Teaching Bible Truths through Song

"What the mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin." - Henry Ward Beecher

God blessed me as a little girl with a musical mother who knew the wisdom of teaching countless songs about God, the Bible, and living for Jesus. Amazingly, even though I hadn't sung many of them for years, I still recalled the melodies and words to teach them to my own children when homeschooling years later. It was then that I realized my mother's strategy was right. The best way to teach children about the love of Jesus is to put a song in their hearts.

Why Teach Songs?
All children benefit from experiences with music. Music enhances education with multisensory learning that includes the age-old memory aids of rhythm and rhyme. Rather than just listening to instruction, children retain more using a song's tempo and lyrics. Add movement or sign language, and a song becomes forever impressed in a child's memory.

Brain research verifies this fact. When children sing and move to music, their developing brains are entirely engaged and stimulated. With the brain's left and right sides both activated to stimulate learning and memorization, children are able to quickly process new information with songs. Most importantly, singing is not only physically and mentally engaging, but it also is a fun and exciting way for a child to learn about God, memorize Bible verses, and develop godly character qualities.

How to Teach Songs
Today's technology allows children to hear a wide variety of music, but it's important for homeschooling parents to know that listening to recorded music does not offer children the same benefits as making music and singing with real people. So, how does a musically challenged homeschool parent teach a child a song?

Start with the words. Then, introduce the melody.
A tried and true method of learning a song's lyrics is to use "call and response" or echoing. Sing a line and have your child sing it back to you. Continue through the song once or twice. Then, sing the song together. If your pitch isn't perfect, don't worry. Enthusiasm is the only main requirement.

If you are able to play the piano or another musical instrument, introduce it after your child has learned the song fairly well. This will prevent the instrument from becoming a distraction rather than an aid.

Include movement and visuals
Hand movements or signing, felt board figures, brightly illustrated pictures, puppets, or other props reduce singing inhibitions while adding an element of fun. In addition to teaching the melody and words, providing a reminder of the next verse, and allowing expression of emotions, these visuals can also re-enforce the song's biblical concepts and meaning.

Sweeten the fun
Try adding your own words to familiar songs with lots of repetition and well-known melodies like "B-I-N-G-O," "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," and "The Farmer in the Dell." Just replace the words with ones that work for your Bible story or lesson.

Older children will love coming up with their own lyrics to familiar songs as an activity to complement Monarch, Switched-On Schoolhouse and LIFEPAC Bible assignments. By writing a song, they'll learn the biblical concept far more deeply than if they just listened to a lesson.

Can't Find the Right Song?
Let Alpha Omega Publications help! With fun-filled children's titles on music CDs, as well as music-filled DVDs, you'll find Christ-centered songs that will make your child bubble over with the love of Jesus all day. In fact, you can listen to this best-selling favorite from the Horizons Preschool Sing Along CD and start making a joyful noise unto the Lord with your child today!

"I'm a Little Candle"

I'm a little candle shining in the dark
It's the light of Jesus shining in my heart
I will shine
I will shine
Like a candle in the dark
I will shine

We are little candles shining in the dark
It's the light of Jesus shining in our hearts
We will shine
We will shine
Like little candles in the dark
We will shine

(This song also can be sung as an "echo me" song).

I'm a little candle (I'm a little candle)
Shining in the dark (Shining in the dark)
It's the light of Jesus (It's the light of Jesus)
Shining in my heart (Shining in my heart)
I will shine (I will shine)
I will shine (I will shine)
(Together) Like a candle in the dark
I will shine

We are little candles (We are little candles)
Shining in the dark (Shining in the dark)
It's the light of Jesus (It's the light of Jesus)
Shining in our hearts (Shining in our hearts)
We will shine (We will shine)
We will shine (We will shine)
(Together) Like little candles in the dark
We will shine

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