Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Hidden Art of Homemaking - Chapter 3

Making music is a fairly natural part of our household so this chapter is an "easy" one for me. The girls each study piano and another instrument and sing; I play piano, am learning cello and love to sing when I can.

However, what is not so easy for me is combining all those into a group activity. I would love to be the type of family that always sings together or plays music together. Somehow we seem to get caught up in just the practicing/performing type of things. Or we just don't take the time. This is a good reminder to me to make things happen differently. Perhaps as we all get more fluent on our instruments that will help too.

We have a man in our church who is very good at bringing his guitar to various gatherings and we often sing together when he is there. It is really wonderful to do that.

On another note, my husband visited another church on a recent Sunday that is quite new and quite small. Their music consists of recorded music that the congregation sings along to. He said that it is quite difficult to sing as a congregation when the "accompaniment" is not designed for congregational use. As I said, it's quite new and they don't have musicians yet to lead. However, as we discussed this as a family, we wondered if no one even could just lead without instruments. Somehow, we first seem to have lost the ability as a society to sing together - it seems to exist mostly in religious circles - and second, to sing without an instrument or recording. And we also have lost the desire or even the recognition of the beauty of the unadorned human voice. I love musical instruments, although I do prefer them to be "unplugged". But there is beauty in just human voices singing together, especially singing praises to God.

I hope that my children will continue to sing together, accompanied or not. I hope that we can incorporate more informal music into our lives to go along with the formal music studies. And I hope that my children will have hymns and choruses tucked inside that they can sing to themselves and others throughout their lifetimes.


Cindy Rollins said...

Here in Tennessee we have lots of shape-note churches which do not use instruments but do have beautiful harmonic singing. I like instruments but I do think those churches learn the art of singing which is lost to me. I admire them so much. My father-in-law convinced me to take piano lessons in college since my husband thought at the time he would be a pastor. My father-in-law was a church planter and had firsthand knowledge of the need for piano players in small churches. Needless to say, I am not able to play the piano and my husband did not become a pastor.

Woman of the House said...

We used to attend a small church which did a lot of singing to recordings. It was weird at first, but we got used to it. My husband leads a service at retirement home every week, and we sing without accompaniment. He's a strong singer, which is good because the old folks tend to wander a lot. Still, they sing with enthusiasm and it is beautiful in its own way. :)

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