This week, we celebrated the 80th birthday of Nan Grantham, a well-loved contributor to the Growing in Grace family. In honor of her time and talents that have been devoted to children’s choirs throughout the Southeast, we would like to share with you an article of inspiration as part of your summer reading. Nan has been our inspiration; let her be yours.
What a wonderful gift God gave us with music! Have you taken time lately to consider the elements of music?
Think of babies. How they enjoy those gurgles and coos! Then comes the discovery that the pitch of those coos can vary– they can move higher or lower. The discerning parent or caregiver begins to play echo games to learn to direct those sounds.
Rhythm is the pulse and driving force of music planted within a person which he feels, and to which he responds, with both natural and purposeful movement. For many, this element is the “fun” of music.
The vertical element of music is harmony–stacking these sounds one on top of another. I, personally, am so thankful for this one. How wonderful to join with others in lifting great songs of praise to our Creator and Heavenly Father!
What about form? Educators tell us that the structure in music helps to develop the mind. And let’s consider tone as the element that helps us strive to bring out the best we have to offer.
The last element of music on the standard list is expression. The range of dynamics and the variety of moods reflected in tempos are amazing! Music can bring us to quiet reverence, to great expressions of praise, to happy and hilarious joy, and to expressions of deep sadness. I once heard a renowned and respected Christian musician say that we musicians have something intangible that the rest of the world doesn’t have, and I truly believe that to be true.
Have you stopped to thank God today for the gift of music? With such a gift, how can we not share it with others — especially the dear children in our midst.