This idea of family unity has been so important to me as we've started to raise our little ones, so we've tried to create unity in many ways: family traditions, a family motto, and even a family mascot (Go van Dyk Vikings!). In this post, though, I'd like to focus on one particular way of creating unity that is very dear to my heart: Music.
President Boyd K. Packer wrote in his book, Teach Ye Diligently,
"In the Church we open our meetings with a hymn. Everyone is doing the same thing together as the meeting begins. Our differences in mood, in attitude, in a lot of other ways, are temporarily set aside as we all do the same thing at the same time. We are welded together as a congregation or as a class, ready to be taught as a unit. We become more alike." (Packer, B. K. (1991). Teach ye diligently. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book)
I love how he shows us that, even with all our differences, once everyone sings the same song, we start to become one. Although he is specifically referring to congregations and classes, I think this idea can easily be applied to families where unity is also so important.
It is a custom in many homes to begin or end scripture study or Family Home Evening with a song, but there are several other ways we can use music to uplift and unite. Here are a few ideas from my family:
- We turn on music during our chores and try to have a party while we work; it helps everyone get moving and enjoy working together.
- We love listening to uplifting music (religious or not) in the car and singing songs as we drive. There have been many times when one of our babies would be crying in the car so we started singing, and they immediately calmed down.
- We love turning on uplifting music in our home (again, religious or not) and running around or dancing to it. Some of my favorite memories with my children are just being silly to music together.
- We love singing with and to our children each night before bed. We sing restful songs, and finding that peace together at the end of the day brings us closer.
- We set aside our Sunday evenings as nights of music. We go around the family circle a few times, and each member gets to choose a hymn or children's song that we all sing together. These are spiritually uplifting nights, but are also full of laughter and fun because our youngest boys inevitably pick "Popcorn Popping" or "Once There was a Snowman."
These are just a few ways we use music to unify my family, but I'm always looking for new ideas: Do you have any special traditions or ways you use music to bring your family closer?
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Amy is a stay-at-home mother of four young children. In her spare time, she enjoys writing and arranging inspirational music. You can find her blog and free sheet music at Mormon Mom and Her Music.
Photo by Jayne