Day 16 of Homeschooling in the Middle East – The Importance of Music

The kids and I joined dear friends this evening and saw a fantastic concert, ‘Dan Zanes and Friends’. Dan is from the U.S. and his ‘friends’ included a Palestinian on the Oud which was magical. It absolutely rocked! I have been missing music like this – music that’s really accessible for the kids and with SOUL! The kids danced their socks off in front of the stage, which was littered with huge beans bags for them – how cool is that! And then Dan invited them up onto the stage for the last song. My son was absolutely thrilled and sang right next to Dan!

This concert totally confirmed for me the importance of Edward learning the guitar. I can’t wait for him to start lessons. It’s such an accessible instrument and so versatile – in the sense that it’s very portable to take to friends’ and once you can play one kind you can easily learn to play so many others – from the banjo to the Oud, which is something that would really help him get in touch with his roots. With a flexible home educating schedule, I hope we’ll have the pick of teachers since we can offer them morning and early afternoon teaching slots. I would love to find a teacher like Dan Zanes who could pass on his love for his instrument and the music. And it would be great if the teacher could demonstrate how international music is – like Dan did this evening, singing and playing music from many different countries.

I could totally see Edward becoming a Dan Zanes one day. He adores entertaining people and has enormous charisma. If he becomes musically talented this could be the sort of thing he’d love to do. I would be very proud for him to bring so much happiness into people’s lives especially if it was in such a wholesome way – entertaining families!! A great evening and so unusual, it’s not the kind of thing often offered in Bahrain, which is, after all, a tiny island. Dan’s concert was part of Bahrain’s ‘Spring of Culture’ and we’ll be going to something every weekend for a month. I look forward to reporting back on how the kids enjoyed their month of music and drama. A great educational as well as entertainment experience for them.

I felt among friends tonight. Dan comes across as a total hippie! I wished we could have just invited him and his friends back to the house, cracked open cold drinks and sat around chatting about music and travel on the porch. I’m sure he would approve of home education! But sadly, I’ll never have a chance to actually know. But at least I’ve got his music, hopefully the kids will remember the night and who knows, maybe it will be the start of something special for Edward.

Please always feel free to post comments on any of the days you read, however old they are. Your views are valuable and it’s always good to have debate. If you’re busy but enjoyed that day’s blog, please do press the ‘Like’ button at the end of the post. It would be much appreciated as it helps encourage more people to read homeschoolinginthemiddleeast! Any comments about Maths teaching is especially appreciated and suggestions about resources warmly welcome!


About homeschoolingpenny

Hi and welcome! My name is Penny and I used to live in Bahrain but In November 2012 moved to Dubai and now we live in Granada, Spain! If you want to contact me my email is I recommend you start my blog on 'Day 1' but please enjoy whatever you dip into. 23 February 2012 marked the first day of no more school FOREVER for my two kids. Edward, who is nearly 10 had attended a variety of schools since he was very little. Petra, who is now 6, has never gone to school. On this date we decided Edward was never going back to school and Petra never would go to school. We hope to successfully homeschool from this day forward, although we would consider an alternative school as an option- if there was some amazing Sudbury or other really alternative school. Actually, I prefer the term 'home learning' than 'homeschool' because I don't like to think of school coming into our home. In fact, I hope to go further and guide/learn alongside, rather than teach, my kids using the 'unschooling' philosophy to instill a lifelong love of learning in them. We lived in the Middle East and now Spain all of which are very challenging places to home educate. This is an exciting journey that I used to blog about regularly, at first it was on an almost daily basis. Please join me on our travels and I hope we might be able to help each other out along the way. I certainly hope I can be a source of support and comfort and, in time, knowledge to all potential/presently participating homeschoolers/home educators/unschoolers. Good luck to us all! If you want to read about why I started home educating, why I pulled my son out of a 'very good' private school mid-term, how I felt at the very start and how my philosophy has evolved, please start from 'Day 1' of the blog. Please do post comments at the end of any days that you read. Your opinion is valuable and it's great to start up debate amongst other people commenting too, however old the post. Thank you for visiting homeschoolingmiddleeast.
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