Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Problem of Sayings

“Every, Good, Bird, Does, Fly – All, Cars, Eat, Gas – Great, Big, Dogs, Fight, Animals – F, A, C, E,” Ah, the wonders of the desperate imagination. Who would have thought that I would be teaching others that cars eat gas? Yet, I find that I say this ridiculous saying more than nearly every other concept of piano while teaching. The problem is, when it comes to treble clefs and bass clefs, lines and spaces, and a host of notes from A to G, it just gets to be a little confusing for some.  I remember learning the sayings that would help me figure out my notes.  I seem to remember it working…well, most the time anyways…
Now as a teacher, I see these sayings in a whole new light. The fact of it is, after saying them for eleven years, they are just a way of life (in the musical world). I used to think it was sooooooo much fun to teach these sayings to my students. Then slowly, I began to despise them more and more. I first began to dislike them when I was told, “It’s not Every Good Bird Does Fly. It’s Every Good Boy Does Fine.” Sure, it wasn’t that big of a deal at the time, but the more I taught the more versions I heard.
All Cows Eat Grass. Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge.  Good Boys Do Fine Always.  I could name a few more, but I’ll spare you. I’ve come to realize that while these sayings may be helpful, they are equally confusing! And, what’s with all the sayings about “good boys”? How am I supposed to get the girls to memorize sayings about boys getting fudge and doing good and fine? J  I guess that’s the joy of imaginations gone wild. My sayings would probably be worse if I was given four or five letters and told to make a creative saying, for example, Farmers Always Cook Eggs… Ants Carry Extra Gravel…. Boy, is that original! You’ll never hear those at music school!
Anyways, it’s an adventure all in itself, and although it can be frustrating, it can also be very helpful. Besides, it has encouraged me to be creative. (Hehe) I even made up a little rhyme to help one of my piano students remember what word to spell for the treble clef spaces. “To find a treble space, spell the word face.” Hey, it seemed to work.
So now it’s your turn. Do you know any other note sayings than the ones I listed? Have you made up any of your own? Or do you have any funny stories about note saying experiences? Please share, because I would love to read them!

In Christ and For His Kingdom,

Monday, February 14, 2011


Peace; quiet, serene, lovely peace. If only we could always live in a peaceful garden, complete with roses, butterflies, big puffy clouds…you get the picture. Reality quickly jumps to inform us that this picture of peace is not realistic and the world is quite willing to hand you an artificial “make love not war” kind of peace instead. But Biblically, this is not peace. True peace from God is not based on man's natural desires and inclinations, but rather on tranquil contentment and satisfaction in knowing that God is in control and that He has a far greater plan than we could ever imagine. This kind of peace will last far longer than the world's fake peace because it is of God and given by God to man.

We must first understand that true peace is of God. If God is not a part of our “peace,” then it cannot truly be peace. It is only temporary happiness. Philippians 4:6-7 say, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” This verse tells us that if we make our requests known to God in prayer and supplication that God’s peace will keep our hearts and minds. We won’t have to lay in bed at night worrying or crying from a broken heart because God’s peace will “keep” our heart and mind through times good and bad. Unfortunately, most people only believe that there is peace in good times. They do not realize that they are fooling themselves and it is because of this belief that so many of them break down or become depressed during the bad times.

Since peace is of God, it is only through Him giving it to us that we can obtain it. “The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.” (Psalm 29:11) “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27) God is the giver of peace. The ceasing of war, the stopping of murder, the end of a President’s term in office etc. will not bring peace. God, and God alone, can give true peace and His peace is “not as the world giveth.” The world can give you all sorts of “peace.” Just read the lyrics to a song called “Imagine,” by John Lennon.

"Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try,
No hell below us, above us only sky,
Imagine all the people, living for today.
Imagine there's no countries, it isn't hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too,
Imagine all the people, living life in peace.
You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one,
I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one.
Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people, sharing all the world. "

Peace given to us by God is the only true and lasting peace regardless of what the world may say.

