of useful information
    by Kristizy from United States

    This podcast does a great job finding guests who give a ton of practical help to make morning time enjoyable and educational for everyone. I always feel reenergized after listening to any of Pam Barnhill's podcasts.

  • by Momo35556 from United States

    I love this podcast! So helpful and encouraging.

  • Lovely & Inspiring
    by kashley75 from United States

    Thank you so much for this podcast!

  • Such a wealth of information!
    by Jeaine6 from United States

    There is so much wonderful information to be found in these podcasts. I can go about my daily chores and fill my homeschool mom cup simultaneously! They allow me to look at areas of our hs that need improvement or just need new life and feel encouraged while I'm listening. Thank you!!

  • Encouraging & inspiring
    by God's Ranch Hand from United States

    So thankful for this podcast! I look forward to listening to each episode when it comes out.

  • Homeschool Professional Development!
    by Jo.W.17 from Canada

    As a new-ish homeschooling mama, I've found this podcast super encouraging and helpful. I would highly recommend it!

  • So Helpful!
    by KGMom2Four from United States

    I love the practical application that comes from this podcast! Thanks!

  • A Lovely Show!
    by Webseitler from United States

    This podcast has become my most favorite podcast on the subject of homeschooling. The topics discussed often go right to the heart of why I'm doing what I'm doing in our home--and God has really used the great advice shared in this show to help me be a more confident (and calmer!) teacher. Thank you, Pam, for creating such a great program! Already looking forward to next season.

  • Awesome homeschooling resource!
    by Liddleladie81 from United States

    This podcast has absolutely changed my perspective on homeschooling, in a great way! All of the guests have been wonderful and I leave each episode feeling both sad that it is already over, and encouraged and excited to figure out how I can use what I’ve learned! It has a great flow to it, very light but meaningful, informative, encouraging….I could go on and on! Absolutely LOVE this podcast! Thanks to all involved!

  • Great hosts!
    by Homeschool_chat from United States

    I always look forward to this podcast!

  • Practical, helpful & concise tips
    by sproutnchic from United States

    This podcast continues to help. I appreciate the Pam Barnhill's professional, organized, yet warm interviewing style of some well-picked guests.

  • So refreshing and helpful
    by a. borealis from United States

    I've really appreciated the depth and breadth of Pam's look into Morning Time and also the practical ideas and tools to make it work. It is so inspiring! It helps me think through my own Circle Time, realizing what an opporunity I have. There are so many great ideas for additions and tweaking my approach. I am loving it.

  • Awesome!
    by Apples20091 from United States

    This podcast has been so helpful and packed full of practical ideas to use with my children!! Some of the episodes I have listened to more than once!!

  • Encouraging and Motivating!
    by Cat11223 from United States

    Pam makes this morning time concept so attainable! She gives great ideas but simple ways to begin. These tips and recommendations reach far beyond just morning time and are benefiting our entire homeschool and family life!

  • So many ideas!
    by Speterson781 from United States

    This podcast is full of amazing ideas to grab my kids attention first thing in the morning. I love listening to Pam and her guests. Pam asks such great questions of her guests!

  • A Favorite for Homeschool Encouragement!
    by JamesDWitmer from United States

    I have been so encouraged by Pam's podcasts on Morning Time. She walks you through many of the wonderful activities that you can choose to include in your homeschooling, and also the details about how to do it! It has truly been a blessing. Thanks Pam!

  • Perfect for the Homeschool Mom
    by JoshJamie from United States

    I just stumbled upon the "Your Morning Basket" podcast this weekend. I have already listened to 2 episodes, and they are wonderful - perfect for the homeschool mom. I am going to share this on my Periscope channel tomorrow. So great!! Jamie @OurLittleSchoolhouse.

  • SongsofJubilee
    by SongsofJubilee from United States

    I love the idea of a morning basket, and this podcast has helped me learn a lot about the different ways it can look! I love all the different subjects she discusses within it!

