Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hymn Study


Charlotte Mason recommended that children learn hymns. I quite agree with her. I have found that hymns remembered from my childhood often bring me comfort in difficult times. But how to teach these older hymns to my children? We attend a church that worships in a more contemporary style and while I enjoy that, I also want my children to learn older hymns.

Simply Charlotte Mason has a nice list of suggested hymns for a CM style hymn study. They also provide instructions for hymn study:

Select one hymn to sing together until all have learned every stanza. If
possible, sometime during the learning of the hymn, read together its history.
Children may also use the lyrics of the hymn for copywork, dictation, or
recitation.
Another place for good information and suggestions on hymn study is the Amblesideonline website. They provide a 12 year rotation for hymn study here.

Even with all the great resources for hymn study out there I always struggled with how to make that work in our house. For awhile my children were involved in a Children's Choir at church that would learn at least one fine old hymn every few months. The kids earned points for memorizing the verses. That worked out nicely for us. But then we moved from that Church and the new church didn't do this! So we lapsed from our hymn study to just occasionally learning a hymn.

I'd like to say that I planned out my current method of hymn study, but the truth is I kind of fell into it. My children began taking piano and their teacher is really excellent at what she does. She has the gift of teaching if I have ever seen it. She loves what she does and it shows. She had my children get a hymn book that is part of their piano curriculum and they learn a hymn every week or so. So I decided to start looking up information on the hymn. We talk about the history, the person who wrote it and they learn the tune and usually two verses. Ta-da! Hymn Study! Works for us.

11 comments:

KarlyeA said...

Hi Jill, I'm curious who your piano teacher is...:)
Sounds like a great way to learn hymns. Adding that to the list of things that I want to do this summer.

Jill said...

You know her well...she is your pastor's wife! I thought you all took lessons from her at one time as well. I know the Hall's do. We love her. She is a fantastic teacher.

E.W. Spider said...

Ah, memories of 8? 9? year-old little me standing next to my grandpa in church. He sang bass, so I did, too. Years later, studying hymns was a part of my music studies, and I giggled furiously at the realization that I'd never learned the melodies.
Thanks for sharing.

MomToCherubs said...

Thanks for contributing to the CM Blog Carnival.

MomToCherubs
http://www.becksbounty.blogspot.com

jamie in rose cottage said...

We used a lovely book this year (and will continue it next year!) called "Hymns for a Kid's Heart." It has the words and music for the hymns, plus a little history about the composer and how the song came to be written. It also comes with a wonderful CD of all the songs!

Jill said...

Oh yes Jamie we love that book too! Thanks for reminding me!

School for Us said...

What a great way to study hymns! We're looking for a different piano teacher for next year. Hope we find a great teacher, too!

Jill said...

I hope you do too Dana! Thanks for visiting.

Paula said...

OH this is WONDERFUL! About a year ago I was trying to learn a hymn a week. Things happened and that fell by the wayside. But now I am inspired to get back into it AND this time not just sign them TO the kids, but sing them WITH the kids!

I use cyberhymnal.org to learn the songs.

KAlexaLott said...

I must ask where the lovely graphic in your post came from. It looks like a picture from an old children's music theory book?

Kim

Jill said...

I believe it is from a vintage flash card. I belong to a flickr group for children's illustration and it was shared there. It's a great group.