As I thought about music and my encounters and associations with music, I discovered that I associate music with people and seasons of life. In chapter 3, Edith discusses music as a means of enjoyment and giving among a family or a group of people. In Bonhoeffer’s book Life Together, he speaks of the community of believers coming together in a united song of worship to God. The idea of family, community and music all integrated together in worship is a theme that is resonating loudly in my heart.
My earliest memories of music are the songs of praise that my mom used to listen to while I was a child. Some of my fondest childhood memories are coming in from playing outside and finding her cleaning, listening to praise music and drinking sweet tea. She had a sun dress that she liked to wear on hot summer days and sometimes she would clip her hair up while she worked. In these impressions, and I call them impressions because I’m not positive the iced tea drinking, vacuuming, worship music episodes actually happened at once at any given time, they are just an impression in my mind and what I think of when I think of childhood. In these impressions, my mother taught me that my daily work, my daily living, could be turned into times of peace and worship of God by singing to Him while working. My mother does not have a good voice, but she sang to God and she taught me to do the same.
My dad enjoys music and I learned to love Jazz music from him, when I was in junior high. The other night at an Art Walk – wasn’t that very artsy of me to go to an Art Walk? Yes, I am proud to say I did. I followed it up the next day with a craft boutique. Hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen, the hidden art is coming forth! At the art walk, we passed a Jazz cafe that I hope to take my Dad to someday. I can attribute much of my music appreciation to his love of all kinds of music.
In college, I took a piano class and it was the hammer that shattered any musical ambition I might possibly have had. I was in Piano 2 and on the first day the teacher told me to go back and retake Piano 1 and told me that I didn’t have any rhythm. After a couple class periods of being sequestered to a piano room to clap out beats, I eventually dropped that class. I have never touched a musical instrument to play since that experience and I don’t attempt to clap and sing at the same time.
College wasn’t a total bust as far as musical experience though, I took a Music Appreciation class that I loved very much. Appreciating music is far easier than playing music and I was happy to discover that Edith said appreciating music was a suitable form of musical enjoyment. Just as another blogger pointed out, taking time to enjoy art is a creative act.
These days, I spend time listening to music alone and with my family. We began a time of Family Worship a while back and the songs on the minds of my children and that I hear them singing throughout the day come from our times of worship together in the morning. This enjoyment of music and worship before God first thing in the morning is a special kind of fellowship and community in our family and one I think would fit the criteria for art. Somehow, I ended up with a child that enjoys breakdancing and another musically talented child. I enjoy watching them express themselves through this talent, both as a hobby and as an expression of worship.
Edith Shaeffer closes the chapter by quoting scripture that speaks of making a joyful noise unto the Lord. Spirit filled worship, a reflection of what we’ll spend eternity doing. Times of worship among a body of believers is my favorite and most cherished expression of music. My walk with God; from the earliest stirrings, to jr high and high school when God called to me and spoke to my heart through song, times with my church family – old and new and quiet moments alone or with my husband sitting before the King, has been stirred, moved along and deepened by worshiping Him.
Music is an art and I’ve learned that I can change or set the mood and tone of my home by what music I play. Music can play an influential part in The Hidden Art of Homemaking.
[I am blogging through the book The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Shaeffer with others at Ordo Amoris]