Monday, March 30, 2009

A Joyful Sound

I read with interest an article this weekend on the “dumbing down” of church congregations in America. Musically speaking, that is. The author was complaining about the fact that churches with contemporary music in their service are using screens to project words and people don’t have printed music as they do when reading a hymn book. The result is that people aren’t learning how to read music.

Do people learn to read music from a hymnal?

I’d never thought about this. I do know that being classically trained on the piano, it was a whole new world to play in churches where I was simply handed a chord sheet. I can sight-read music but I thought “where are the notes?!” I had to learn to make my own. Not as easy as it sounds to someone used to reading Bach & Beethoven.

I didn’t learn to read music at church because my dad was a musician and we were taught to read music before we could read books.

Lest anyone worry that music threatens to become a lost art (never!), check out these little Texas songbirds. This clip is less than 2 minutes and is a replay of the National Anthem sung by five young ladies. You have never heard it performed better than this!

An entire arena remains completely silent throughout the song. You could hear a pin drop.
The two young ladies on the right are six years old.
The two in the middle are seven and the one on the left is eight. This gives me goosebumps. I've watched it over and over again.


9 comments:

Mocha with Linda said...

Yes, I've grumbled about this. The other effect is that everyone sings the melody and there isn't the rich .

Greg C said...

Great singers. I don't care how I get the music, I just like to sing even though I am not good at it.

Melanie said...

As one who began singing solos in church at the age of 12 and a former voice major, I really don't think people learn to read music by chance. I think they may improve upon some knowledge they have already been taught however.
Even when using sheet music for choir rehearsals, unless people have had piano lessons or were in hs band, they still don't "get it." And this is after years of seeing notes, measures, time signatures, etc.
Just my 2 cents worth!

skoots1mom said...

i love music...i learned it taking piano and playing trumpet...
i don't think many people learn it @ church...but, I sure love people singing it at church

thanks for coming by!

Rosezilla said...

Wow, that video was AMAZING! Loved it. As for the music at church - I didn't learn to read music per se, at church, but I did improve my skills, particularly sight reading, by singing the hymns out of the book. It really helps a lot to have the notes when you are trying to sing a new song. I miss it, but I just sing the hymns at home now. (I also taught my son how to read music and play basic piano, then had him practice by sight reading from the hymn book. Worked really well).

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

That is crazy-good! My 16 year-old stopped her homework to see who was singing. (She's a musical gal.)

Sylane Mack said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! Music is such a part of my family that I have now with my husband and grown daughters. Music moves my soul (and my feet!). And hearing these precious little ones singing moved my heart! Thank you, Beverly! love, hugs and a big heart-felt song to you! Sylane

Uncommon Blonde said...

Wow, they can sing! As far as reading music goes, I'm pretty sure people don't learn it from seeing it in a hymnal but that would be convenient!

hlstewart said...

I wish it were that easy! After more hymns than I can count, I'm just as musically illiterate as ever!