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20 July 2018

Hymns for 2018-2019

We'll be continuing to use the By Study and Faith hymn rotation this year, and one of the things I always find useful is to have a playlist. I try to have at least a couple days where we sit down at the piano and work on explicitly learning the words, but a lot of our hymn learning is informal, just listening to the playlist, and as we go along, I try to keep the current hymn right at the top of the list, so that when we turn it on, and we're paying the most attention, it's the new song that we're currently working on. This doesn't get us to a place where we all know 100% of the words 100% of the time, but it does get must of us to knowing most of the words. And my kids will sing their old hymns off and on, and that's success to me.

When I make these playlists, I do have some ideas in mind for how I'm choosing which videos go in my playlist. One thing you'll notice is that I avoid the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: I'm a bit of an aberration, I guess, because I just don't love the Choir. But also, I want the music to encourage my kids to feel comfortable with making their own music, and not being hung up on it being "perfect", so I make a point of including a good collection of home-grown videos when I can find ones that I enjoy listening to. I also enjoy folk instruments. Not only do I like that style, but my kids are learning violin, including folk songs, and I want them to look at the music and think, "I could learn to do that" so that they see themselves as potentially being the artist: it's too easy to leave music making to "professionals" and fall into the trap of not realizing that professional musicians are as retouched as professional models are Photoshopped, and try to hold yourself to an impossible standard that they used computers to retouch and remix and play with. There's a place for that music; much of it is extremely lovely. But I want my kids to know that regular music played by regular people is also good, so I include them when I can.

So here's my playlist for the year:  

03 July 2018

Commonplace Book: June

A sample from my commonplace book, and brief instructions for how to keep one.

A commonplace is a traditional self-education tool: as you read, grab a notebook. Write down things that embody Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. Write down notable quotes, with or without your own thoughts about them. Write down the questions you have as a result of the text you are reading. You will find the book becomes a record of your own growth, and it becomes a touchstone for memory of things you have studied in the past. This is what Mother Culture is all about: self-directed, conscious self-education.


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