Musical New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions. Are you a fan of them? Do you make resolutions every January? Or maybe you just set yourself some new goals for the year. Do you make any resolutions relating to music? Or any goals? Whatever you want to call them, let me give you a few ideas for Musical New Year’s Resolutions.

Go to more concerts

        Do you get to live concerts very often? Plan to go to more this year. Indoor, outdoor, free, paid, local, a new group, high school, community, professional – doesn’t matter! Go enjoy some live music. Chicago has a great line-up of free outdoor concerts during the summer. They just announced the schedule for the summer; I am already thinking about which ones I want to go to!

Learn a new instrument

        Do you play an instrument? Have you ever wanted to play something? Start learning! Choose an instrument and start learning to play! Maybe you played something in school – choose a related instrument and learn that one!

Practice an instrument you used to play

        Did you play an instrument in high school or college? Get it out and start practicing again! Practice up on those pieces you used to play. Start practicing a piece you always wanted to learn to play.

Join a performance group

        Get involved with a local performance group. Join a choir. Join the community band or orchestra. You will meet some fascinating people and enjoy making music in a group setting. Accept the challenge and have some fun with music!

Learn to read music

        Did you always enjoy singing but never learned to read music? Did you play a treble clef instrument but never learned to read bass clef? Or vice-versa? Did tenor clef or alto clef always mess with your mind? Take some time and master the art of reading music.

Explore a new genre of music

        Do you know all the latest pop music but can’t tell a symphony from a concerto? Maybe you are great with Bach and Vivaldi but know nothing about 20th century music. Whatever the case, take the challenge to learn a new form of music. Maybe you will choose to explore string quartets. Perhaps you will decide to learn about bluegrass. The options are endless! Explore something new.

Take a music appreciation course

        Learn about the many varieties of music available! Check out the different eras of music and the composers of each era. Find an online course, check out a course from your library, take a continuing education course through your community college. Learn something new!

Add your own ideas in the comments! Let me know how you are going to challenge your musical self this year.

Ideas for Musical New Year Resolutions

Sing with your Child – It will be good for both of you!

Looking for a great way to introduce your child to music? Searching for an easy way to get your child interested in music? I’ve got a great idea for you! Not only is it easy, it’s free! Can’t get much better than that!

The easiest way to introduce your child to music is to sing. That’s it! Just sing! Sing with your child. Sing to your child. You can sing about anything. Sing about what you are doing. Make up songs about picking up the toys. Sing about getting up in the morning. Just sing!

Here are some reasons why you should sing with and to your child.

Singing with your child is fun!

Music makes most anything better, so use some songs to go through your day. Sing when it is time to wake your child in the morning. Sing about her clothes when she is getting dressed. Make up a song about what you are going to do that day. Sing silly songs together. Make a game with your songs. Let your child sing an answer back to you. Just have fun!

Singing with your child is easy!

Just take your sentences and set them to some little tune. Use a melody you already know, or just make one up. You aren’t looking for highly refined music here, just little tunes. Make them up as you go along. Even if you only use a couple different notes, you can still sing a little song about what you are doing or thinking.

Singing with your child takes no great skills!

Singing with your child does not take great skills or practice. Remember, you are doing this for fun. It’s not necessary to have a great voice, or great vocal skills. So, enjoy! We talk to our kids without worrying about being great orators; we should sing with them without concern for our vocal qualities. Just have fun!

Singing with your child is free!

What’s better than free? You don’t have to invest in materials or lessons to sing with your child. No cost involved! Sing songs you remember from your childhood. Sing songs you have heard. Make up your own songs. Find silly kid’s songs at the library, or on your favorite streaming service. Sing them together. Make up your own words to some songs you already know.

Singing with your child will benefit both of you.

  • Bonding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Communication (Language skills)
  • Musical Sense

Your child will learn some basic things about music.

  • Pitch differentiation
  • Music is a form of communication
  • You can have fun with music
  • Music is for anyone, anytime, anywhere, not just for professionals.

Here are some links to other sources showing that singing with your child is beneficial:

So, go forth, sing together, and have fun!

Sing with your Child!

Musical Memories

Did your kids make any musical memories over the holidays?

Music = Memories

I think there are two kinds of musical memories. Sometimes there is a piece of music that just triggers so many memories for me. Or many pieces of music that trigger way too many memories! There are songs I cannot sing without tears coming to my eyes. I remember listening to a former student of mine singing a lovely lullaby. And now, I can barely think of the song without tears running down my face because I still associate the music with a miscarriage from almost 20 years ago. There are other songs that I cannot sing without my mind being flooded with memories from college choir. I cannot read certain portions of Scripture because my mind must sing them instead! I am sure that I am not the only one this happens to!

Performing Music = Memories

The other kind of musical memories I think about are the memories connected to an actual “performance.” For me, Christmas Eve is always connected to music, and to my children performing music. For several years, we did a lot of the music for our church Christmas Eve services. We had string quartets, brass trios, various vocal ensembles, flute duets. Yes, it was a lot of work and stress (for me, at least), and I expect my kids weren’t always that happy about it, but I always felt their musical abilities were a gift we could give to others around us. Some of my favorite pictures of my kids were taken after a Christmas Eve service when they were all dressed up, holding their different instruments. I treasure those pictures.

Listening to Music = Memories

Perhaps I should add a third type of musical memories. Sometimes I hear a piece of music played on the radio and my mind immediately remembers the time one of my kids played that piece. I remember the struggles they had learning it, and how nice it sounded when they performed the piece. And then I will tell my youngest son (much younger than some of his older siblings) how his brother played the piece they were just playing on the radio, or how one of his sisters played a certain piece for her recital. I don’t know if he is ever suitably impressed, but I tell him just the same.

What are your Music Memories?

So, tell me. Did your kids make any musical memories over the holidays? Maybe they won’t remember the event, but you probably will! Or what memories flood your mind when you hear certain music? I’d love to hear your musical memories! Share them in the comments.