Jan 242013

Our friend, Carol McBride, recently shared her passion with us at a homeschool moms meeting. We asked if we might also share her musical encouragement with our Habits for a Happy Home readers. You’ll be thankful she did. Be sure to pin this post, bookmark it. This information is a resource for always!

Thank you so much Carol!

Bringing Music Into Your Homeschool at Habits for a Happy Home Music has always been something I enjoyed – listening to it, dancing to it, but especially making it. So I knew it was something I wanted to include in the lives of my children, from the time they were in the womb. In my own search for how to incorporate music into our lives as my children have grown, God has been revealing to me what a beautiful gift He created for us in music.

Researchers have long been saying how beneficial music is for infants… some going so far as to say you should play music for babies before they’re even born. They point to evidence that certain kinds of music enhance brain development, helping to make those connections between left and right hemispheres. And psychiatrists also know that musical memories are typically the last to go in anyone who suffers dementia or other memory loss – particularly the memories of songs learned in early childhood. Think about it… can’t you still sing the songs your mom or dad sung to you as lullabies or preschool favorites? I can. Some people who lose the ability to speak, can still sing or play music. I want my children’s lasting memories to be of wholesome, Godly character, so that’s the kind of songs I try to surround them with.

Dr. Mary Ann Froehlich, in her book Music Education in the Christian Home, titles her first chapter, “Music Education is Not Optional for God’s Children.” If I were to suggest only one resource for why to bring music into your home, this would be it. She fills her book with scripture that describes how God calls us to worship Him with music! It’s not an accident that we have a whole book of songs in the middle of our Bible. But it’s also filled with music throughout the stories that are told. If you start to pay attention, I think you’ll be amazed at how many references there are to singing and making music.

The author says, “Scripture clearly teaches that an intimate relationship with God is rooted in making music. It is as much a sign of spiritual health today as it was in Biblical times. If we deprive our children of learning to make music, we are depriving them of a key tool in maintaining a solid relationship with God. Would we expect children to develop a relationship with God throughout a lifetime without giving them a Bible? It is just as serious to deny them the gift and skill of music making. Music is the one gift that God gives to us that we can return to Him and is the essence of a relationship in action.”

Robin Wolaver of the Annie Moses Band also taught me that God created us to sing praise to Him… He went so far as to release endorphins and other hormones when we sing. The same hormones, by the way, that are released when a mother breastfeeds. Singing makes you feel good – relaxed, content and joyful! When you don’t worry about if you’re hitting the right notes, but just enjoying the words and the tune… doesn’t it? Worship leaders use the power of music to engage us and bring an emotional response.

The book also points out that “There is a critical difference between music making unto the Lord and secular lessons and activities pursued to find the child’s special niche. The secular activity is for the child, for his development, while music making is for God and His glory and purpose.”

McBride musiciansMusic making is not another activity like baseball or gymnastics or scouts, or even an academic subject like math and history. The world right now tells us we have many options of how to use our gifts, and we do… but there is one that we are all called to do, regardless of how well we think we can carry a tune or blow a horn or tap a beat. That is another trap that our worldliness has instilled, rooted in pride. We think that musical skill has something to do with talent. Yes, it is a gift from God and it comes more naturally and easier for some than others. Those with good hand-eye coordination may have an easier time on piano and percussion, those with beautiful voice quality will enjoy singing, some with strong lungs can easily master difficult wind or brass instruments. But the problem starts when we limit music education to those who find it easy. This is kind of like limiting Bible study to brilliant Greek and Hebrew scholars or prayer to eloquent speakers.

Music making unto God is inclusive of all believers. Continue reading »