Planting Musical Seeds for the Future
"Children Making Music," a DVD from the former Commission on Worship, is sure to strike a chord with every LCMS congregation where music plays an important role in worship.
Music and the Gospel
Music and the proclamation of the Gospel go hand in glove. As scripture teaches us in Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish each other with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." We want today's children to have an appreciation for music and the important vehicle it is for the proclamation of the Gospel.
True to its title, "Children Making Music" highlights youth participating in what Martin Luther called "an outstanding gift of God," second only to theology. Scenes were shot at Lutheran churches and schools across the country.
The Joy of Music Young musicians highlighted in the DVD include those from Trinity Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas. Not so long ago, that congregation's adult choir had dwindled to eight (on a good Sunday) in a congregation of some 1,600.
Former music director, Mary Mountford revitalized music at Trinity, building the adult choir to about 60 and starting a popular children's program. It continues to stay strong today. "It takes work, and you have to make it fun," said Mountford, who was a former Commission on Worship member and helped develop the DVD.
With encouragement from Trinity's Pastor Michael Dorn, Mountford began a conservatory at the church to offer piano and guitar lessons. She launched the school's Trinity Singers, building participation through fun incentives-opportunities to perform with live animals at the Christmas Eve pageant and earn recognition at an awards banquet for veteran singers.
How to Use the DVD
"Children Making Music" runs 30 minutes and is divided into three segments aimed at children, parents, and pastors and educators, respectively.
Dr. Paul Grime, who initiated the DVD project, hopes congregations will play the video at board meetings and Bible classes, for Parent Teacher Leagues and Sunday school students. He grew acutely aware of the shortage of church musicians (and the shrinking supply of people to lead church music programs) in his former post as Commission on Worship executive director.
"If the DVD is shown in just half our congregations and schools, and if it provides the needed encouragement to only a couple of students in each parish, that would ultimately mean several thousand additional musicians who might one day be leading our congregations in song," said Grime, now dean of the chapel and associate professor of pastoral ministry and missions at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.
"Children Making Music" was developed by a committee representing three Lutheran church bodies: The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS). The Marvin M. Schwan Charitable Foundation provided funding.
An extensive list of resources for making music with children is available here.