“Family Home Evening Helps: Family Singing Time,” Ensign, Jan. 2009, 69
The importance of good music in the home was the focus of a sacrament meeting that prompted my husband to encourage a change in our home. Though “musically challenged,” we decided to sing a hymn to start each evening’s scripture study.
As we passed out the hymnbooks and announced we were going to begin with a song, most of our children were skeptical and somewhat resistant. We pressed forward, however, and decided to begin with the first hymn in the book. We practiced it that week and then introduced the next hymn the following week in family home evening.
Since then, our singing time has evolved to fit our family’s needs. Because none of us is particularly proficient in music, we often skip hymns that are unfamiliar or seem too daunting for us. For the hymns we attempt to sing, my daughter or I sometimes try to plunk out the tune on the piano. Other times we sing along with the hymns on CD. Most of the time we sing a capella. The children take turns leading our singing, which helps them to learn basic music skills. Sometimes we also discuss a hymn’s meaning or the history behind it. Other times, we talk about the feelings a particular hymn evokes in us.
Although we try our best to sing, we often hit wrong notes, our voices don’t always blend, and our timing is sometimes off. Most of the time, I’m glad no one can hear us. Still, when I hear the children humming or singing a hymn we’ve practiced or see their faces light up when a familiar hymn is sung at Church, I’m grateful we chose to enhance our family’s scripture study with music.