Echoing in Celebration: The Studying of Beauty and Harmony in Music


By Leigh Bortins


We no longer dare to believe in beauty and we make of it a mere appearance in order the more easily to dispose of it. Our situation today shows that beauty demands of itself as least as much courage and decision as do truth and goodness, and she will not allow herself to be separated and banned from her two sisters without taking them along with herself in a mysterious act of vengeance.

          The Glory of the Lord by Hans Urs von Balthasar

Quoted in Beauty for Truth’s Sake by Stratford Caldecott

Classical, Christian educators see the goals of education as a passionate pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty. Instruction in beauty must include instruction in music.

People in ancient times had a very different understanding of music than we do today. Music had a vital role in a classical education. In fact, the ancients regarded the study of music as a study of numbers. They divided education into seven liberal arts and subdivided them into three language arts—the Trivium—and four arts of number—the Quadrivium. The Trivium trained students in the arts of Grammar, Dialectic and Rhetoric, while the Quadrivium trained them in Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy, and Harmony (music).

The ancients included music with the arts of number because they focused musical study on harmony. The Pythagoreans and later students studied the ratios between notes that were played together to form chords. Even more foreign to our modern minds is the fact that the ancients linked music to the virtues. In fact, Plato argued in The Republic that music is critical to the development of a rightly ordered, harmonious soul:    (more…)

5 things I love about homeschooling (& how I embrace them) – See more at:

5 things I love about homeschooling

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

Recently we discussed the tough stuff–the hard side of home education that gives us a run for our money. But thankfully, that’s only one side of the story. There is another–the one that keeps us going through the challenges and reminds us why we do what we do. (more…)

The Common Core Standards Are Here. Now. What Are They? What Do They Mean to Home Schoolers?

Taken from Practical Homeschooling Magazine #107
January/February/March 2013 Edition

“Despite three federal laws that prohibit federal departments or agencies from directing, supervising or controlling elementary and secondary school curricula, programs of instruction and instructional materials, the U.S. Department of Education…has placed the nation on the road to a national curriculum, according to a new report written by a former general counsel and former deputy general counsel of the U.S. Department of Education.”

So began a story on the report The Road to a National Curriculum: The Legal Aspects of the Common Core Standards, Race to the Top, and Conditional Waivers.   Sponsored by Pioneer Institute, the Federalist Society, the American Principles Project, and the Pacific Research Institute of California, it was released in February 2012.

As the report itself goes on to say,

With only minor exceptions, the General Education Provisions Act, the Department of Education Organization Act, and the ESEA, a amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, ban federal departments and agencies from directing, supervising, or controlling elementary and secondary school curriculum, programs of instruction, and instructional materials.

Left unchallenged by Congress, these standards and assessments will ultimately direct the course of elementary and secondary study in most states across the nation, running the risk that states will become little more than administrative agents for a nationalized K-12 program of instruction…

Who Are the Players? (more…)