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.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

{31 Days of Hospitality} Day 25 ~ Music ♫

Not to Impress, But to Bless

I highly recommend playing music when you host a gathering.  I must confess that probably 50% of the time, I forget, which is a shame, because the right music can add so much to setting the mood.  

Let me tell you some of the ways that we have used music when we have opened our home to guests.  

We have had background music playing, using CD's in our own collection.  

Background music that is soothing and beautiful helps your guests to unwind and begin to enjoy themselves.  I have sometimes played classical music--Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" at a tea, Handel's "Messiah" at a Christmas breakfast,  a collection of Mozart or Beethoven at a dinner.  I have also played instrumental or vocal hymn collections.  One of my favorite CD's (for entertaining or for my own listening pleasure) is The Best of Classical Praise, a lovely collection of hymns played on piano and strings, some of which are artfully blended with classical pieces.  Gorgeous.  

We have used online music streaming, such as Grooveshark.

Oh what fun we have had with Grooveshark!  (Of course, there is lots of unsavory music out there, so be sure to have a responsible adult in charge of the playlist.) 

It began at a New Year's Eve family get-together when Bekah wanted us to hear Poirot's theme song.  Then someone else wanted to hear a song, and then another, and before we knew it, we spent the evening singing and dancing to everything from "Arthur's Library Card" to "It's a Wonderful World" to "Who Let the Dogs Out?" to "The Chicken Dance!"    

~ We used Grooveshark to play French café music at Bekah's French-themed birthday party.

~ One Mother's Day, we had each mother choose four songs for the playlist.  There was lots of lovely music played that afternoon, and we enjoyed the generational variety.  It was such a hit, we did the same on Father's Day. 

~ We choose theme music for birthday parties.  Songs from the 30's for the Vintage Kitchen Birthday Party. Big band music for my dad's recent 75th birthday party.  

Occasionally, we have live music!

~ We have had family sing-alongs...evenings when we gather for an informal meal (like a fondue dinner) and my pianist niece Amy plays song after song after song as we sing together.  (Non-singers listen in, or chat in another room.) 

 ~ We sing a Thanksgiving hymn together before praying the blessing on Thanksgiving Day. Bekah is our accompanist for this.

~ Last year, we had two families over for dinner and one of the ladies asked ahead of time if we could sing some hymns.  So we borrowed some hymnals from church and had a wonderful time of worshipful singing and fellowship.  

Do you use music when you host a gathering?


  1. To answer your question, "We sure do!" I'm going to "steal" some of your ideas, too. Sometimes we sing The Doxology as part of our prayer at mealtime..... Have frequently brought the hymnbooks in when my extended family gathers. Usually, in fact. And background music whenever I think about it - which like you is maybe 50% of the time :)

  2. We haven't incoporated much music into our gatherings but I have been longing too and now am inspired to do it!


  3. Yes. I love to have music playing in the background during dinner and on Christmas Day. Sticking with soft and lovely seems to work better than vocal selections here just because Grooveshark is in another part of the house (☺) and so words can sound garbled.

    My grandparents both grandmother the piano and my grandfather the I have fond memories of long evenings of music when many would be invited in for the evening.

    My cousin, a guitarist, hosts what he and his wife call jamborees and people come from miles around with their lawn chairs and make a day of it. I love going to those!

    How wonderful that your family enjoys a song and worship time. Judy's family (My Front Porch)often hold hands and sing the Doxology before their meals instead of a traditional prayer. (They do it in five-part harmony!)

  4. We used to get together with a couple from our church, have a meal at their house or ours. After dinner we would get out hymn books and sing for an hour or so. I played the piano (both houses had pianos). It made for a wonderful evening. None of us could sing that great but we had fun trying.
    Love your new header--very pretty.
    Blessings, Sharon D.

  5. Thank you, Sharon D.! I have no way of contacting you, but it is always such a blessing to hear from you! :)

  6. your hospitality topic this time has helped me make a decision to have a musical gathering near Christmas this year. to sing the story of redemption. I will be trying my hostessing role on in a new format.

  7. I did..once, I think. Yes, I should use it.
    I've been thinking about the apology issue. That would include apologizing about the meal, which I have done all too recently.
    Thanks for the enlightenment!

  8. We've enjoyed lots of "live music" over the years when company was visiting and also at the homes of family and friends... Patriotic Sing-Alongs on the 4th... Christmas Carols around the Piano ... Guitars around Bonfires.... Musical Graduation Parties... Hymn Sings on Sunday Morning after a Civil War Ball... Phillips Family Get-Togethers...

    We don't have so much "musical man-power" (or "girl" power?) here anymore, and I really miss those gatherings. It's amazing how people feel connected by singing songs together!

  9. I enjoy having music playing in the background if it's a quieter dinner. If there are little ones and a lot of commotion, the music just adds to the din. Singing grace is a beautiful custom that we used to do when we got together for big family gatherings. Maybe it's time to revive it for our immediate family that is beginning to expand.

  10. I've never thought of having music play when we have people over. Thanks for the idea!


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