Hymn study has long been a staple of many homeschool Morning Times. One of the greatest gifts you can give your non-readers is the ability to sing along during worship. This week we are chatting with Kari Bass of Hymns at Home about the benefits of studying hymns and some of the resources she has available to make it easier on homeschool families.
Links and resources from today’s show:
- SPONSOR: Maestro Classics
- Charlotte Mason Homeschooling
- Ambleside Online
- Kari’s website, Hymns at Home
- Hymns on Pandora
- And Can It Be?
- Amazing Grace
- Christ The Lord Is Risen Today
- Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed
- In the Bleak Mid-winter
- Ambleside Online: Christina Rossetti Poems
Pam: This is Your Morning Basket, where we help you bring truth, goodness and beauty to your homeschool day. Hi everyone and welcome to episode 33 of the Your Morning Basket Podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I’m so happy that you are joining me here today. Well, Kari Bass was inspired by her toddler’s burgeoning love of hymns to create a hymn resource that would bless homeschool families everywhere. Looking for simple recordings of hymns that she could use to teach to her children, they created a website that now is available to everyone. Kari joins me on the podcast today to talk about that resource that her family has created, and also to talk about the role that hymns play in Morning Time and their importance for us as Christian people. It was a wonderful conversation, and I think you’re going to enjoy it. We’ll get right to it after this word from our sponsor.
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Kari Bass is a mother who homeschools her children in a classical education style, strongly influenced by Charlotte Mason and the AmblesideOnline curriculum. Her three children are ages six, four, and two. Kari has a baccalaureate degree in literature and a minor in piano performance. Before leaving the professional world to teach her children, she worked for medical and legal nonprofit organizations, and she teaches piano and is especially fond of the piano works of the romantic artists. Through her work at Hymns at Home, Kari strives to make beautiful recordings of great hymns easily available to families, and she joins us on this episode to discuss teaching hymns to our children during Morning Time. Kari, welcome to the program.
Kari: Thanks for having me, Pam. It's a pleasure to be here.
Pam: Well, let's start off with you telling us a little bit I know you do Morning Time in your home, tell us a little bit about what Morning Time looks like for you with a six, four, and two year old.
Kari: Well, often it looks a little bit crazy. The two year old is not always interested in what we're doing but like many on your podcast before have recommended, we have a little basket of special items that she is only allowed to play with during Morning Time. It's kind of developed over the years. I think we've been doing it now for about four years and it started when my son was about two and a half, and I hadn't even heard of the idea of Morning Time but kind of intuitively knew that I wanted to start the day with Bible reading and then it kind of grew from there. Right now we have a routine that we go through every day, and we start with hymns. We read the Bible, pray, do recitation, poetry memorization, free reads, and usually one other thing. And that might be artist study or it might be animal book, that's what which did most recently was just read one page out of an animal book every day because that was of interest to my children at the time. And so that's what our Morning Time looks like right now.
Pam: Oh, great. And so about how long do you think it takes you to do all of that?
Kari: Well, I like to leave the free read for the very last thing we do; so that if it's going well, I can read kind of as long as the two year old is interested. But it could be as short as just five minutes of reading, making it maybe 20 minutes long total or it could be even longer on a really good day.
Pam: Oh, wow. Yeah, I like that flexibility. Well, we're going to talk a little bit about hymns today; so let's kind of dig back into your childhood and talk about your experience with hymns. Were you raised on hymns? Or did you grow to love them more as an adult?