  • Love it!
    by Ekrasovec7 from United States

    This podcast has been such a blessing to me! Informational and insightful, it opens a window into how other families incorporate morning time into their day, as well as what they fill it with. This has completely changed the rhythm and content of our days for the better. Our whole family has fallen in love with morning time! Thank you!!

  • So encouraging!
    by A Merry Heart from United States

    I absolutely love this podcast! It has been so encouraging as I begin to implement Morning Time with my 5 girls. I have listened to them all & can't wait for more!

  • This podcast has changed our homeschool
    by Momof4athome from United States

    Pam has relieved some of the pressure to "get it all in". We now begin our day with the good true and beautiful in an almost effortless way and are all enjoying our time together before the "serious" subjects! Yay for the morning basket! Her guests are all lovely people you would want to have over for tea. I love this podcast.

  • Refreshing
    by Bless-Us-3 from Canada

    I am loving this podcast. I just stumbled across it after hearing the recommendation over at Read Aloud Revival. I have been wanting to start 'Morning Time' for a year now so this is giving me direction and so many wonderful and helpful tips and suggestions. I love Pam's enthusiasm and personality.

  • So helpful and inspiring!
    by KSR1 from United States

    I was lucky enough to find YMB and Pam’s other podcast, Homeschool Snapshots, when I started my first year of homeschool this year. These 2 podcasts have been SO helpful to me with getting ideas for morning time and the rest of our homeschool day. I am very grateful for the excellent work Pam has done on both of these podcasts, and I hope they continue for many more years!

  • Inspiring
    by Jaranda98 from United States

    This podcast was inspiring and encouraging. It was a good blend of practical and theoretical and exactly what this tired homeschool mom needed to hear today to rejuvenate.

  • An inspiring and encouraging podcast
    by Kellibird1111 from United States

    Very well done! I really enjoyed listening! Very practical and informative.

  • Honey for the Homeschooling Heart
    by SuperNOVAmom from United States

    Pam lays out a feast of homeschooling topics that are relevant, helpful, and validating. The show is well organized and her interviews are clearly well thought out. In addition, Ms. Barnhill's relaxed and warm personality puts one at ease. It's like going to your favorite homeschool conference without leaving home!

  • I love this podcast, great content!
    by Sara V from United States

    These podcasts helped transform our homeschooling!

  • Great parenting resource
    by sullivanjessicak from United States

    I absolutely love this podcast. The show is well organized with great guests and helpful information.

  • Thank you!
    by Nasiatel from United States

    I'm so happy that I found your podcast, it has truly blessed our homeschool life!

  • Wonderful help in my homeschool
    by BT and Jessica from United States

    This is a great resource for all homeschoolers (and I would say any educator). I am challenged to make sure I am giving my children truth, beauty and virtue through the morning ritual of our morning time. I’ve learned of new books to share with my children, how to incorporate fine arts, good habits for our day… I could go on and on. Pam asks great questions and has wonderful guests.

  • Top Notch
    by Wvshaddox from United States

    Excellent inspiration and tips for homeschoolers! I have learned so much from this podcast.

  • Great Morning Time tips!
    by redhedcatie from United States

    I have gotten SO many practical tips from this podcast! A must listen for homeschoolers!

  • So Inspiring!
    by Frau Linds from United States

    Another home-run podcast! Pam has a knack for inspiring great things in your homeschool! And the wonderful thing is she doesn't leave you with the "lofty ideal," but offers practical tips, aids, etc. all while encouraging you the whole way. Each interview is professionally done and such a joy to listen to! Thanks, Pam, for putting your heart into this! 🙂

  • Wonderful!
    by Kellybireta from United States

    Like having a cup of coffee with a friend. So helpful and informative.

  • Excellent practical advise!
    by Foxycook from United States

    Really enjoying this so far!

