I don’t remember a time that I wasn’t involved in singing. You might catch me singing just about anywhere and at any time. I love singing in the car, I love singing in church and I love singing with family and friends. Singing at Christmas is special and an important part of our tradition.
Not learning to read music wasn’t an option. Mom started us on the piano early and, in those days, you learned to play by reading the music, not by ear. We were taught music in elementary school; everyone had to know the difference between a quarter note and a whole note just like they had to know the multiplication tables. I stood next to my Mom and my older sister in church and I learned to read music from the hymnal. (That is one of the reasons that I really miss hymnals; they helped to teach children to read music.)
When Mom could tell that I was bored with singing the melody line of a hymn, she told me to sing the alto part. Once I had that pretty well figured out, she would have me sing tenor an octave higher. (When you sing the bass an octave higher, it just sounds crazy – I loved doing that.)
But, my first “big” solo was in second grade. My elementary school scheduled a concert to be performed inthe junior high auditorium. (That meant that this was not a little production – we were going “big time.”) Anyway, each class took one of the months of the year. A song appropriate to that month was prepared and acted out by the class.
The music teacher decided that the first-grade class would perform to a song, “The Wedding of the Painted Doll,” representing the month of June. I (a second grader) sang the song while the first-grade class acted out a wedding behind me.
And, so I prepared the song. Now, I googled the song title this afternoon and found out that the song, “The Wedding of the Painted Doll” came from 1929. I am hesitant to share the clip with you, because it will may cause injury due to laughter. Warning – before you watch it, please understand that: I sang it a slower pace, the dancing around me was not as exciting as it is in this clip, and, I PROMISE YOU, I have never sounded anything like the guy singing the song. Ok, here goes!!
What, you came back after watching that video? You never cease to amaze me!
Here’s my point. Learning something can bring such good things to our lives. Music has gotten me through so many difficult situations and it has brought me more joy in the good times – kind of like ice cream on a piece of pie. I don’t think that I would enjoy singing so much if I didn’t understand and appreciate it. To be honest, I like the math of music as well as the tones and tunes. I like the variety of music – it is so different from culture to culture and from generation to generation.
For me, music is a little like a specific sport to someone else. It doesn’t matter that ice hockey confuses me or that your friends don’t get soccer – if following that sport brings you joy and it doesn’t cause bad things to happen in your life or the lives of others – enjoy it. You have studied the sport. You enjoy the talents of those who play it. You appreciate the skill or the strategy of the game.
I have a sister who can take a piece of fabric and create amazing things. And, another who can change a whole home with a little paint and a couple of dollars. One brother turns “yards” into beautiful gardens. And, the other takes words and turns them into stories that tug at your heart strings.
Did you think that learning only happened in school? Do you think that you have stopped learning? Well, your understanding and insights into your “thing” reflect learning in an important way. It is learning that can give your mind rest and your heart some great moments of joy. Take time to learn something new and take time to practice the things that you have studied. You will find yourself better able to take on the world.
And, be assured that you will be hearing more about “The Wedding of the Painted Doll”!!
Jill (just one of God’s kids)
“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)