Another characteristic of peace is that, because peace is of God and given by God, it will not be given to every person on earth. “I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people…” (Psalm 85:8 emphasis added) “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” (Psalm 119:165 emphasis added) “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) Those that love God’s love, make known the desires of their hearts to Him, and ultimately are His children, will be given peace. A true Christian who loves God with all of their heart, soul and strength, will have no reason to worry, but will have total and complete peace in knowing that their Heavenly Father has it all worked out. These are the people who will have peace.

Peace is a wonderful gift from God. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world that naturally hates God. There will be many fake and artificial types of peace offered by those of the world, but we must keep in mind that these types of peace are only temporary and are truly, not even peace at all. The peace of God is long lasting and beautiful. Don’t let it slip away.

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's Been Awhile

I can't believe it's already February! Time is flying by way to fast. I'm sorry it has taken so long to get this post out. While I enjoy blogging, it is pretty low on the priority list.

Anyways, it's been an exciting month, with lots of new experiances and lessons to be learned. First of all, several of the young ladies at our church (myself included) put on a Ladies Day Out. It was so wonderful getting to serve the Lord with other young ladies. My mom gave a talk on "Singing Songs in the Dark." There were talks by some other women from our church as well. I want to share some of the points my Mom gave on why we should sing.

1. Singing will keep your spirits alive! Do you want to fight depression and despair? – SING!

2. The devil hates Christ honoring music. Martin Luther says, “The devil cannot stand singing.”

3. Are you afraid? You can chase away your fears when you sing.

4. Singing purges us of evil thoughts. They cannot stay in your head when you are singing about Jesus. All demons flee at the sound of his name.

5. Singing pleases God. We are here to bring glory to God. So let’s do something that brings him much glory. It is commanded in scripture to sing many times.

6. The angels are engaged in singing and isn’t that what you want God to see you doing when He looks down on you?

7. Sing because it will cheer your friends.

I think these are great points about singing! Singing can do so much for you mentally and physically.

As far as books go, I've been working on a book called, "Harmony at Home - Straight Answers to Help You Build Healthy Music Standards" by: Tim Fisher. The first half of the book is about music in the home and the second half answers "Tought Questions Today's Young People Ask..." I'ts an easy read, although, it has taken me a while only because I'm the type of person that reads six books at once. It got me thinking about how my family enjoys singing, playing, performing... music together. I realized that I know alot of people that enjoy "doing" music together as a family. Sure, it's fun to sing and play music with your friends, but there's something so special about doing it with your family. I used to think that my family could never play together, then when we started, I never thought we would sound good. But, just like pretty much everything in life, it takes time, hard work and a WHOLE LOT OF PRACTICE.

Speaking of books, last year I made a goal to read 201 music books and read no fiction. About half way through the year I realized that perhaps reading that many books in a year was a little unrealistic. (I know there are people out there who can read that many books in a year. My problem was that I had been reading lots and lots of fiction books and fiction books are way easier for me to read than "real" books.) So, I read music books last year. There were times when I nearly gave it up because, "They are are just sooooo much harder to read," but I kept it up except for school related books now and then. Then the grand, glorious, relieving year of 2011 came and I scooped up my fiction books and began to read. Believe it or not, a great realization hit me after reading a couple. I couldn't stand how fluffy these books were. Most people would probably disagree with me, and that's okay, since these books were "good, wholesome classics" by some terms. But I couldn't handle it. It was like eating marshmallow fluff. You have to eat some real nourishing food in order to keep from getting an upset stomach. When telling a friend my woes she reminded me that I had just spent the last year reading no fiction. It was like a lightbulb went on. So, what is my point? Well, for those of you who might have been wondering, I'm back on my fiction fast and am still planning on reading music books this year. The only difference is that I will be reading books on other topics as well as music.

God is so good! He continues to help me grow more and more in Him and continues to teach me about His wonderful gift of music. I hope to continue sharing what He teaches me in this area. As a side note, I will be continuing "Whatsoever Things," in the near future. Just hang in there.

In Christ and For His Kingdom,


P.S. Does anybody know if you can play the penny whistle with the right hand playing on top? I would really like to not have to re-learn penny whistle. :-)