  • Very encouraging!
    by WMGardener from United States

    This was been a great podcast about Morning Time! How encouraging and informative to hear from other homeschool moms who are in the midst of it all!

  • A great resource!
    by gejake from United States

    Very inspiring and informative as I begin my homeschooling journey

  • Love This Podcast
    by Earthmuffins from United States

    I have finally had opportunity to listen to this podcast and regret not doing it sooner!!! Very informative and encouraging.

  • Full of Goodness, Truth and Beauty
    by CJMance from United States

    This is such an inspiration to get the beautiful ritual of morning time established. Thank you Pam!

  • Great Podcast!
    by Greggtrisha from United States

    I'm so excited about this podcast! My kids range from ages 4 - 11, and I've been needing to reduce my workload a bit. I'm using the fantastic things I'm learning here to combine all my kids together for read-alouds, Bible time, memorization, and some other fun things. Thanks so much, Pam! I love your other podcast as well!

  • Treasure
    by TasmanianBec from Australia

    I am so glad I found this podcast. Morning Basket / Circle Time / Morning Time - lots of interviews with families who make this part of their day a treasure for years to come. Just getting started homeschooling, and this is going to help shape our days. Thanks Pam.

  • Jeannie in Ohio
    by Jeannie in Ohio from United States

    Loving learning about how so many families are using Morning Time in their homes!

  • Wonderful ideas for creating your best morning time.
    by Flowerpetal2 from Australia

    The ideas presented here are wonderful, it's great to hear how different families put together their morning time and how we can all make this a rich but simple time of beauty in our schooling days.

  • Excellent Host
    by meghanlou from United States

    Pam Barnhill is a truly excellent host and producer of podcasts. They are a pleasure to listen to, full of applicable and inspirational content. Unlike other podcasts in this genre, which are produced at home, Pam's podcasts never make me cringe because of awkward pauses or bad sound quality. Another of Pam's strengths is her ability to reflectively listen and summarize what she's heard from her guests in a way that wraps up the different segments of her interviews. Well done, Pam!

  • Helpful and fun!
    by HornGal88 from United States

    We’re just starting out with morning time and this podcast has been an invaluable source of inspiration and ideas. Keep up the good work!

  • LOVE IT!
    by sassercj from United States

    I’m always counting down the days until the next podcast…one of the best homeschooling podcasts out there!

  • Among the Best I’ve Heard
    by More Like Mary from United States

    I’m a bit of a podcast junkie so when I say that this is among the best, that’s really a compliment! Pam is an excellent interviewer. She re-states main ideas and summarizes information in a way that is helpful and not condescending. She asked poignant questions and stays on topic. Her guests are phenomenal and I’ve learned so much from each episode. So far, this podcast is “big picture” homeschooling talk with lots of tips for implementing lofty ideals into daily life. The perfect combination. I will be looking forward to many more of these!

  • Gave me the tools I needed!
    by Momofmany:) from United States

    This podcast is amazing. (I am spoiled now; the quality alone is superb!) I have listened to the four current episodes several times and now understand "morning time" in a way I never have before-- in particular, the schole part. I've longed for restful learning for ten years, and now I have tools to actually do it. Our whole family has benefitted so much. Thank you, Pam!!

  • What’s important
    by sncstraub from United States

    Pam Barnhill’s new podcast on Morning Time is a great help to those of us who are homeschooling. I’ve only listened to the first episode so far, but it’s wonderfully encouraging to hear Cindy Rollins’ talking through her own experiences with Morning Time. I’m looking forward to listening to more episodes with others who are focusing their schools on the important things - the true, good, and beautiful.

  • New listener and hooked!
    by Bytesofmemory from United States

    I just started listening to the first podcast this morning and I am completely hooked on this podcast. I took the advice in the first podcast and just started with morning time. Instead of trying to “give birth to an adult” morning time I just started doing something and will add things in as this becomes a habit. Thanks for the wonderful tool!! I am now off to listen to episode 2!!

