“Music Fundamentals for the Church Goer”
Looking out at the congregation from the lectern yesterday morning, I saw the people of FUMCD in a new light. As we sang We Three Kings together, I realized that I was, in some sense, leading a large choir—perhaps the largest I have stood in front of and led. You and I and everyone around you has the opportunity to sing communally once every week, and it’s wonderful, don’t you think? I can’t think of many things I love more than communal singing. Unison or harmony, church hymn or camp song—few things are better on God’s good earth than joining voices.
I know this is a personal feeling; not everyone shares this same sentiment. I’m sure there are many reasons that not every member of our congregational choir uses their instrument. I often hear people say “I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket!” or “I just make a joyful noise!” Some people love to sing, but may feel self-conscious about being heard. Some may not know the hymn. Some may have a restrictive health issue, while others have an issue with reading music. Yes, there are many reasons why a person may shy away from group singing, and I wouldn’t force a person to sing who didn’t want to. (Unless I absolutely had to, of course!) I’m here to tell you, though, that communal music making is a great joy from the Lord, and when the text contains scripture and theology, the resulting musical experience can be life changing.
One of the many things that inspires confident singing is the ability to read music notation. Good news, friends! Even a small amount of musical knowledge goes a long way in hymn singing, because hymns are often similar in rhythm, melody and structure. What’s my point here? I’d like to invite all who are willing to come to a Music Fundamentals for the Church Goer workshop this Saturday, January 7, from 10-11 a.m. in Harmony Hall. My goal is to have these regularly, giving every person in the church (and outside of it) the opportunity to learn the music reading fundamentals that will make the experience of singing in church more meaningful and more enjoyable. I’ll bring the coffee and the strudel, and you bring a notebook, a pencil and a friend. You won’t regret it!