Hidden Art of Homemaking Book Club: Music in the Home

Ordo Amoris Book Club: Edith Schaeffer’s Hidden Art of Homemaking, chapter 3: Music

Edith’s primary message in this chapter is that making music with your family or even alone is not a waste of talent or time, but a worthwhile creative outlet that serves others, fills your own need to create, and glorifies your Father.

In the process [of making music] something else will happen – the freedom to express yourself in a medium that is yours will develop, and so will your personality. It will not be just a matter of your musical contribution making you more interesting to have around, but you will yourself be a more interesting person.

Making Music at Home

My husband’s family is musical, and gatherings there often end up around the piano. Singing hymns in harmony is a planned activity as well as spontaneous. I enjoy singing, but I am so glad my voice is soprano! Not only does the family need a soprano voice, but singing anything other than the melody seems like a magical power to me. With the piano accompaniment, I can keep the melody.

hidden art of singing in the home

In my family, though many of us were musically disinclined, still singing was a part of school and of family devotions. I think my mother earns some saint points for putting up with that for so long! Because of those times, I know many hymns by heart, and though I can’t keep them on key, I can sing them off the top of my head while doing dishes or sweeping or whatever.

So I carry on the tradition in our family, and we sing hymns during Circle Time. Matt plays the piano and practices with hymns, and we sometimes sing along while he plays. We are all storing up more melodies and poetry (hymns are poems!) in our hearts. It’s not just the children’s school; it is education and growth for us all!

Because I can’t keep on key, we sing along to piano accompaniment on CD during Circle Time. One of my hopes in our home education is that our children will be able to express themselves musically; even if it is not with great talent, to at least be able to accompany their own family singing. Maybe, even, they will be able to sing harmony!

I am particularly encouraged by this chapter because though my native talent or even aptitude for music is nearly non-existent, I have always had a longing to develop it more fully. I almost signed up for voice lessons once with a friend, but then she moved. I have purchased the materials to self-teach the piano (and, I have hoped, thereby improve my singing as well). Most recently I purchased a voice lessons CD to do with the kids (good old do-rey-me exercises!). I already know it wouldn’t be a waste of time, because singing is something we will all be doing at least weekly at church, and strong voices able to sing harmony are a blessing there. But still, so far purchasing materials is as far as I’ve gotten.

Edith here encourages that even if there isn’t great talent, or if I don’t get far, still it is a worthwhile endeavor that will help me grow and develop as a person: my personality, my creativity, my God-given desire to make beauty. So, it’s not simply practicing an ability I want, but it’s inherently satisfying, a pursuit that would fill my well and help me overflow.

There are so many conversations out there on mommy blogs about me-time, voices taking every position about it. But taking the time to develop musical ability – my own alone and our ability together as a family – is precisely the sort of pursuit that will actually fill that inner need to be replenished. And that’s because it fills our need for beauty and for creating, which we have as image-bearers of God, which we are before we are wives and mothers.

So, I will be looking to how to carve out the time for growing in musical aptitude in the coming years, though still probably after this season of having a nursing baby.

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  1. Andrew uses the voice lessons on Jam Play and I hear him making weird noises all the time.

    We are so fortunate these days to have so many opportunities to find help in these areas.

  2. There are so many ways we can appreciate music – I’m glad you are working at incorporating it into your family’s lives and hearts. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I love that you are doing something proactively to grow in this area. I have always wished for the opportunity “someday,” but Edith is challenging my procrastinating ways. I will have to check out those resources you’ve highlighted.

    I too was drawn to that quote by Edith about becoming a more interesting person.

  4. Good for you! You are right, that some kinds of “me time” are developing and fitting us for future service, or keeping us healthy for the long haul. Music education is a great example!

    I love your motto about life in the home and home in the life. :-)

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