Kari: So I actually didn't grow up singing hymns. I was raised in the church, and I attended private Christian school through high school and both of those settings I mostly sang contemporary praise songs and a few hymns here and there. But it wasn't until I got married to my husband, about nine years ago that we began attending church that sang hymns. He grew up in a liturgical tradition that did sing hymns and that was something that was important to him. And so when we started attending churches that sang hymns, I kind of had this notion that congregations that sang hymns were kind of stiff and emotionless, because they did not express emotion in the same way that I was used to seeing it expressed when people sang praise songs. No one was closing their eyes or raising their hands but in singing hymns the last nine years, what I've come to realize is that closing your eyes and raising your hands may not always be the appropriate emotion that a hymn is expressing; it maybe a joyful hymn or a triumphant hymn or one that is sorrowful. And so there is such a variety of emotions expressed through hymns, and I've really come to appreciate that about hymns. It wasn't even really until two years ago, through our daughter, that we began incorporating hymns as part of our family culture. She came home from Bible school, which we went to every week, and she started singing Holy, Holy, Holy! And I had no idea that she knew this hymn or that she had memorized the entire first verse (at two and a half, and I have to say she was an early talker so that helped things) but I just realized that even at two and a half, she had the capacity to enjoy and memorize hymns. And not only that but whenever we would be listening to Pandora around the house she would start asking to hear "God songs" as she called them, and so that's when we kind of began incorporating hymns into our Morning Time because she had a particular interest in them and helped me to see that they had the capacity to begin learning them.
Pam: Oh, that's interesting. And, okay, so I want to touch on one of the things you said there. You said that you learned that the response for a hymn is not always closing your eyes and raising your hands, and it just got me to thinking about some of the hymns we use in the liturgy of our church, and you said some are triumphant and some are more sad and, I'm thinking to, you know, some of the liturgy around the Triduum, in our church, at Easter, and we have the Good Friday Service, and just kind of the kind of low, mournful, repetitive hymns that we sing during that service that it's almost like it's setting a mood there. And then you have these hymns that you do sing out really loud and really strong because they are more triumphant. And then you also have hymns that kind of encompass theology, and there's a deep theology in there; so that's very interesting about I haven't really thought much about the fact that there are all these different purposes and responses to hymns.
Kari: Exactly. And I think that's one of the great things about hymns is that they, through music, encourage us to write in proper emotion towards God, and our expressing these deep spiritual truths that maybe we know in our minds but that the music helps us to actually feel and really deeply know.
Pam: Oh, yeah. Yeah, the music helps to us feel. I love that. The music helps to us feel what we know in our mind. That's really yeah, that's good. Well, let's talk about so you came late to hymns. Do you have any favorites now that you've kind of developed in these past nine years since you started singing them?
Kari: Oh, yes. And this is one of those hard questions, like asking someone what their favorite book is. So I think I will share with you two of my favorite hymns. One general hymn and then one Christmas carol because those are really in a genre all their own. One of my favorite hymns is, And Can It Be, which is an important hymn in our family, because seven years ago, when my son was born, he's our first child, I decided that I wanted to include singing a hymn as part of our sleep routine, and so I picked And Can It Be. It was just a hymn that I was recently enjoying at church, and as you can imagine over the past seven years, I have sung And Can It Be innumerable times putting our children to sleep, and they all know it as well because of this. But the more I sing it, the more I love it. And I think that's part of the beauty of hymns, is that the more familiar we are with it, the more we enjoy it, and the more it has to offer. And it doesn't ever become boring or stale. And And Can It Be I specifically enjoy, because it is talking about a very important theological idea salvation. But it's talking about it in a very upbeat and positive way, and there are many ways to deal with the topic of salvation. Amazing Grace is expressing gratefulness. Christ Our Lord Has Risen Today is expressing praise. Alas, And Did Our Savior Bleed is expressing sorrow. But And Can It Be is a unique expression of praise, because it's expressing wonder and astonishment that I should gain an interest in the Savior's blood, and it's very triumphant. And so I just think that is really unique and that’s why I enjoy this hymn so much. The Christmas carol that I really have come to enjoy a lot recently is In the Bleak Midwinter, which we recently recorded for Hymns at Home, and when I post a hymn on Hymns at Home, I always include information about the composer of the tune, and the author of the text, and some hymn history. So it's all right there. And when I began to collect this information, I didn't know anything about In the Bleak Midwinter, but I discovered that the text was written by Christina Rossetti, who is one of the selected poets for the AmblesideOnline year two curriculum, which my son and I are currently going through. And the composer of the tune is Gustov Holts, who is a 20th century composer famous for "The Planets." And so you have this talented poet writing the text originally for a Christmas edition of a magazine, and a composer who is well known in the classical canon and together they're creating this hymn where the tune is just perfectly expressing the emotion of the text. And I think that in the greatest hymns, the tune is helping us to interpret the text. In this particular hymn, the text is talking about the Nativity of Christ and that cold, bleak night on which he was born. And the tune is simple and bleak and still, and so perfectly is paired together. And so if we, as classical educators, valued teaching our children poetry and we value teaching our children classical music together we have that in this hymn. And that's not always the case, but it is in this case.
