April 2, 2018
My family’s celebration of Easter was full of music. My son and daughter-in-law and four of their children sang in the choir at their church, and it was indeed a joyful noise unto the Lord! Of course, we in the congregation joined in for more joyful Easter hymns.
After dinner, we gathered for more singing with old favorites like “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” “Do, Lord,” and “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” How nice to do something which involves everyone’s participation and doesn’t involve a screen! Now I realize not everyone is a great singer, but most people can contribute something and children really benefit from being encouraged to sing.
When I was 12 years old and had been taking piano lessons for 5 years, my father who was Superintendent of the Sunday School decided that I could accompany the singing during “opening exercises” before individual classes. I chose “I Love to Tell the Story,” practiced very hard, and got through that first experience at accompaniment. I have loved that particular hymn ever since – and I’ve done a lot of accompaniment.
Participation in music at home and in school is incredibly beneficial. The correlation between music participation and academic achievement is uncanny; when my brother was teaching music, he used to post the honor roll and mark his band and chorus students, easily the majority. No wonder we Christians are exhorted to sing to the Lord!
Finally, I want to mention the benefit of memorized songs, Bible verses and prayers for the elderly. I am around seniors in homes a lot, and in my observation one of the most wonderful things seniors can have to cheer up their lives and prompt their memories is music. People consumed by ill health and dementia will tap toes or fingers and mouth words to familiar songs. How much better if those songs are praise to the Lord, who gives their lives purpose. Hallelujah!