Music at Home

As Rosie at A Blog for My Mom pointed out, blogging has been abysmal around here lately. Twins, a computer crash necessitating many mornings with the Best Buy Geek Squad, travel, and three family-wide rounds of illness since New Years’ all contributed. I have half a dozen waiting posts in the drafts folder, but never manage to proofread them before the next wave of fevers and coughing hit the house.  So, starting in at random with a gratuitous photo of babies with bedhead apparently performing opera:

twins

My husband and I both grew up in households filled with music. While attending a concert is a rare treat these days we love listening at home or in the car – classical, bluegrass, folk, gospel, and classic rock are all favorites. We enjoy singing together at the piano, and making music with the kids. They’re at the age where they love their music toys, and try to hum along and dance when they hear music. Back in the fall, we decided to start learning one hymn by heart each month. We sing the hymn we’re learning each evening to the babies as a lullaby, looking up new verses on the phone as we go. Most recently we memorized Holy God, We Praise Thy Namea favorite hymn that we sang at our wedding, and, by a nice coincidence, sang again at church after our 5th Anniversary last month. Of course, anytime we memorize a classic hymn we find more verses whenever we think we’re done; the hymnal we had on hand only had four, but in other places we found a total of eight. The song is a paraphrase of the Te Deum, a Latin hymn passed down from 4th century Christians. It’s always a pleasure to sing praises that have been shared over many centuries by fellow believers:

Holy God, we praise Thy Name;
Lord of all, we bow before Thee!
All on earth Thy scepter claim,
All in Heaven above adore Thee;
Infinite Thy vast domain,
Everlasting is Thy reign.

Hark! the loud celestial hymn
Angel choirs above are raising,
Cherubim and seraphim,
In unceasing chorus praising;
Fill the heavens with sweet accord:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord.

Lo! the apostolic train
Join thy sacred Name to hallow;
Prophets swell the loud refrain,
And the white robed martyrs follow;
And from morn to set of sun,
Through the Church the song goes on.

Holy Father, Holy Son,
Holy Spirit, Three we name Thee;
While in essence only One,
Undivided God we claim Thee;
And adoring bend the knee,
While we own the mystery.

In January we learned all the verses to John Newton’s lovely Amazing Grace. Another favorite was the beautiful and ancient plainchant hymn Of the Father’s Love Begotten. Periodically we sing through the hymns we’ve learned before to make sure we’re not forgetting verses.

How does your family like to enjoy music?

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4 thoughts on “Music at Home

  1. Oh. No. They are tooooo cute!!! Love that picture of them singing 🙂

    My kids love “Holy God We Praise Thy Name”, too 🙂 Immaculate Mary has always been a big favorite as well, along with Hail Holy Queen Enthroned Above and O Sanctissima – lots of music in our house because I’m a music teacher and my husband sings professionally!

    • Ooh, vaguely related, our daughter LOVES that Mozart cube you recommended on your music toys for babies post. Her grandmother sent it for Christmas and it’s her go-to toy. We’re not electronic toy fans usually, but this one we appreciate so much we sent it to our niece as well. Good suggestion!

    • In addition to being nice on its own, chant is so perfect for lullabies. I don’t know if it makes the toddlers feel peaceful and sleepy but it certainly works for their parents. If I’m too tired for singing I sometimes just put on my chant station on Pandora, which is great until a loud ad for TRY OUR FANTASTIC NEW SHRIMP DISH AT LOW LOW PRICES NOW LIMITED TIME OFFER ONLY HURRY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST blares out between songs and scares the kids off their bottles…

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