Pam: No, I love that. Okay, I'm not familiar with that one; so I'm going to have to go over to Hymns at Home when we get off the call here and listen to that, because now you have me totally intrigued.
Kari, why do you think it's important for us to memorize hymns?
Kari: Well, I think this is a real relevant question, and I think it is absolutely it is important for our children to memorize hymns. It's a valuable thing and as mothers and educators, when we decide what to include in our curriculum, how do we choose? We have limited time, and when we think about education, I like to use the Circe Institute definition of education, which is "that education is the cultivation of wisdom and virtue by nourishing the soul on truth, goodness, and beauty." And hymns really fit that definition. They’re full of truth, goodness, and beauty. They’re full of truth. They often reference scripture. Be Thou My Vision has over 40 scripture references alone. And even if the hymns don't specifically reference scripture, they are expressing theological truths that have stood the test of time throughout generations of Christians and even different cultures. It is also good to sing praises to God. It is commanded in the Bible. Psalm 149:1 says: "Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a new song; sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful." And hymns are beautiful. Like we discussed with In the Bleak Midwinter, these are poetically expressed theological truths set to beautiful music that inspires our emotions to write in proper emotions towards God.
Pam: I like that. And, you know, I think about the role that stained glass used to play in a church. You would go into a church and there are all of these Bible stories or scenes from the life of Christ in this beautiful stained glass in the windows. And it served a couple of purposes, one of which was to educate the masses who came into the church about the life of Christ because you had all of these things displayed there in the glass. But they were also really beautifully done; so not only did it relay information through the pictures there but the beauty of it inspired people to love. I mean, beauty does that. It inspired people to love those stories because beholding it was so wonderful, and I think hymns are really similar in that you can get theological truths, you can get scripture references. In addition to that, you get it in such a beautiful way; it makes such a great package that it does order our affections in that right way.
Kari: Exactly. And I think just like art, music is another medium through which these truths are expressed and different people are reached by different mediums. Particularly my daughter loves music, and that's why I think hymns really speak to her. My son is more engineering minded, and so music doesn't appeal to him quite as much but that's okay. But to specifically address not only why do we teach hymns, but why do we memorize hymns, I think that one of the reasons why, is because we're helping to order their affections. And that these are concepts I want my children to internalize and to love. And when they experience situations in their adult life, they can recall these hymns and that they can be an encouragement and a comfort to them; this is what I want to furnish their minds with so that when they feel failure, they can recall Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine or Jesus Lover of My Soul or when they experience loss, they can be comforted by It Is Well With My Soul or when they really are wrestling with who God really is, they can think, oh, Immortal Invisible God Only Wise. So I want to provide our children with this resource of the wisdom of hymns that will serve them later.
Pam: I agree. And then there's a great practical aspect too because little kids it takes them a while to learn to read. So if you think about your two and a half year old memorizing hymns by the time she got to the age where she was reading (your typical child) she's been able to sing a lot of hymns in church, because she knew them.
Kari: Exactly. And I think that's one of the ways in which memorizing hymns has impacted our family; that our children, even before they can read, can participate in corporate worship and feel a part of the church family during church instead of simply being quiet.
Pam: I agree. And it really does make them feel part of that worship or that liturgy because they are able to do that. And even once a child learns to read, a hymnal is not the easiest book to follow along in.
Kari: Or even teaching the hymns to our children, they're not going to understand every word. It's really funny to hear my then three year old say "pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise," which is one of the lines of Oh Worship the King. But it's okay if she doesn't completely understand it now. We're just planting seeds for when she will understand it later.
Pam: Well, that bring up another question I was going to ask you. As a rule, do you explain what the words mean in the hymn? Or the theology behind it when you introduce a new hymn for your kids to memorize?
