Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Wonderful Gift of Music

What joy it is to teach young people how to make music! I have the best jobs in the world - teaching my own dear children, and then having the privilege to teach the precious children of many friends. To see that light bulb of understanding in a child's mind when they finally understand a new concept,  such as intervals, to hear a singer finally get that high note, to watch the concentration of an older student as they master an intricate passage. . . what a delight!

Music is a skill that a child can carry with them their entire life. My great uncle learned music reading in his one-room schoolhouse long, long ago. God gave him the gift of a lovely tenor voice which blessed me (and many others) as a child hearing him sing the tenor line in hymns in our little country church. He sang in his church choir well into his eighties. Many other musicians are also active in later years. Two of my favorite people in my town are private music teachers in their seventies. Helen Kemp, a national specialist in children's choirs who recently turned ninety, is still training children and their teachers in the art of choral singing.  The famous concert pianist, Vladimir Horowitz, played in concert into his eighties. Truly, what you learn with music will last your whole life long!

There are so many wonderful reasons to study music-
  • making music relieves stress
  • playing the piano (or other instrument) makes you smarter
  • playing piano teaches discipline
  • playing piano gives one a sense of achievement
  • playing the piano strengthens eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills
  • in playing an instrument for others a child is taught to serve 
Music has been such a gift to me and such a part of my life. I have taught music in the schools, taught private music lessons, directed adult and children's choirs, accompanied singers and instrumentalists, played piano in worship services, sung at weddings and funerals, performed for civic clubs, senior citizens groups and retirement homes. I am so thankful for the way God has used this gift in my life.

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