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    Singing Together

    I mentioned a few weeks back that Bill Harley had started a new blog and I've been checking it out occasionally ever since.

    What I like about Harley's blog, besides it being well-written, funny, and spell-checked -- I'm lucky if I get two of those three -- is that he's been taking a very big picture view of things. He's been interested in songs, and kids, and culture, big topics that don't lend themselves to quick posts, snappy one-liners, and links to other folks' comments. Things, if you haven't noticed, that I tend to rely on.

    So I was quite pleased to see Bill's recent post on singing together, because it says better than I could how wonderful making music together can be.

    Singing together is what people have always done. There’s less of it today – we leave it to the “professionals” (me?) and forget that we’re happier and healthier if we open up our mouths and belt it out with the people around us. This has nothing to do with virtuosity, or perfect pitch, or being a soprano or alto or whatever. It has to do with being human.
    I've found it a little sad that we've left most of the communal singing in our North American society to the churches. Don't get me wrong -- I think it's great for the churches, and it's one of the things that brings me joy on Sunday mornings -- but why it should be reserved for a segment of the population for maybe an hour on Sunday morning?

    So I'm hopeful to hear in Harley's post that there are still groups of people who get together and sing for the pure joy of it. As he puts it, "Singing is an expression and fostering of community." While I spend most of my time talking about how professionals craft songs and experiences for our families to enjoy together, I hope that you are all also taking the opportunity to sing your own songs, no matter how silly or out-of-tune you may think they are. Because they're probably not, and even if they are, it doesn't matter.

    Well, this wasn't quite quick, but there was a snappy one-liner or two, and a link. Two out of three ain't bad.

    Reader Comments (1)

    Stefan, thank you for this link and your own good words to frame it (no typos that I could find). I agree with everything said. Singing is a kind of food for the soul,and while I can appreciate and enjoy the talent of professionals, it's an entirely different kind of animal singing in a worship setting, with friends in a living room or around a campfire. I am sad we have lost some of the "common language" of song--those songs everyone seemed to know by heart at one time. I am also sad that we have grown so self-conscious about singing out loud in our culture. Even in a pre-school setting, when the teacher invites the kids to sing, I notice parents hesitating to join in.But the optimist in me says that posts like yours and Bill's are signs of a growing movement to reclaim that language, and add new things to it too. I think the family music genre is no small attempt to do just that.
    July 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaty L

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