Kari: You know, my kids are quite young; so no. I don't. And I can't speak to what families with older kids would do, and that's one of the reasons why I do include hymn histories and background information on Hymns at Home. But we simply sing them and enjoy them and occasionally I'll say, "do you know what that word means?" Then we can talk about it, but I just kind of teach from rest and plant that seed.
Pam: So you could do it differently? For if you have a family with a lot of younger children or even a mixed family where the younger children are going to check out and start causing mischief, it's enough just to sing the hymn. But if you have a bunch of older children, then you can dig in a little bit deeper.
Kari: I think so. For us, we've kind of just sung the hymns and enjoyed them. However, for my daughter who’s now four and enjoys hymns, we have delved a little bit deeper and done some things outside of Morning Time that are just fun with hymns. For example, I found a book on Amazon called, Amazing Grace: Illustrated Stories of Favorite Hymns, by a hymnologist Kenneth Osbeck. And it has illustrated stories of a really good selection of about 30 hymns and so I ordered it, and when it came, we immediately sat down together and started looking at the pages. And I told her these were stories about "God songs" that we like to sing. And so she pointed to one of the pictures and she said, "Mom, why is there a ship here? What is that?" And I was able to tell her, "Well, this is the story about Horatio Spafford who wrote It Is Well With My Soul, and his daughter died on a ship." And he was able to still say "When sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul." And so she was fascinated by the story and started asking me later to sing, you know, the song about the ship. And so I do think that if you have a child that has a specific interest in music or hymns, there are so many things that you can do to encourage that interest. On Hymns at Home we have a resources page and it lists a number of resources that you can do further with your children.
Pam: Okay, great. So you can add extra things to it. Well, let's talk a little bit you kind of hinted at this just a minute ago that people might make the argument that old hymns are no longer relevant and the language is a little too archaic and lofty for children. What do you say to those people who are, like, why do you do this with your kids, and they don't know what the words mean?
Kari: Right. I think in response I would say, “You know, whether or not the language is archaic and maybe old fashioned, are the ideas expressed in them archaic and old fashioned?” And the answer is, absolutely not. And I like to compare hymns to books because maybe that's something we understand a little bit better when we're trying to judge what is a worthwhile or living book to teach to our children? And recently I was reading Beatrix Potter: The Tailor of Gloucester to our children, and they loved it. And that has tons of archaic and lofty language, but when we were talking about a “pipkin of milk” or a “cherry twist,” they loved it. Even if they weren't able to understand these old British terms, I think they grasped the concept of the story, and they loved it. Another example is Shakespeare. We teach our children a very complex form of language through Shakespeare, and we believe the ideas are really valuable, and that it's worthwhile to teach Shakespeare for its ideas. And not only that, but that the language is valuable as well. Andrew Pudewa from IEW, I can't remember exactly how he says it, but he talks about teaching our children well structured and highly developed language patterns through poetry. And that learning those language patterns, they will internalize it and reflect it in their words and their writing. And I think that hymns are just another way to do that. Hymns are well structured, highly developed language patterns, and we hope that they will reflect it, not only in their language, but that the concepts expressed by the hymns, they will also reflect that in their own lives.
Pam: That's great. Okay. Well, let's get down to the nitty gritty of how to do this. So first of all, let's talk a little bit about Hymns at Home. This is a website that you've started, and it's really a labor of love; isn't it?
Kari: It is. We started it really because of our daughter requesting to hear "God songs," and when we started searching for hymns online, what we found were kind of two different types of hymns. We found choral recordings, or four-part harmony, which still very beautiful, had a very rich and full sound that was hard for her to distinguish the words; and so she couldn't hear them to sing along. And the second type of hymns we found were recordings by Christian music artists that had done their own take, or maybe interpreted a hymn through the music, and those were also hard because sometimes the music overwhelmed the voice; and she couldn't hear the words to the hymn, which is what she really was looking for. And so when we were trying to find just simple, accessible recordings of hymns we couldn't find them, and so we finally decided to put an example of what we were looking for out there, because we thought if we want this resource, surely other families are looking for this resource too. And we do hope for it to be an example. We hope in the future that this will become a collaborative effort. We want it to become a searchable database of hymns that many people contribute to, and so, if you know someone who loves singing hymns or you have a high schooler at home who loves to sing, this would be a great project for them to record a hymn and contribute to this database. And the only piece of recording equipment that we used was an iPad.
