Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday--Music and the Glory of God

The Blue Ridge Homeschool Choir had it's Spring Concert on Tuesday night. 
After a full semester of challenging music, the kids really did an amazing job!

I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with being the accompanist for the choir. 
Let me explain...I don't like to be challenged. But I know being challenged is what I need to move forward and progress in my abilities.

I don't like the pressure or the hard work of practicing, but I do very much look forward to seeing the new selections at the beginning of each semester. I love learning the pieces and especially the feeling of finishing the last song well.

This last semester I think I realized that I had gotten into this sort of slump in the area of practicing. I would practice everyday, but that 'practice' consisted of playing through each piece once. I should and do know better that that just doesn't cut it!!! 
So I changed what I was doing. First I picked out the pieces which were most challenging. Then, I sat down with the metronome on a very slow speed and played over and over one page at the time. I didn't play through the whole song until I was able to play each individual page *almost* perfectly. Then I worked on bringing up the tempo. 

This 'new' method for practicing really helped. The two pieces I thought were just impossible actually became possible.

So, now that choir is over, I can choose a piece to learn over the summer. Originally, I had wanted to try to tackle my favorite Chopin piece, Nocturne in D flat Major, but chickened out. It really seems quite beyond what I am able to do right now. But then I think, "How will I get to that level if I don't try this?" 

Then I heard the "Pathetique" Sonata, 2nd movement, by Beethoven. I kinda fell in love with it. Thought that would be it. But then I played a couple pieces by Chopin that I still remember and there really is no comparison to Chopin.

Next I thought about perfecting a Chopin piece which I never quite finished. It's the one I put down as one of the things I'd like to accomplish this year, in a previous post. Nocturne in E minor it's called and it is just so haunting and emotional. It pulls my heart strings somehow.
I don't have much melodrama in real life, so I get it in the music I listen to and play, I guess ; )

I want to choose one that I will be able to make progress with in a reasonable amount of I guess the jury is still out on this one. I'll let you know what I choose.

Click the links to hear the ones I'm talking about and if you have an opinion, let me know!

Isn't music such a miracle? If you think about it, how do we have any knowledge of putting sounds together to make something pleasant and entertaining? Only because God put it within us. He put it there for us to use to glorify Him and for us to enjoy. Those two things are one in the same. Read this quote by Martin Luther : 

"I, Doctor Martin Luther, wish all lovers of the unshackled art of music grace and peace from God the Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ!

I truly desire that all Christians would love and regard as worthy the lovely gift of music, which is a precious, worthy, and costly treasure given to mankind by God.

The riches of music are so excellent and so precious that words fail me whenever I attempt to discuss and describe them.... In summa, next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world. It controls our thoughts, minds, hearts, and spirits...

Our dear fathers and prophets did not desire without reason that music be always used in the churches. Hence, we have so many songs and psalms.

This precious gift has been given to man alone that he might thereby remind himself that God has created man for the express purpose of praising and extolling God." 

Isn't that wonderful? And I just learned the other night that Luther was "instrumental" in bringing music back into the church where it belongs. Before Luther, the only music was the chants performed by the Priests or maybe a choir. It did not involve the congregation and it was in Latin. Luther began to involve the congregation by providing songs in the people's language. Can you imagine church without singing?

Now, I know there are many people who have not been gifted in such a way as to make beautiful music. But clearly, just enjoying music and praising God for it is glorifying to Him. 

The theme of the Blue Ridge Homeschool Choir this semester....Colossians 3:16
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God."

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff Sunny. I'm definitely the least talented member on the worship team, but it's so easy to take for granted the telents that he has given me in the area of music. It's good to remember that every gift God gives us should be used and cultivated for His glory.