  • Great!
    by Wvshaddox from United States

    Encouragement for homeschool.

  • A Gift to the Homeschool Community
    by HGPII from United States

    This podcast is so well done, informative, and just what the homeschooling moms needs. It includes achievable, sound suggestions as well as an abundant dose of inspiration. I can’t wait to revamp my Morning Time and watch the results!

  • Encouraging and informative!
    by sarahdempsen from United States

    I have enjoyed Your Morning Basket from its first episode! I am a second generation homeschooler and just started our own family's homeschooling journey. Thanks to YMB, I implemented our "circle time" starting our second week of school and it has been such a blessing to me already even its very simple form of prayer, Psalm, Mother Goose, and then read-aloud time with my kindergartner. My 2 and 4 year olds also love it and it encourages me to include things in our day that might get left out, like nursery rhymes and simple children's songs! Thanks to Pam and YMB I feel like I am starting out with a great centering tool and routine that can be expanded and adapted as we grow!

  • A great resource!
    by Bookgirl630 from United States

    Your Morning Basket Podcast is a great resource for to help implement morning time into your homeschool day. I have enjoyed every episode so far.

  • Thank you for wonderful bonus at the end!
    by Caj312 from United States

    I just discovered this show and listened to the first 4 episodes. All were inspiring and I loved the useful links at the end of the show that help me improve my homeschool days! Well done and I look forward to the next episode.

  • One of my VERY favorites
    by Dianna @ The Kennedy Adventure from United States

    I’m a bit of a podcast junkie, but YMB ranks among my very, very favorites. If you’re a homeschooling mother, or a mom who wants to connect with your children and show them truth, goodness and beauty, this is a must listen. Kudos, Pam, on a another amazing podcast series.

  • Timely
    by AggieRudy3 from United States

    I’ve been trying to figure out morning time on my own, but Pam with this podcast has figuratively sat down with me and explained how to get things going. I’m so glad to have this resource at the beginning of my family's homeschool journey! The Basket Bonuses have also been so helpful.

  • Thanks!
    by heyh2 from United States

    Thanks for the new podcast. Loving it!

  • Wonderful podcast with practical advice
    by Victorzvaliant from United States

    Thank you Pam for a great podcast, I am really enjoying it. I always come away inspired and with ideas I can use!

  • Changed our Homeschool Morning routine
    by HeatherinSC from United States

    I have been listening to the Your Morning Basket podcasts recently and Pam's blog writings about creating morning time traditions with your children and I feel like it has made a huge positive difference in our homeschool. I love Pam's ideas for creating a restful learning environment and focusing on truth, goodness, and beauty as we begin our day together. I listen to these podcasts over and over and take notes!

  • Excellent for homeschooling veterans and newbies
    by ASnow512 from United States

    I'm very new to homeschooling and I'm still deciding if our family will pursue that path. This podcast has been such a wealth of information and a wonderful encouragement!

  • Inspiring and Uplifting
    by vabjohnson from United States

    I was immediately inspired to create a more cohesive structure to our homeschool mornings. This podcast is full of helpful suggestions to make morning time meaninful for every type of homeschooling family. I've already implemented many of the wonderful suggestions and I can already see the benefits! An absoulte must for the homeschooling family!

  • Bringing Joy
    by Louisiana Mommy T from United States

    What an amazing podcast! This podcast has wonderful suggestions for bringing joy to (or back to) your homeschool. Everything is doable and enjoyable for the children and parents alike. Keep up the wonderful work!

  • Great podcast!
    by corew50 from United States

    This is our first year of homeschooling and I am really enjoying the concept of morning time. It is a sweet way to start our day together and this podcast has been amazing! Enjoyable, super practical, and filled with lots of creative ideas. Thanks for creating it.

  • Inspiring, yet practical
    by mamato3cs from United States

    Pam's Your Morning Basket podcast is one not to be missed! She and her guests inspire and spur me on to do great things in our homeschool, but it's not just adding more to my to-do list. There are practical suggestions for how to make morning time a refreshing and vital part of our day.

