I love music. I love singing along to old songs and new ones. I get annoyed when people who are "professional" sing in ways that will hurt their voices in the long run and more annoyed when young people emulate that bad technique because they think it sounds cool. I wonder how cool they will think it sounds when they get vocal nodes. But that is beside the point...I love music. I learn best when something is in a song. For example, as I posted on Facebook yesterday, if I am counting to twelve, there is almost always the rhythm and tune in my head that I learned on Sesame Street back in the day. (Click the link to see the video I'm talking about) This will be stuck in my head forever I think...
Or, how about the 10 Commandments. I learned those to a song called "The Perfect Ten" in a musical titled "Angels Aware" back when I was in about 5th grade. To this day, it is those lyrics that I have to run through in my head when I am discussing the 10 commandments. Click here to hear "The Perfect Ten"
But the best thing about music is how it can alter your mood. Sometimes, when I feel like the world is closing in and I need a shot of "get up and go" in order to get something accomplished. For that, my go to song is Barbra Streisand's "Don't Rain on My Parade." Somehow, it always recharges me. Or if it's been a particularly rough day and I just need something to remind me that all will be well again, "Be Still and Know That I am God" by Steven Curtis Chapman is a song that is never too far away.
Over the years, I have learned that one of the all time stress relievers for me is to belt out a song in the car as I go down the road or in my house when no one is around to hear me. Music is one of God's most amazing gifts and I am blessed by it on a continual basis.
It is because of that, that I am careful about what songs I teach to children. I don't want to teach them a "fluff" song without a point. Those are ok on occasion, but whether we realize it or not, these children will remember the music they are taught for the rest of their lives and I would rather have a song with lyrics like, "Ancient Words, every true, changing me and changing you. We have come with open hearts, oh let the Ancient Words impart." (Ancient Words, Group publishing) or "Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance. I just want to praise You. I just want to praise You. You broke the chains now I can lift my hands, and I'm gonna praise You. I'm gonna praise you." (Shackles, by Go Fish), than a song that has no real message at all. I won't list those songs, but you know what I'm talking about...
But it goes beyond, what they are taught at church. What kind of music do you allow your kids to listen to? Is it uplifting or is it derogatory? Is the message something you would want your child to learn or is it offensive? Would the lyrics be something you would allow them to say? And before you say, "Oh they don't know what that word means, they just like the beat," let me remind you that kids are much smarter than we often give them credit for and even if they do not know the meaning now, they will someday and they will also remember that you had no problem with them singing about it, so it must be an ok thing to do/say/be.
Music is powerful. It always has been. But it is important that we use that power to teach things that the Lord would be pleased with and not to instill ideas that are not in our best interests or the best interests of our children.
Well, I've shared some of my favorites...what are some of yours?