Pam: Okay. And so do you sing these A capella? Or do you have an accompaniment to them? Because I know you play piano.
Kari: I do. So my husband and I both have musical backgrounds, and that's how we met in college; and so he wanted to do this for our daughter. And he said, "Well, Kari, why don't you sing, and I'll play the piano?" And I said, "Me sing? No, I'm not a vocalist. I never have been. Any time I performed in a choir, I was playing the piano” but we really wanted to do it. If, not only for our children, and then we decide if we were going to do, may be it would be helpful to other families as well.
Pam: Okay. And so what can I find at Hymns at Home? What kind of resources do you have for me, if I want to use this in my Morning Time?
Kari: We have an A to Z index of hymns. We have about 30 hymns on there right now and growing, and we have specifically the hymn rotation for this year's curriculum of AmblesideOnline, which is the curriculum we follow because we knew that those families in particular would be looking for recordings of hymns to use in their home. And each page of a hymn has, like I said, some background information on the hymn but it also has ways to listen to the recording on YouTube with lyrics to stream it online or to download it for free, and that was really important to us. We live in southern California, and we drive a lot, and so we always want to redeem that time in the car by putting on audio books or music that we enjoy; and one of those are hymns, and so we wanted other families to be able to do that same thing. You'll also find that the recordings are very simple. The music is serving the text, and this is an educational resource not a performance.
Pam: Okay. So as a mom and I just really want to stress here that while you follow that AmblesideOnline rotation, the resource is not only for families who are doing AmblesideOnline, any homeschooling family, no matter what flavor of homeschooling they do, if they want to bring hymns into their home, they can go over and find a selection of hymns that they can incorporate into their Morning Time?
Kari: Exactly. And even though we do use the AmblesideOnline curriculum, we don't actually follow the hymn rotation ourselves. I've decided that for our own children, who are very young, it was best to pick hymns that we did sing in church and that they could immediately relate to. And I also pick hymns that I myself have affection for because I enjoy it, and because I want to share those with them and share that relationship with them. And I think they can see when I enjoy a hymn, and they enjoy it more because of that.
Pam: And if you're the one singing it and putting it out on the internet, then you get to choose the ones you like!
Kari: Exactly. So you will see our favorite hymns on Hymns at Home.
Pam: Well, and one of the things that you just said that I love, and I really want to stress for families who are listening to this and thinking about incorporating some hymn study into their Morning Time, all of the resources that Kari offers at Hymns at Home are great, and the site, Kari, is just beautiful, but you really do have to start with those hymns that you sing at your church for it to really have the most meaning for your family. Don't you agree?
Kari: I agree. And I know this can be a problem if you don't go to a church that sings hymns, and so I think there are resources for those families because teaching hymns can still be valuable and meaningful for your family. And so if you don't have a church that sings hymns I do have a couple of recommended resources that I think are helpful: Simply Charlotte Mason puts out a curriculum called "Singing the Great Hymns" that has a wonderful selection of hymns that you can choose from. There are illustrated hymnals and resources that you can find. The one I mentioned earlier by Kenneth Osbeck, Amazing Grace: Illustrated Stories of Favorite Hymns, is a good place to start that simply has 30 hymns included. My First Hymnal by David Johnson, which is put out by Concordia Publishing House, is another one, and those are hymnals for children but they're not childish hymnals. It's simply a good selection of hymns that are accessible for children.
Pam: Do you think it's important for families who go to churches that don't sing hymns to incorporate hymns in their home?
Kari: Absolutely. I think hymns have value apart from corporate worship- just like we were discussing to help order their affections and to provide them with another resource through which to understand the Christian faith.
Pam: Oh, that's a great answer. I love that. Okay. So if I want to introduce a new hymn to my kids in Morning Time I'm getting off the call with you; I'm super excited tomorrow morning, and I want to run down and introduce a new one. How do that I do that?
