As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Hidden Art of Homemaking {Chapter 3: Music}

Cindy of  Ordo Amoris is hosting a book club discussing The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer.  Cindy has hosted other book clubs from time to time, and, although I read along, I have never been inclined to join in the discussion.  The participants are cerebral and articulate, and I consider myself neither.  This book, however, has drawn me in, for homemaking is a subject that is near to my heart.  

In Chapter 3 of The Hidden Art of Homemaking, Edith Schaeffer praises the merit of music in the home, not for the purpose of "performance," but for enjoyment and enrichment.  

For me, music has always been an integral part of family life.  My parents love many kinds of music, and many was the night that I drifted off to sleep listening to music playing out in the living room...Eddie Arnold, The Bill Gaither Trio, Willie Nelson.  Although neither Mom nor Daddy played instruments, that did not prevent us from having "live" music in our home.  There were two sisters from our church who sang and harmonized beautifully, one of whom played the accordion, and they would come to our house, sometimes with a cousin, and they'd sing and we'd all sing and make music together.  

In my own family, music has also been important.  We have required that each of our children takepiano lessons for at least one year, to learn the basic building blocks of music.  Our son Ryan considered it penance and counted the days until his year was over, but later bought his own guitar, took lessons, and still finds joy in playing. Kati continued her lessons a little longer than the required year.  Both Kristin and Bekah loved (and love) to play the piano!

Among my favorite memories are a few family singalongs that we have had.  We gathered music books, old and new, plopped them in front of my niece Amy (piano performer/teacher/lover), and sang hymns, church music, oldies, Disney, until we could sing no more...literally hours!  

Other singalongs have been more impromptu.  One Thanksgiving evening, when some of Ron's extended family came over for dessert, Ryan played Christmas songs on his guitar, while Kristin played her flute, and everyone sang along.  (As an aside, 4-year-old Kati "played" her recorder.  She only played one note, but her rhythm was right on!  We still laugh about that!)  Another time, we all visited Ryan and his new wife Sarah at Christmastime, and sang with Ryan's guitar and Sarah's and Kati's harmonicas.  Good times!

Hymns are an important part of our home life.  We have many recordings of hymns for listening.  (But who can listen without singing along?  Not I!)  We also sing hymns as a part of our school day, striving to memorize the words.  We sing a hymn before we eat our Thanksgiving meal.  We often ask Bekah to play a hymn or two at holiday gatherings.  

Classical music is also a part of our school day, and we enjoy listening as well.  

Music: another one of the "hidden" arts of homemaking.

More thoughts on music in the home...

If you're interested in this book discussion, you may read along as I usually do 
(click ~here~ for all the posts in the discussion), 

or join in the discussion yourself!
(Click ~here~ for details on how to participate.)


  1. I like the header you've placed at the beginning of all your book club related posts ~

    We like singing in my family, too!

  2. Music is so important, isn't it?! I love that so many of your children enjoy making their own music. Mine were both required to take piano lessons for three years. Neither of them play. Sigh.

    I love a good sing-along, too. Now more families should shut off the tv and computer and get back to doing this. It'd be wonderful. John was just reading a splendid article about how the songs we used to sing in school reinforced our history and values.

    A friend recently sent me an email about Mrs. Schaeffer's funeral here in the states. It included a lot of opera and classical music as she had enjoyed it so much throughout her life and especially in her last years. This might surprise me except that I can listen to the classical station all day and I could listen to La Traviata all day, too, but I'd be so depressed that I'd have to come up for air. ☺

  3. I love the idea of a family sing-along. I love that we can grow in our appreciation of music even if we don't have a talent for making it. I am so glad God created it for us.

  4. Ah, yes, family sing-alongs! Joy and happiness! and a most wonderful way to create memories they will all hold dear.

  5. A family sing along sounds simply wonderful. And it's good you expose your kids to all kinds of music. The loss of hymns in our church is so sad. They are easy to sing to and remember, I think, I remember them all from my younger years. Our church seems to be going back to hymns more and more; their theology is rich. As far as classical music, I think I've understood that it is good for our brains! :-)

  6. We started out with that rule about one year of piano and 5 of my children did take piano. One hated it and went on to play the guitar. We don't have a piano anymore but we do have a keyboard which does get use.

    I also enjoyed reading how you do Morning Time. I have happy memories of The Little Pilgrim's Progress.

  7. I wish I had sang more when the kids were little. I am not good at it and have always self conscious.

  8. Our family loves hymns and classical music, too. I would love to have more singalongs like you do. Our kids have focused more on learning instrumental pieces, but it's so much fun when we can sing a song together. They say it takes a different kind of playing as they have to be flexible to adjust to the tempo of the singers. I think that's a good skill to have.

    We have morning times, too! I'm looking forward to reading how you do yours.


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