Singing With Kids As A Ministry

I homeschool my children.  As homeschoolers, we have a lot of opportunities to do lots of different things.  But there are a few aspects of public school I miss having opportunity for and one specific thing is singing and band classes. 

I think it is challenging for parents of public school and homeschool to give children opportunities that we feel will benefit them in their development as caring individuals.  I definately think singing lessons help benefit a person, and can help improve a talent that can be shared with others in ministry.

I attended public school growing up.  I always sang in choirs and talent shows. I started with my voice, and eventually added learning to play the clarinet in band.  In middle school I began competing in voice competitions for our school.  We would travel to large music festivals and sing as a choir and as soloists.  In highschool I got serious with my talent and put in many long hours learning songs for choir, solo competitions, and music theater.  While many kids stayed after school for sports, myself and several other kids I knew stayed after school to sing and rehearse.  I also sang in church.  In highschool I began singing for funerals and weddings in my local community too.

This opened the door for me to go places, meet people, and have a wide variety of experiences. I had wonderful opportunities to sing, and travel to performances and competitions, just like sports teams travel for games. This also opened the door for me to go to college and take vocal lessons and study in vocal performance. I sang in college choir, and I was once in an amazing production of the opera “Carman”. These are life experiences that were incredible and I will always treasure the memories.

After graduating from college, I went on to sing in church ministry for the next 20 years. I loved singing to the Lord and leading folks in to a place of praise and worship. I also have sang in many nursing homes over the past 25 years. This too has brought me a lot of joy.

My dad taught me to sing and read music from the time I was very young.  I remember sitting on the floor at his feet as he sang to me and my family.  My dad was a musician and loved to sing and play the guitar.  He knew how to play 21 instruments, but his main instrument was his voice.  It was incredible.  He had amazing control over his voice.  He sang in church choir and was the song leader in his church for many years.  He taught myself, my sister, and my brother how to sing together in perfect harmony and sound wonderful.  Everywhere we went, folks always requested for our family to sing a song for them.  It just became expected that where ever we went, we would sing.  It was part of our identity.  It was part of who we were as a family, and as individuals.  We were the family that sang together.

My dad learned to sing from his mom, my Grandma.  She too has an incredible singing voice.  Even now, at the age of 84 she still loves to sing.  She has been directing the senior follies (music theater)in her home town for the past 20 years.  She is an incredible inspiration to me.  Since I was very young, she took me with her to sing in Veterans hospitals and nursing homes.  She played the piano and sang and taught me to harmonize with her.   We were always singing, in church, at every family gathering, and going to visit the aged and the sick.  Singing has always been a passion for my Grandma.  She sang on the radio in the 1940’s when she was a young woman, before marrying my Grandpa.  

Every since having children in 2000, I have sang to my kids too.  They go to bed each night with a song I wrote for them soon after they were born.  Through out the week, we include some form of singing or music appreciation in our day. 

In 2008 we moved away from our home in Indiana, to a new state, North Carolina.  I also had four kids and was pregnant with my fifth child at the time.  Somehow, life took us in a different direction and I no longer had a place, a church, to sing because of our move and my pregnancy.  This greatly discouraged me.  I have gone on to have two more pregnancies, (one child with us and one in heaven).  I never have felt free to join a church choir or praise and worship team because of the needs of my growing family.  I haven’t felt I could leave them at home so that I could attend choir practice each week, etc.

For the past four years, since moving to North Carolina, I have continued to sing in my own home with my kids.  We love to sing songs together.  But I have longed to sing in the nursing homes and church ministry regularly as I did before.  I would love to teach my children to read music, and to learn to harmonize the way my Dad and Grandma taught me too.  I can not afford voice lessons for my kids at this time.  Also most choirs here in my area are very expensive, and only take one age of kids at a time for their choir, and we tend to everything together as a family at this time, so that is not a viable option for us.  We need a way we can all learn and perform together.  So I am proceeding with teaching my kids to sing on my own.

When we moved to North Carolina we joined the local homeschool association here in our town.   The homeschool association has a nursing home ministry, sometimes it meets monthly and sometimes several months go by with no meeting.  We have gone to visit some local nursing homes on a couple of occasions with the homeschool group.  But this is during the week, and does not always work out for us when they offer it.  I have babies and toddlers that nap so afternoons are hard for us, and are not feesible to go to functions with all of them.


In 2010, my children and I began our own nusing home ministry that worked out for our schedule and accomidated nap time for my younger kids.  We began visiting local nursing homes every weekend for a whole year.  This was not part of a larger group activity, we decided to do this together as a family activity.  It was challenging to go every week.  But we did it.  We reduced our visits in 2011 to twice a month.  Since then, we have have maintained the twice a month schedule and visited a local nursing home every other weekend for the past year and a half.   It has been a big commitment for us and has required us to plan other family activities around this.  I am really proud of my kids for being willing to go, being dedicated to give up part of their day every other weekend, and love on the elderly.

Up till now, we haven’t  gone to the nursing homes to sing, we simply go to visit the residents, and talk with them and encourage them.


We spend about one hour there, though a few times we have stayed longer.  We visit inside in the dining room, the living room, the activity room, and the residents rooms sometimes, and also outside when
the weather is nice.  Sometimes we go for a short walk on the grounds too. 

We do occasionally have the opportunity to sing with the residents.  We have not made singing a regular part of our visits yet, because I feel I have my hands full trying to coral toddlers and I have been pregnant off and on and too lazy to prepare and practice a music program.  I felt it an impossible task to try to do a performance while chasing after the kids and that would not be enjoyable for me.  But informally, we have sang a few songs during visits and joined in with the residents to sing on occasions.  Especially during activities when  other singers or bands are there and we can sing in the audience with the residents, and on holiday parties like at Christmas.

Just a few days ago, while visiting with the residents, they asked me and my children to sing while we were visiting outside on the porch.  I beamed with joy.  My kids and I sang several songs together with them.  We sang the Star Spangled Banner (it was also Veterans Day),  Amazing Grace, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Happy Birthday, ABC’s.  I didn’t get a picture of the children and residents singing, because I had my hands full with the baby, but we sang with about eight of the residents. 
This was such a blessing to both the elderly folks and my family.  It makes me think of the years singing with my Grandma during our visits at the VA hospital to sing to the veterans.

I enjoyed singing with my kids.  I am looking forward to going to sing “on purpose” more in the future.  I do not mean to sound prideful, but I am looking forward to “performing” with my kids in the future and bringing joy through sharing music to those in need.

Do you sing in public with your kids?  Please leave a comment about your experience below.  Thank you.

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About Melinda Weiser

I am a sinner, saved by grace. I am on a journey and offer to share my story with the hope that it will bless you. My one desire is to bring glory to my creator. I am a wife and the mother of 6 children, plus two in heaven. I enjoy homeschooling, research, teaching, homesteading, natural gardening, grass based farming, cooking, fresh raw milk, herbs, children, midwifery, and music. I am a writer, biblical mentor, and also work part time in the healthy foods and vitamin business I have a BSW degree from Kansas State University, and trained professionally as a medical social worker, biblical counselor, tutor, and vocal performer. Thank you for stopping by to read about our homeschool and family life adventures. Be blessed!

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