Kari: Well, first of all, it does not take that much time or energy. It takes us less than five minutes to do our hymns in Morning Time, and what the prep work that I had is simply selecting a hymn and printing out the lyrics. Now, you can do that by using a hymnal. Or you can print it from an online resource. Two really good ones are CyberHymnal and Hymnary. CyberHymnal uses complete text of hymns, as in all 18 verses of Oh for a Thousand Tongues to Sing. And Hymnary uses a more condensed version of verses that a variety of denominations use, and they actually have images of public domain hymnals that you can print out, if you can read music, then you can follow along with that. When we do hymns in our Morning Time, I'm always teaching a new one and reviewing one that we've already learned. And we simply do one new hymn a month and one verse each week. So that only means we do four verses of a hymn, which sometimes is not the entire hymn, but I found that after a month of singing one hymn every day, we kind of get a little tired of it; and we want to do something else. So, simply when we're reviewing it, I try to slowly add new verses, but that's kind of what our family can take at this point. I don't make them just sit there and sing- their hands can be occupied with art or LEGO's or whatever you have them do at Morning Time, and I want them to enjoy it; so I found if I get too precise on did we memorize ever word of the hymn? We all start to enjoy it less. But if I simply sing it through once and let that be it, they actually learn a lot more than if I am pressuring them.
Pam: Those were some really good points in there, and one of the ones that I loved is you know your families limitation. You know that a month of singing any one hymn is enough, and it's time for you to move on to something else, whether you learned every verse or not.
Kari: Exactly. And so for many, that means we only know the first four verses, but I think for now at these ages, that's enough.
Pam: That's awesome. And then so when you do the review, you said any given month, you're learning one new hymn, and you're reviewing an old hymn, and so you just kind of have all of those old hymn stored in a binder and you rotate through which one you're going to review each month?
Kari: Exactly. I actually review a new one every day that we've done in the past.
Pam: Oh, okay. So every day is the new hymn you're working on, and it's the current verse. So let's say week one of the month you're doing the first verse of the new hymn and then every day you're also doing one review hymn. And then the second week of the month, you're doing the second verse of the new hymn, and also one review hymn. One new review hymn every day; so is that the pattern?
Kari: I actually had not thought of it, but that sounds like a wonderful way to do it. We actually review a different hymn every day, but I think that there is a lot of flexibility with families, and what they find works for them. So I'm going to try that, Pam.
Pam: Okay. Well, just keep those old hymns in review rotation, however, you work that out. And the wonderful thing about the world of homeschooling, is six months from now, somebody's going to leave a comment on the Show Notes for this post, and they're going to tell me some fabulous idea of what they do, and it's going to be, like, wow! I they ever thought of that? So that's great.
Kari: Yes. Exactly.
Pam: Okay. So what kind of tools do I need in my Morning Basket in order to do hymns? Do you keep an MP3 player in there? Or some kind of speaker? Or not at all?
Kari: Well, it really depends if you're high tech or a low tech. And our family is definitely low tech. So all I use is the printed out lyrics and my voice, and I teach from there. But for high tech families, I have heard from other moms, that they use the Hymns at Home recordings, streaming online to actually teach the hymns. And I think this is a great option for moms who may not feel confident in themselves singing the hymns or may not even be familiar with the hymn themselves but really want to learn it. And I think that, you know, as Charlotte Mason said, "Education is a life." And that can be showing our children that we're learning right alongside them, and we're learning it together and enjoying it together. And so definitely having the printed out hymns that your family has learned in a folder or binder for easy tracking is something you would want in your Morning Basket. And whether or not you want to stream it would be up to you.
Pam: Right. We would probably stream it, just because I always like to have the music to go along. Okay. So there are going to be people out there, I can hear them now, who cry out in the wilderness, “We can't sing.” What do you say to those people?
Kari: I would say, exactly, that we're learning together. And that if we can show our children that even if we're not confident in our voice, that we still believe singing hymns together is important, then that is the important lesson. Not that our pride keeps us from singing because we're not confident in our voice, but that we believe this is important enough to do together, that I'm going to show you my voice. And just to teach confidently. And if using the Hymns at Home recordings to lead that hymn time is a helpful resource, then I am so glad that we can help provide that.
