Let us come to him and give him thanks. Let us praise him with music and song. Psalm 95:2
Our family has always enjoyed a wide variety of music, and we love playing, singing and dancing to it together. Watching the boys dance, wiggle and bop their heads to music, especially when they don’t know my husband and I are watching, is quite entertaining as well.
Christian music is one of our favorites, but we also have fun experiencing and listening to a bit of everything. As adults and parents, we think it is important for our family to be familiar with many styles of music in the world. Music is a wonderful way to bring people together, particularly if you might not have much else in common.
If you have children or have been around children at all, you know that music through their eyes is priceless. Our boys have definitely brought a special dynamic to music in our family. They enjoy putting on “performances” for us as well as our family members.
The numerous performances this summer have revolved around the songs our oldest son learned at Vacation Bible School. After the week of VBS, each participant was given a CD to take home of the music they learned. The songs are catchy, fun and energetic. Needless to say, our other son learned the songs quite quickly.
Soon after, the performances began. Not to mention, the words were always accompanied with the playing of guitar, piano, drums and/or body and hand actions. All songs are finished off with a standing bow and performed repeatedly. Our older son even made a comment one time, “Singing is so awesome. Doesn’t it just make you feel happy and good inside?”
There is something so sweet about hearing a child sing. One of my new favorite things now at Mass is listening to our boys sing. Our oldest loves to read and therefore has been enjoying following along in the missalette. As he sings the words to the songs, it is precious to hear him try to figure out the melody. Our youngest son is too little to read, but at times his body bops to the music without thought and he sings his own tune out loud with mumbles.
One can read, but cannot find the melody, and one has no real words, but still makes sounds because he cannot resist being involved when the music plays. He obviously feels the impulse to let out his voice and give it a try. The beauty in the whole thing is that they both could care less how they sound. They do it because they are moved to do it, because it is fun and because it does feel so good!
Music is a wonderful gift from God. Whether it has words or not, music has the potential to move each and every one of us. It can put us in a different state of mind. It can help us to concentrate, get us excited, allow us to be serious or to let go and be incredibly silly.
We can also use music to say thank you to God and to praise him. Praising God with music makes us feel alive inside, free and incredibly loved. My prayer is that we all use our voices and sing like children. We do not have to sound like children, but just to be able to feel free and confident enough inside to sing out loud and strong. Rejoice with your voice.
Melanie Sextro is a military wife and mother to two sweet boys. She is a member of St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City.