“Music and Dancing,” Ensign, Sept. 2013, 74
Since music is such a prominent factor in the lives of most youth, it’s important to help young men and young women focus on music that inspires and uplifts. On pages 32–33 of this month’s New Era, Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary general president, writes about the influence of music. When we use music for good, she explains, it “enhances our senses, touches our emotions, and creates memories.”
The ideas below can help you teach your children about the importance of listening to good music.
With your teen, read the “Music and Dancing” section of For the Strength of Youth ([booklet, 2011], 22–23). Consider talking about how and why the standards discussed will strengthen your teen and help him or her stay converted to the gospel. You may want to listen to some of your teen’s music and discuss together how it makes each of you feel as you listen to it and how it measures up to the standards in For the Strength of Youth. You’ll find youth experiences in the video “The Song of the Heart” at lds.org/go/music1 and these articles: “Changing My Music” (lds.org/go/music2) and “Sitting on the Sidelines” (lds.org/go/music3).
Watch “The Kyiv Ukraine Temple Youth Cultural Celebration” Mormon Messages for Youth video at lds.org/go/music4. Discuss how we can use music and dancing to praise and show thanks to our Heavenly Father (see D&C 25:12; 136:28). Reflect on ways your family can use music and dancing to honor the Lord.
Find free music downloads and streaming of inspirational music at lds.org/youth/music.
Have a music-based family home evening. Let each family member choose a favorite hymn or Primary song and share why it’s a favorite. Then have the whole family sing the songs together. Visit lds.org/music to find instrumental or vocal accompaniment for the hymns and Primary songs.
Consider holding a family home evening where you listen to music or learn a cultural dance from the country you live in or from countries your ancestors are from. You could even create a special song or dance unique to your family.
Read Sister Wixom’s message and try the sentence-completion experiment she mentions in the first few paragraphs; use additional songs if desired. Have one person select a song and only say (not sing) the first line or part of the chorus. See how few words it takes to guess the song. Or have a person hum a song and see who can remember the words. Discuss how music and lyrics can influence us even if we don’t think we’re really paying attention to the words or beat when a song is played.