Pam: I think that's a key probably for a lot of people who are a little more apprehensive about trying to lead singing; and having a resource like Hymns at Home to kind of lean back on and help them along with that is it going to be a big confidence builder for them and allow them to enjoy hymns in a way that they might not have otherwise been able to do that. So that's great. Well, Kari I noticed on Hymns the Home, you actually have a space there, a page about submitting a hymn; so tell us a little bit about how people can help you with this project and have a hymn on the site?
Kari: Sure. We do have a page that sets some guidelines that we use for recording hymns on Hymns at Home. Simple recordings just an instrument and a voice and how to do it. And so if people can record hymns and submit them, then we can grow our database so much faster and provide so many more resources for families. And we are definitely even open to having multiple recordings of the same hymn. I have a fairly low woman's alto voice, and that range may not be comfortable for everybody. But if we were able to have multiple recordings, we would have different ranges that people could sing, and so if you want more information about that or know someone who would be just perfect to record hymns, please contact us and send them the link to our website.
Pam: I bet this is a huge undertaking for you guys; so having help like that would be really helpful.
Kari: It would be. We have so many hymns that are waiting in the wings to be recorded, and we have limited time and though this has been a wonderful way for us to recall our passion of music that we first met in college upon and share it with our children, we just don't have all the time to record the hymns that we'd like.
Pam: And you know who I think this would be a great project for? Would be musical teens. You know that would just be a real good project for them to record a couple of hymns for your site, because it would help them with their performing, and they would learn a little bit about recording. And it would be a service project as well. So moms out there with musical teens turn them on to Kari's site here and see if we can get a few more hymns up there for them.
Kari: Exactly. I thought this would be the perfect project to give music credit for, for high schoolers, because I've learned so much in recording a hymn. I've really had to internalize the words and learn the breathing patterns for different hymns that this really has grown my vocal ability, and so I think it would be a really good project for teens.
Pam: Awesome. Well, Kari, thank you so much for coming on today to talk to us about hymns and their importance and the work that you're doing at Hymns at Home and tell everybody where they can find you online.
Kari: Sure. They can find Hymns at Home at hymnsathome.com, and all the resources that we talked about today are right there.
Pam: Pretty easy. And we'll include links to everything in the Show Notes as well. Well, Kari, thank you so much.
Kari: Thank you, Pam.
Pam: And there you have it. Now, our Basket Bonus for this episode is a printable tracking sheet for the hymns that your family has learned. You can print out this attractive sheet, put it in your Morning Time binder and it will allow to you keep a record of all the hymns you've learned. And it even has some spaces there for you to help you with your review of your hymns as well. Now, you can find that at the Show Notes for this episode. Those are at pambarnhill.com/ymb33. There you can get the Basket Bonus and plus links to Hymns at Home and all of the other resources that Kari and I chatted about today. Also, at that location there are some instructions there for you if you would like to leave a rating or review for the Your Morning Basket Podcast on iTunes. The ratings and reviews that you leave on iTunes help us get word out about the podcast to other listeners, and so we really appreciate it when you do that. We’ll be back again in a couple of weeks with another great Morning Time interview. Until then, keep seeking Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in your homeschool day.
Key Ideas about Hymns in Morning Time
- Hymns express truth, goodness, and beauty. They contain theological truths from scripture or ideas that have been expressed in various ways through generations of Christianity. Hymns are good in that they allow the person to sing praises to God. And, they are filled with beautiful language that will furnish the mind and inspire proper emotions toward God.
- Memorizing hymns allows even the youngest of children to participate in worship at church. Learning hymns is a way to order our affections to God and they proviide comfort and encouragement throughout our lives.
- Learning hymns in your homeschool doesn’t have to be difficult. You can be as high tech or low tech as you’d like. The goal is just to start singing!
Find what you want to hear:
- 2:50 meet Kari Bass
- 3:43 Morning Time in Kari’s home
- 5:30 Kari’s experience with hymns: hymns provide various expressions of deep spiritual truths
- 9:39 favorite hymns
- 13:39 the importance of memorizing hymns
- 18:59 when to dig deeper with the meanings of the hymns
- 21:30 why it’s worthwhile to teach hymns even if the language seems outdated
- 23:50 how to teach hymns to children: Hymns at Home resource
- 33:19 rotating hymns and practical tools for teaching
- 36:02 when mom doesn’t think she can sing
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