Thursday, May 10, 2012

Make a joyful noise--Singing Scripture and other Subjects

A few weeks ago, I posted about my church's ladies' retreat. One of the things that was discussed was Scripture memorization. 
It was reassuring to hear John Piper share that we'll forget 90% of what we memorize, but then we can just memorize it again!

We had a guest speaker, Karen Eppler, share about the Bible memory program she uses for children that involves singing. She even has a cool rebus for each verse. What a way to engage not only auditory but visual learners, as well. You can get her rebuses, tunes, and verses HERE.

Many studies have shown that setting things you want to memorize to music is a great way to help memorize it and retain it. This article mentions that fact as well as giving some ideas like using sign language or movement which would also encourage kinesthetic learners.

One of the easier ways is to bring a tune to Scripture or anything else you want to memorize is to set it to a tune you already know. That's called a "piggy-back" song. I LOVE PIGGY-BACK SONGS!! I'm not creative enough to come up with a new melody AND already knowing the tune means I don't have to memorize that  part.

For instance, my friend Susan (of Susan's Book Group) taught mija and me I Corinthians 13:4-8a ESV by singing it to "Silent Night". I taught my daughter the whole list of prepositions by singing them to the theme from the Micky Mouse Club. I got that here.

There are sooooo many sources of memory songs for both Bible and other subjects. I find a lot on Sometimes I write them myself. If you're a little uncertain about doing it yourself HERE was a nice article with some suggestions on how to do it.

Just to show what can be done, here's mija singing the first part of the Declaration of Independence which I set to the tune of "This Old Man".  She was 4 at the time.


Diane said...

Excellent! This is the ONLY way to memorize scripture for me!! (And I'm an adult.) I put every single AWANA scripture for Michael to familiar songs: hymns, kids' songs, campfire songs, contemporary songs, patriotic songs -- it took a LOT of songs because that's somewhere over 300 scriptures!! And he learned every one (better than I sometimes!)

Some of them are very short scriptures, especially in the earlier years (4 years total) -- others are pretty looong! So I chose music accordingly. You really have to work sometimes to get the words to fit -- squishing several words into one note at times, or drawing a word out... takes a lot of work, and sometimes I had a verse pretty well memorized by the time I made it work. But that was ALL worth it to me!

Also about "piggy-backing" -- we remember those verses waaaay better than learning a new tune. AWANA actually has CDs that put their songs to music (at least the earlier years.) I tried to use that at first, but it didn't work as well. The melodies all started sounding the same. (not to critize AWANA which is an amazing program!)

The only thing to be so careful of are copyright laws: I can't share most of my work with others via recording it for them because it would be illegal. Only those that are public domain. In fact, when my daughters were young, we made a "tape" (yes,that's giving away ages!) of the songs we learned, together with two other families. It was a blast -- but a lot of work getting copyright permissions!!!! (Sometimes we weren't allowed, and had to re-learn a scripture to another song right before production.) After that, we made a list of public domain songs and chose from THOSE for our second tape recording.

Thanks for this blog -- as you can see, it's close to my heart as sooooo important!

Betsy Price said...

Thanks for sharing. It's great to hear from a voice of experience like you!

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