"Just as every child has the potential to develop tremendous abilities in the mastery of his mother tongue, each child has been imbued with the potential to develop musical abilities."—Sinichi Suzuki
In an American Idol culture where vocal talent is seen as something only a few favored people are special enough to inherit, I am privileged to conduct two choirs of children and teens where we not only train voices but also lead worship. Suzuki, from an earthly perspective, was wise regarding musical pedagogy. His admirably high view of children included the philosophy that all children, when nurtured properly and with adequate practice, would develop musical skill.
"My heart is steadfast, O God! I will sing and make melody with all my being!" Psalm 108:1
Beyond that, the Bible calls all believers to worship and make music to His name. While the Lord is pleased with any "joyful noise" made sincerely unto His name, I believe he takes special delight when his children put forth sacrificial effort to offer him beautiful art. In our Chorister and Girls' Choir rehearsals, we work on vocal technique, phrasing, blend, diction, and many more aspects of excellent singing.
As we choose music, Steve and I do our best to select the highest quality repertoire available, benefiting our singers in both musical and spiritual ways. While I have never been terribly disciplined about memorizing Scripture, I have significant portions memorized simply because I sang them in a piece of choral music at some point in my life. Rich hymn or sacred poetic texts also abound in my mind from my years of singing.
As Rhonda Merrick, mother of three of our singers said, "I love to hear one of the girls singing one of their choir songs around the house, and I know there's both music and Holy Scripture sinking deeper into their hearts through our time in the choirs."
We saw a great culmination of efforts on the parts of Resurrection's three choirs at our Christmas Pageant on December 18. I could not have been more proud of our Choristers and Girls as they led the congregation in beautiful music, and I counted it a joy to sing with them and the adult choir on a movement from Handel's Messiah. One great delight for me was watching entire families lead worship together, with parents of Choristers or Girls singing in the adult choir or leading the processional.
Story by Janna Williamson
Click here to visit the Resurrection Choir Facebook page
Pageant photos by Josh Cutherrall
Photo of Janna Williamson by Kim Johnson Photography