Ok, I'll admit it. I love to sing. I've sung onstage, in church, in the shower, at meals, in the car, and at Starbucks in Auckland, New Zealand, and, most recently, in a fabulous performance of Beethoven's 9th. Singing with my guitar, my husband, my kids, friends, choirs, all of it delights my heart.
But that is not what I am singing about today. In researching the folk song, "Old Dan Tucker," I was intrigued to read of the Hutchison Family singers who turned it into a popular abolitionist tune. A family making music made me stop and think about 21st century America.
With our headphones, our iPods, and our music apps aside, what if we took a moment to explore an idea that is radically different than the norm? What would happen if, sometimes, singing were not canned, not orchestrated, and not perfect?
What if sometimes we:
- Sing--and encourage our children to sing?
- Make our own music, whether that meant writing it or playing it?
- Sing simple nursery rhymes with our kids (like, "Three Blind Mice")?
- Teach others to sing in rounds (like "Row, Row, Row Your Boat")?
- Pull out our dusty guitars, open up our old pianos, and find old sheet music for songs we used to sing?
- Until recently, that is the way it was done.
It's not that I am not thankful for iTunes, who effortlessly provides me music while I write. It's just that we seem to have lost something that can't be replaced with a purchase.
Knowing gardeners assure us that home-grown tomatoes have a taste no grocery-store tomato will ever have. Singing is like that—open your mouth and give it a try! I think you will discover, as I have, that singing will bring an invigorated delight no canned music will ever offer.
It takes time. It takes practice to really enjoy the experience. And, it is pretty counter-cultural in this era. But, oh, my, it is FUN!!
So, today I choose to sing. How about you?
If you need some encouragement to get singing, you will LOVE our new Experience History Through Music series! You can sing with it, learn the songs with the sheet music and sing it yourself, and discover the American history surrounding the songs. Coming soon. . .