The children of First Reformed Church are singing again after a long summer break! They will convene in the Randolph Room every Sunday directly after their Sunday School Class until 12:00, to sing old and new Christian music. It is never too early to praise the Lord through singing, so every child is welcome!
Why is singing so important for children? This is a grave question that never is discussed enough, since recently music teachers in the state of New Jersey find their jobs in danger. I do not have a complete answer to this question, except a holistic point of view about the spiritual benefits of singing, especially in a group. My very wise friend, Reverend Jeffrey Eaton of Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, taught me about the importance of music for its contribution toward the enrichment of children’s lives. Music teaches all of us, he said, responsibility to others; it teaches us to be aware of each other’s deficiencies, and it makes us all more empathic since we are aware.
I argue that music is even more essential than that (of course, with reverence to the revered Reverend). Singing is a universal language. If there is one thing that has been constant in the expression of human emotion throughout history and in every culture, it is singing. Children need to sing, and the urge to do so is in their biological make-up. Furthermore, there is latent musical potential within every child. That inner voice needs to be nurtured, even in the rawest expression of cacophonous outbursts, and encouraged to come to the surface whenever possible. Gone are the days when people walk down the street singing throughout the day, but we all still carry this deep-seated urge to express that inner voice.
So our job as parents in this congregation is to provide as many opportunities for children to sing as we can. Take advantage of the church’s musical resources: bring them every week to church, so their singing can take shape in the form of worship. Together we will serve our children with an immense opportunity to sing with joy, in praising the Lord.