I (Emily) am the daughter, grand-daughter, niece and cousin, of church musicians. My mom’s people are either musicians or pastors, to a certain extent. We grew up singing: in the choir, solos/duets or ensembles, and four-part harmony in the pews. We started on piano at age four, added multiple other instruments along the way, and all four of us wound up connected to musical theater, opera, folk music, or the like somewhere in our adult lives – professionally and for fun.
So, I’m tickled by this delightful primer on sharing music with all ages from Cathy Skogen-Soldner, who begins by declaring, “Music is all around us”.
She then focuses on key musical elements and simple ways to make each one accessible to young children, elders, and everyone in-between.
~She defines what makes a melody both singable and enjoyable – and how to enhance the musical experience for those disinclined to singing.
~She offers a concise list of suggestions for sharing rhythms.
~And she concludes with suggestions for adding movement to a song.
As all ages engage with vocalizing, rhythm, and movement, there are putting the song, and therefore its lyrical content, into their bodies in different and complimentary ways. This embodied experience of story, community, and emotion help us all not only experience God’s presence, but develop resilience and even joy/hope/love/belonging in the midst of hardship. See this article about how even ‘singing the blues’ can uplift one’s spirits.
Every church can and maybe should (I don’t like to ‘should’ people, but it may be true in this case!) be a place where music is learned and musical skills are developed. The sharing of music meets some of our most basic needs; learning to love and make music develops our sense of wellbeing and belonging.
Let everyone join the song!!!
Read Cathy’s full post here.