Saturday, November 6, 2010

Music Class...is All Day Long


If music were a color, I think it would have to be a rainbow. I can't imagine a day without it. Whatever mood you are in, whatever issue you may be dealing with, for it there is a song. Music is a huge part of our family. We all love it, share it and make it in various ways. It's interesting to see what musical abilities God has planted in each of our kids and to grab hold of it for tuning.

Our oldest has been tapping, stomping and vocalizing beats from toddlerhood. His first drum set was worn and beaten to death, not suitable for passing on to the next child. His "big boy" drum set is starting to fall apart, but he is now old enough to care for it better. Much to Mom and Dad's joy, he is shopping for an electric drum set that has a VOLUME CONTROL on it...I like. Drum lessons are not an option when you live in Boonyville, so apart from the odd instructional DVD, he has taught himself and does quite well. I actually don't mind the dulled drum beats I hear from his basement bedroom...I have been caught inadvertently dancing around to them.

I've often wondered why God gave our second son such an ENORMOUS MOUTH. I'm not kidding, his mouth/jaw is really huge...in a handsome,Val Kilmer kind of way. One friend calls him Mick Jagger. I hesitantly had to agree. He is even just as skinny as Mick. It's a bit of a riddle how I can agree with his likeness to Mick Jagger and still think he is gorgeous. My family will tell you that I have always had a fascination with lips. Some people notice eyes, hair and smiles...I notice mouths. Some day, maybe I will post pictures of all the most handsome men I have had pictured on my teenage bedroom walls, and you will notice one thing in common...the lips. I digress...the God given facial structure of our second son lends itself to his amazing singing ability. He can sing any song he has heard, without music and never miss a note. Harmonize on demand and make up his own silly songs for family entertainment.

The music inclinations of the youngest two have yet to be unveiled, but hints are appearing. I love God's musical design in my kids, but some of it takes some getting used to. Like their love of rap music. Listening to rap music is somewhat like having to endure Chinese water torture, for me. It's continuous, monotone flavor slowly builds in my ears until it brings me to a breaking point. I can take it no more and I need escape. Fortunately, some of the Christian rap they have been listening to is enhanced by some very nice, melodic choruses. These redeeming interludes make the rappy verses tolerable as I look forward to the, usually female, MUSIC interspersed. My kids love the fact that I can share their music appreciation now, and so do I :)

The wonderful thing about the rap music my boys listen to is the content. I was absolutely amazed at the great theology, doctrine and general messages in the lyrics. One of their songs (I think it is called "Rebel") has little snippets of Mark Driscoll and John Piper quoting from their sermons! It was so heartwarming to hear this song where two worlds collide...my kids' music with our worldview...a happy moment in my parenting. Another happy moment was when, in the middle of one of my husband's sermons, my oldest turns to me in great excitement after a lightbulb when on in his mind. A lyric (scripture based) he had been listening to, and not understanding was explained by Dad in the middle of the sermon. Good stuff.

Some smart person, one time said, "Give me society's music, and I'll have your child's mind". I couldn't find the actual quote, but the idea is there. Every song has a message and those messages are teaching our kids. We need to oversee that process very carefully. I am learning that the sound of the music is not so important, but the message it contains is.

I still play classical/instrumental music while the kids do their bookwork in the morning. That way, they become familiar with some of the classics and various instrument sounds. I play mostly my own preferences later in the day, but there is lots of room for diversity here. I want my kids to appreciate all kinds of good music, and to be familiar with the "Greats" of musical history. With the addition of reading many of their biographies and encouraging/supporting the kids' own musical abilities, "music class" reveals itself.

We certainly aren't the vonTrapp family. I highly doubt that we are headed to be one of those sweet homeschool families that travel around the globe, wearing matching outfits and sharing their high quality musical talents, but we sure have fun blasting the tunes and singing together in the van. Everything from Steve Camp to Trip Lee to...well, they don't let me play John Tesh in the van, but I understand...that's their version of Chinese water torture.


"You can't possibly hear the last movement of Beethoven's Seventh and go slow." ~Oscar Levant, explaining his way out of a speeding ticket
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