I love music.
I believe reading music and participating in music (vocally, instrumentally, or listening appreciation) is an important skill and experience to learn. In addition to my own personal beliefs about the positive aspects of music, I have read many studies that talk about proof in improvement in test results and many other areas such as math and logic, when music is part of a young persons interests.
I have shared my love for music with my children. Since they were in my womb, I would sing to them. As they grew, through out the day we would spend time singing a song or listening to music. They have grown up with music around them. Not performances. Just simple, enjoyable music.
I have set up a corner of the living room with a guitar, piano, drums, violin, and stereo. I am teaching the children how to hold a tune, keep a beat, read music, harmonize, and more.
My father loved music. He could play 20 different instruments though his favorite was the guitar. I remember the first time I seen my dad play a french horn. I was in total shock that he knew how to do this. His mom was a skilled musician, vocally, and played the piano, organ, and fiddle. She continues to write music and perform with the Golden Follies. She is now in her 80’s. She sang professionally on the radio just before getting married and World War II. She shared that love for music with my dad. He used to lead music in church when I was growing up. Latter, he used to perform at the Saturday night Granby O’l Opree, (it has another name, but it escapes me at the time of writing this. But its a place that serves up all sorts of County, Blue Grass, and Old Time Gospel Music).
One day, Dad stopped to help a fellow who broke down on the side of the road. He helped him get his vehicle fixed. The fella wanted to pay my dad. Dad said “No money necessary, but it that a fiddle I see in the back seat? Could we play a few songs?” As they visited, he learned the man played professionally with the Roy Clark band from HEE HAW. Dad recorded their time they spent playing their instruments and singing. A few years later, when dad died, my brother gave us each a tape of the music. What a treasure. Dad was so happy when he was singing and playing.
When I was a child, besides singing to us and playing his guitar, he encouraged us children to choose an instrument and learn to play it. My sister and I chose the clarinet. My brother chose the violin and later the trumpet. We all enjoyed music. Our favorite thing to do as a family was to sing. We would each harmonize acappella with each other achieving three and four and sometimes five part harmonies if Grandma and Dad were with us. It was a beautiful family tradition to sing when ever we were together.
I took lessons in childhood, in highschool, and as an adult. I played in band. I vocally performed in high school and college. I have performed for free, and for money. I have sang in choirs. I have sang in musicals. I have sang in an opera. I have played my instrument at ball games, and sang in talent shows. I have sang at weddings and funerals. I have sang and played my instrument in church as part of the praise team. For years I lived and breathed all things music. My husband played the trumpet in elementary and highschool. Later he ran the sound board for the praise team at church. He comes from a musical family too. It seems just natural that we would want to pass on our enjoyment of music to our kids too.
I want my kids to learn music and feel free to chose an instrument to learn, if they desire. Other than voice and clarinet, I don’t feel qualified to teach the other instruments. So I have kept my eye out for lesson opportunities. Unfortunately music lessons are very expensive, and at this point, my budget does not have room for them.
My older boys have requested to learn the guitar to start with. Guitar lessons in our area run $80 and up, a month for 1/2 hour weekly lessons.
Recently, I found out about a wonderful guitar teacher who offers the first six one hour beginner lessons free. Then leaves it up to you to decide if you want to continue. He truly wants kids to be exposed to music and get a taste for this instrument. How wonderful is that? I just couldn’t pass up this opportunity to get professional lessons for my older boys.
Michael Ridenour, owner of the Guitar Academy Of Western North Carolina offers this special program to new guitar students. You can read more about his company here: http://www.wncguitaracademy.com
We took the first one hour lesson yesterday. Wow. I am truly impressed with the level of patience, and clarity of his teaching he gave the children.
He seemed to intuitively recognize my boys had two different learning styles. One is a left brained learner and one is a right brain learner. One learned visually and auditory by watching and listening and copying what he heard, and the other learned by reading facts and details and applying them with guidance from the teacher when needed.
He kept their attention the whole hour (wish I could always do that). It was like he reached into their mind and turned on a light bulb of understanding about this wooden object with strings and nobs. Suddenly they could associate the note on the page with the sound singing from their guitar. It made sense.
I was one happy mommy. He did in one hour what I, and a DVD, have been trying to do off and on for the past six months. He knew the instrument and how to convey learning to play it right down to the smallest details. I am so glad he offered this class, and we are able to participate.
The three younger children and I hung out in the sitting area listening to the lesson with other homeschooling families. It was a very good experience for all.
Music From The Heart
Though I am excited to be able to get lessons for my children, I want most of all to teach them about music from the heart.
I don’t believe I have to force my children to daily practice a musical instrument for multiple hours to excel in it, and be “the best” at it. I don’t plan to take them to competitons for the purpose of beating the sox off of the next guy who practiced till his fingers bled, because his parents needed to justify paying out a fortune for his lessons. Or win against the girl who lost her voice from practicing over and over only to have it barely come back for the competition. Nope. Not interested. There is no freedom in any of that. Yes there are skills they can learn from practicing and
from competitions. But for me, the music goes beyond the trophy from the win and name recognition.
I don’t seek any gratification from what my children can do to impress others with their talents, including music.
That statement may offend some, and to each his own. I am not dogging anyone if that is the path they choose for their family.
I have been there and done that, first hand, and I know what it is about.
This is how I believe.
You see, I believe music comes from the heart.
These things, lessons, practices, performances, and the like, are all fine.
But that is not the true music I want to ultimately teach my kids. Those things (professional lessons, performances, competitions, paid gigs, a job in the music field, etc) may happen one day for my kids, but I want them to be just a side effect, so to speak, of the true music I want to teach them.
I want something more. I want to teach them about music from the heart.
Music from the heart is not from a performance. It is not from a competition. It is not from expensive lessons. It is not from anything other than time alone with Father God, singing and playing your instrument for Him, and to Him.
Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.
Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
verse is from biblegateway.com
May we all learn to make music from the heart to the Lord!