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.