Music Blog Post #3: Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

In this intensely digital age, and with my tendency to stay too busy, I’m finding it takes intentionality and humble determination to let Christ’s words dwell in me richly. Our minds can so easily get filled with the bubble-gum frosted cake of entertainment and distraction, or get crowded with enough routines to make an Olympic gymnast collapse to the ground.

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I must create space in my mind to receive nourishment from God and time in my day to practice turning God’s food into my motivation, direction, and joy. This is my strength- to be in His presence, know more of Him and His ways and wisdom, then to walk with Him through the day with power to endure, to rejoice, even to extend His grace and healing love to others.

 

Only when filled and fueled by His words, received as a child wanting to be like her Dad, can I teach or encourage anyone in wisdom, with a song of joy and thankfulness in my heart. On my own, I certainly cannot.

Oh Suzannah Bake Sale +…

I was thinking of ways to involve my current students in the Oh Suzannah sponsorship program and a bake sale was my first instinct! I’m making it a bake sale +…so they can try to sell their art or anything else they’ve made! Items would need to be pre-wrapped in individual portions so we can set them on a table outside when we have a salesperson handy.

When the weather gets cooler, I will make sure hot drinks are for sale too!

Any unsold baked goods will be purchased for families in need before they lose their freshness.

Some tips to get your kids excited to share the gift of music with kids who would love to have it, but can’t afford it: take time to get familiar with the infographics I’ve posted under the blog “Why Music Lessons are Awesome!” Decide which one would make the most sense to your kid and help them imagine how helpful and special this could be to kids who have been hurt or neglected or whose family is having a hard time.

I will send out an update at the end of each month how much money we’ve raised towards sponsoring kids for lessons! I’m excited to build new friendships and new excitement in my students through the sponsorship program. Think of how cool it would be for your kid to watch another kid at our Christmas recital knowing they helped provide them the chance to take music lessons!

Valley View Concert Series

I am so excited to go back to Valley View nursing home with my music students and their families this fall! It is such a treat for the residents there to see and hear young people playing and singing. This is a great experience to share with your kids- several families traveled an hour each way last year to join in this opportunity to serve and I heard such great feedback from employees and residents…it was a true encouragement. I hope each family can plan toward coming at least once during October or November on a first or third Saturday between 1-3 p.m. 

Students can play or sing one song or more if they are up to it! I also love it when students come just to watch and meet the residents. A performance-shy student will warm up to playing for others with less pressure surrounding the situation! This is great performance practice!

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Mallori playing for Valley View residents

Music Log 2, Psalm 95:1-2

Psalm 95:1-2

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise!

I love the emphasis in this verse!

We get to sing to the Lord, not just about Him.

We get to enter His presence and thank Him face to face, not from afar as befits His holiness.

My brother-in-law Jay, wrote a beautiful song for my sister Alisa while they were dating. The song was a testament to his love for her on its own merit. But hearing him play it with my sister in the room took it to another level. It made you feel lucky to witness such a tender & true love. It did more to inspire a belief in a pure and patient love than 100 essays on the subject.

“I don’t want to talk about You like You’re not in the room. I want to look right at You, I want to sing right to You.” –from You Won’t Relent

Imagine if we practiced His presence all through our days, saw Him above, before, behind, and between us. What would others feel through our music, prayers, conversation, actions and attitudes? I pray they will feel a humble gratitude, a  joyful praise, and an invitation into His grace and selfless love.

Recommended reading: The Practice of His Presence by Brother Lawrence

 

Music Log 1, Psalm 100:1-2

IMG_1933A Psalm for giving thanks.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!

Serve the Lord with gladness!  

Come into His presence with singing!

Psalm 100:1-2

God has taught me so much about giving thanks. Thanks for the things I take for granted, for a functioning mind and body, for the beauty all around me, for the struggles and the conundrums too…but most of all for the roots.

The roots are Who God Is. His nature and purposes have been revealed to us by a Great Tree- the son of man yet Son of God, Jesus Christ. All who believe in His name become branches, sustained by His life and provided with fruit by His Spirit. In rain and shine, all we need is found in the infinite roots of Who He Is and will never be withheld as we abide and ask.

Wherever I am on my journey through life…in abundance or need, in joy or sadness, in loneliness or in love, the roots of my gratitude never change! His love, humility, holiness, patience, kindness, wisdom…is not for us only to taste and see…that would be enough! But He beckons us in, to His very life, character and purposes.

Have you ever extended yourself to someone- through gifts or acts of service, maybe something as simple as your presence or perhaps a painful sacrifice? Though love in any form is given unconditionally, it is worthy of gratitude.

Count His innumerable gifts. Including the raindrops.

Consider His service to us. More preposterous than a Queen mowing your lawn.

Recall ignoring Him, not just at busy parties, but even in the quiet of home.

Admit to completely forgetting His agonizing sacrifice for days, even months, at a time.

 

What depths of gratitude have yet to be wept and shouted, whispered and shown through our lives?

When I sing, when I play, when I teach, when I pray, I want to say thank You.

For all our days, may we return praise!

I encourage you to comment below on any attribute of God that you or your kids are thankful for. Let’s build up each other’s gratitude !

 

Why Music Lessons Are Awesome

As I continue to try to learn and grow as a music teacher, I come across these fantastic infographics about the amazing benefits of music lessons!

Check these out and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why the piano is usually the best instrument to start with:

 

This is awesome!

 

Spring Recital!

I’m excited to announce the potential dates for our Spring Recital! Weather permitting, we will have our recital outside again this year, on either May 21 or 28, at my house. We will begin at 1 p.m. and finish performances by 3 p.m. but people are welcome to stay longer and enjoy!

As in the past, I do not require my students to perform, but I encourage it since this is a great opportunity to perform for a friendly, encouraging audience. Students are encouraged to memorize their piece but allowed to use music if they feel more comfortable with it. Duets or group performances are encouraged as well!

For our reception, please bring enough for twice your family of the following: last names  A-H, please bring fruit or salad, I-M, a protein or dessert, N-Z, drinks with ice. If you want to switch with someone, feel free to! I will provide cups, plates, napkins, etc.

Feel free to invite friends and family members. This recital is BYOC..Bring your own chair (or blanket)! I’m really looking forward to having everyone together again!