Music in the Home
Elsie Landon Buck
The enjoyment of music begins in the home. Surrounded by the sounds of each family's lifestyle, a child is programmed, as it were, by the conversation, the music, and the experiences he or she is exposed to.
For some children a beautiful introduction to life awaits them. For others, enrichment in the best that there is to know and hear is missed until later in life - when tastes are already formed, when learning and appreciation become more difficult.
For the Christian family an experience of hearing and understanding music should begin very early in life.
In the Christian home, music-making is not a matter of choice - it is an imperative ordained by God. It is a priority given by scripture as a means of glorifying God.
There are over 200 specific references in scripture directing all people to glorify God in singing, and in playing instruments to His honor and glory. Statements and commands abound, from Genesis to Revelation, exhorting the use qf the voice and or instruments, in praise and thanksgiving to Him.
0 God, my heart is quiet and confident.
No wonder I can sing your praises!
Rouse yourself, my soul!
Arise, Oh harp and lyrel
Let us greet the dawn with song!
I will thank you publicly throughout the land.
I will sing your praises arnong the nations.
Your kindness and love are as vast as the heavens.
Your faithfulness is higher than the skies. Yes, be exalted, 0 God above the
May your glory shine throughout the earth.
The experience of hearing and understanding music thus begins in the home. In no other place has a child so perfect an opportunity to learn about music. In the home a child can develop his or her ability to enjoy and experience music-making.
In today's setting, even parents who have not developed an understanding of music can surround their children with music that encourages the appreciation of beautiful sound and helps in the development of skills by which a child can learn to play an instrument and sing.
How is this accomplished? Music-making is a learning process. A child needs to be surrounded, first of all, with sounds that are uplifting and inspiring. A home filled with music from MTV or similar styles is setting a precedent that will be regretted.
Music is an aural art. A child's God-given senses must be exposed to sounds that draw the mind and heart to Him. Music appreciation is conditioned by what is heard in the home from early childhood through the adult years.
From the first months in the cradle, a child should hear music from tapes and CDs, and from live performances at home, in church, and in the community, that create a familiarity and appreciation, a love for what is beautiful in sound and inspiring to the heart. The power of song in family worship is undeniable.
Music of great beauty reaches back into the centuries. Folk and composed music of both past and present times is available to us today. In the area of sacred music and secular, there is a tremendous source for all ages to enjoy, recorded by skilled musicians.
A present source of good Christian music for the home can be ordered from the Educational Catalog of God's World Books, P.O. Box 2330, Asheville, NC 28802.
From the Book and Bible House, songbooks with materials for Sabbath school use are also invaluable in early childhood. The Church Hymnal is also a treasure for a deeper understanding of spiritual growth and joy.
For parents that take time to surround their children with the presence of great music, there are rewards. In due time, the study of music, the learning of an instrument will begin with the child ready to apply himself or herself to the development of a skill, to be used to the glory of God in service to others and to the Church.
This article, first published in the Lake Union Herald, was reprinted in the Winter 1995 issue of Notes