Make plans for the hymns your children will sing
Our children are like little sponges–capable of absorbing grand volumes of information. Consider that everything that they learn about the world, they learn through you. They interpret the world based upon what they have learned and experienced. How do they define who God is? Who they are? How the world works? Children, especially the youngest ones, are concrete thinkers; they are not experienced enough to sort out the nuances. Our children need us to lead them into truth and to interpret their world for them.
Part of leading them into truth is teaching them these truths through a media which sticks: music and singing! The Alzheimer’s Foundation recognizes the powerful and direct impact of music on the lives of elderly sufferers of this condition. Start now to make this significant mark upon the hearts and lives of your children.
By our very nature, we are worshippers. We were created to worship the One and True God. Our children will either worship Him or they’ll worship some aspect of creation, whether it be the last cookie in the box, being heard over older sister, watching a particular movie, or simply whatever their will demands at that moment.
Music is given that we would express what is so absolutely wonderful about who He is, and by so doing, make His glory shine all the more brightly. Consider a simple, but active approach: teach your children a core set of “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs,” so as to make music overflowing from the heart in active worship of God. Here are simply some ideas. As I could play the piano, I played and sang with my children for perhaps five minutes a morning, starting when they were ages 6 and 3. Playing a recording might even work better for some families, because then a pair of hands is available to help the young ones clap along with the songs.
Start with a list of five songs which you would like for your children to learn. Keep it simple. If you’re not sure what songs to start with, look at your church’s worship program from last week and choose one. You could always ask your church secretary what music is planned for the coming week. Make a list of your favorite hymns which you would like to sing together as a family.
Here are some sources for finding hymns to either print out as sheet music, as beginner arrangements, or as mp3 files for sing-along.
www.PraiseNotes.com is a wonderful, “go to” source for beginner hymn arrangements. The lead sheets contain the chords, so a guitar player could use them.
http://www.hymnary.org/hymnal/BH1991 Baptist Hymnal 1991. This website allows you to search by first line, by hymn title, author, composer.
http://www.hymntime.com/tch/ The Cyber Hymnal
http://www.trinvalp.com/index.php/a-year-of-music/ Trinity Presbyterian, Valparaiso, Florida, has a collection of psalms and hymns for the 2012 year with those recorded as mp3s on our church website. You’ll hear a piano and two families from our congregation enthusiastically singing them!