  • Super Helpful & Encouraging
    by Sanibel4ever from United States

    I have been homeschooling for a many years. I like that I can count on Pam to make to make it worth my while (and my short amount of time!) for a listen. As always, practical info I can start using right away.

  • Great Poscast
    by Sarah B R from United States

    Love Pam's interviews. I learn much from each poscast!

  • A Joy to Listen to!
    by Cude 🙂 from United States

    I am thoroughly enjoying this new podcast! I love to listen to people who encourage me on my homeschooling journey and I have added Your Morning Basket to my list.

  • JUST what I needed!!!
    by Foodie in Training from United States

    This is our first year homeschooling (Kinder) and this podcast has been INCREDIBLY helpful and a GREAT source of information!!! I cannot wait for more to come!

  • Practical - worth a listen!
    by Bloggerific! from United States

    As a homeschooling mom of 6, my free time is limited. But I always come away with some practical, useful tips from Pam Barnhill. I love to listen if I’m alone in the car (rare these days!).

  • Well done [FIRST NAME]
    by MattMcWilliams from United States

    WOW… Your Morning Basket Podcast is flat out awesome. Good production quality. Easy to listen. Very impressed Pam. Keep bringing it.

  • Inspiring and refreshing!
    by BugTurner from United States

    What a great podcast. At first I was dubious whether you could have an entire podcast series about homeschooling using morning time, but now that I have listened to two of them, I see where Pam is going with this. It is affirming for me in what I am trying to do in our homeschool, and at the same time inspires me in ways to improve and refine our time together as a homeschooling family. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to simplify their homeschool efforts while simultaneously enriching their family's experience!

  • Brilliant
    by SHTirm from United Kingdom

    I absolutely love it. Ever since I read about morning time, I wanted to know more. This podcast clearly explains what to do and how to do it. Episode with Cindy Rollins was brilliant. It gives you the overall idea of morning time practice, as she is doing it for 27 years. Andrew Pudewa in second episodes shared some insights about memorisation, which really makes so much sense. Pam asks clear questions and then repeats the main points in answer, which is very helpful, especially for new homeschooling mums. Overall this programme has everything one can ask for to get inspired and motivated. Thanks very much for putting so much effort. Well done.

  • Excellent!
    by RC5476 from United States

    I have really appreciated everything Pam Barnhill puts out. I have been introduced to so many great homeschoolers and their resources through The Homeschool Snapshots podcast, and I love that she is digging deeper into a great homeschooling practice on her new show, Morning Basket. It is definitely on my Must Listen list each week!

  • Bring the best you to your homeschool
    by mystiewinckler from United States

    Our Morning Time is the best part of our homeschool, and Pam’s podcast helps us learn how to make it even better and encourages us to pursue the true, good, and beautiful still more. So helpful!

  • Inspiring!
    by Mamato8 from United States

    I've only recently found out about Morning Baskets, after 14 years of homeschooling. What a find! And now to have these podcasts to help guide me along on my new journey! I've been sharing this like crazy, and my morning routine is fabulous now! Thank You!

  • Education to Educate
    by Isaac in St Louis from United States

    I have gained so much from these first two early podcasts. I am grateful to you, Pam. Thank you for offering this as we strive to fulfill our sacred duty and privilege to give our children an education. Please continue. I see such great things coming from this. I rank this up their with Circe’s offerings.

  • Wonderful
    by BGTwinsMom from United States

    When you're on the homeschool "circuit" it's easy to become one of Andrew Pudewa's groupies. So the excitement level for Pam's newest podcast doubled when I opened it on my iPhone and saw Andrew's name. I was remiss in not reviewing her first segment. Pam is a wonderful interviewer and has the ability to make conversation with her guests based on their answers and move seamlessly to her following questions. That is not easy to do. Highly recommend this to parents who Homeschool. Encouraging, motivating, and validating.

