|This example was taped up on the wall in the room |
where my kids were learning this music.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Summer Happenings 2016 Part 2: Singing School!
About this time last year, we learned about singing school, or "music camp", that a local church provides, for free, for 4 days and evenings, with lunch and dinner included. What a blessing! The only problem was.... it takes place in June, so we were too late last time, but I kept my eyes peeled for the dates when summer rolled around this year.
The church that provides this ministry is a Primitive Baptist Church, so they don't sing with any instruments at all.
We learned how to sing songs by using something called shape notes.
Ever heard of it?
The best way I can explain it is this: each shape represents the notes in a scale, no matter what key you're in.
I'm a visual learner, so maybe this picture here will help.
The first set of notes is in the key of C. Do (pronounced doh) begins on C and the rest of the notes follow up the scale. The second set is in the key of G. Do begins on G and the rest of the notes follow up that scale.
It's a pretty simple way to learn songs... kinda. Learn these note names, how to jump between them and music is a breeze... at least you don't have to know all the rest of music to learn to sing a song... kinda.
Here is one song we learned. It is an original from the incredibly talented man who was teaching the teen/adult class. It was so beautiful. We recorded it, along with the other 2 we learned.
We spent Monday-Thursday morning learning music using this method and Thursday evening, we just enjoyed ourselves picking songs from the hymnal and singing together. What a super blessed time this was.
Have you ever heard acapella singing in a congregation setting? It's so beautiful! I was moved to tears on more than one occasion.... of course, some of that had to do with the words we were singing. Powerful words + beautiful voices singing together = quite an emotional experience.
I don't know what else to say except Adelle and I wore ourselves out going back to the evening sessions, early enough for dinner and there is a very good chance that we'll do it again next year.
If you're interested in learning more about this, I found this very interesting article about the history of shape note singing.