  • So Inspiring!
    by bethenyn from United States

    So inspiring! This podcast is what I needed to get our homeschool off to a great start this year. I will not miss an episode.

  • Inspiring and thought provoking!
    by Pascualamb from United States

    I've always thought memory work was so important in my 8 years as a teacher in a high school setting. I often required memorization and was criticized for this requirement. I recently decided to homeschool my children and this podcast was so affirming to me. I am glad to be able to follow my instincts as a teacher and give my kids what they deserve! Thank you for this wonderful podcast that inspired me to make memory work an important part of my homeschool.

  • Affirming & helpful
    by BOLDturquoise from United States

    I knew I would enjoy this podcast but I didn't know that I would LOVE it! As our family has moved more and more towards a simplified homeschool method, this podcast is just the thing to reaffirm our choices and continuously inspire us with new ideas. I can't wait for each new episode!

  • Inspiring
    by Amongst Lovely Things from United States

    This is just the kind of podcast I need to breathe life into my homeschool year. I’m so grateful for this new show, and Pam is a talented host. I won’t miss an episode!

  • Delightful...a Must Listen
    by 1coltsfamily from United States

    While I have heard Cindy Rollins speak about morning time before, I was pleasantly surprised to glean many new nuggets of wisdom that I can incorporate right away into our morning time. I always enjoy listening to Pam and find her questions spot on! The podcast is a wonderful balance of inspiration and practical tips. Can't wait for the next one!

  • Your Morning Basket
    by inakamama from Australia

    So lovely and inspiring! Looking forward to more...

  • Helpful & inspiring!
    by starlingsfive from United States

    A great resource for homeschool moms and so well put-together. Full of useful information, not fluff. Pam has a wonderful conversation style that keeps the show moving at a steady pace. I wish I didn't have to wait so long for the next one!



  • Angela Beute says:

    Would you consider doing an audio version of these wonderful YMB episodes for us audio learners?
    Thank you.

    • Dawn says:

      Hi Angela, I’m confused by your comment; you can find all of these episodes on your favorite podcast app as audio or on the player on the top of this page. Can you help me understand what you’re looking for?

  • Kristi says:

    Bethany talked about a list she has ( about specific composers or songs i am assuming) Is that available to the public? Thank you

    • Dawn says:

      They are now linked above under “Choral Recommendations for YMB” and there are Spotify playlists, too! Thanks for your patience.

  • Rebecca says:

    I also am looking for the list of resources and playlist that was mentioned in the podcast. Pam said it would be available in the show notes and I’m not seeing it in the show notes. Am I not looking in the correct place?

    • Dawn says:

      They are now linked above under “Choral Recommendations for YMB” and there are Spotify playlists, too! Thanks for your patience.

  • Carrie says:

    I’m also looking for the resource Bethany mentioned—where she has curated a list of choral music to listen to. Loved this episode, and I’m eager to incorporate choral music in our morning time!

    • Dawn says:

      They are now linked above under “Choral Recommendations for YMB” and there are Spotify playlists, too! Thanks for your patience.

      • Carrie Henry says:

        Awesome, Dawn, thanks! And thanks for sending out the email today about this episode–it cued me to check back for the lists. Keep up the great work!

  • Lea Q says:

    I was definitely not expecting to care much about this episode, but what a surprise! I loved it! So interesting, and I loved all of the connections to the other things we do in Morning Basket. I loved her tip about introducing choral music inconspicuously in the background before really drawing a discussion around it. I’ve played the YouTube playlist while my kids are completing art projects or during morning free play, and caught them humming the melodies later. This episode is one I can say was paradigm-shifting. And I don’t think I would have ever really considered the value of having my kids join a classical choir like this, but now I want to look into it. Thanks for sharing with us!

    • Dawn says:

      Comments like these make our day! Thank you!

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