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Make Music a Priority

by Sherilyn Burgdorf
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When talking to educators in the last months of summer, there’s a feeling that “we’re already there!” These hard working planners have already plotted out what’s needed for the new learning year to begin in the fall. During August, the music ministries at Zion are doing the same thing. Choir & handbell directors are meeting to plan out the Sunday morning and Wednesday schedules; there are lots of new music pieces on our playlists, and we all start wondering who will be joining the many choirs, handbell ensembles, and worship teams this fall. Keep watching for info about the fall music starting dates.

Senior Choir and Joyful Ringers (high school-adult) will begin on September 7.

Wednesday scheduling is still in progress for elementary, middle school, and high school choirs and bells. Watch for emails, announcements, & info from directors during August & early September.

Why make music a priority at Zion? Our thanks to Emily Gerbi who created this top ten list from her experiences as a Zion musician.

10. Opportunities to Participate in Worship

Not every part of a worship service feels accessible to kids in the pews and occupying the same space as adults at the front of the church can be exciting. Pastors and adult readers, musicians, communion servers, and ushers have important leadership roles, but kids can get involved too!

9. Confidence

There’s no audience more forgiving and welcoming than a church congregation. Zion is a safe place to test the waters and explore public performances for the first time.

8. Knowledge

Many of the songs children learn are based on familiar Bible stories and can help reinforce the messages present in those stories. We know that music is a great way to remember Bible verses, songs lyrics, & hymn texts that are so helpful through our lives.

7. Hand-Eye Coordination

Handbells, especially, require kids to practice listening, watching, and moving at the same time. The actions kids learn in some choir songs help them work on hand-eye coordination too. Those multi-tasking skills are something that young learners pick up very quickly!

6. Service to Others

Music brings light and hope to those that need it. So, whether it’s a Sunday morning in church, a video created for social media, or a trip to perform at a local nursing home or neighboring church, Zion’s Music Ministry allows kids to serve those around them in a meaningful way.

5. Lifelong Memories

Every kid’s memories will be different, but they will be happy memories! You can be sure that your music leaders will give you a warm welcome even after you’ve “graduated” from children/youth music groups.

4. Friends

Music-making is a great environment for making new friends. Kids will look forward to heading to church if they know their friends will be there. Church choirs and handbell ensembles are also another place for kids to catch up with their Sunday school friends midweek.

3. Mentors

The adults who direct or assist with choirs and handbells at Zion are amazing mentors in music, faith, and life. For these leaders, it’s about more than the music – they want kids to feel welcome and loved and will continue to encourage kids as they grow.

2. Skills for the Future

The skills and experiences kids get from their choir and handbell participation will follow them as they grow into adulthood. The performance skills become useful in school and community choirs, bands, and orchestras. As kids grow up and move away from home, their experiences can help them plug into new church homes.

1. The most important on the list: Growing in Faith

Children and youth participating in Music Ministry at Zion are surrounded by loving people while singing and ringing about God’s greatness and Christ’s love. We truly want Zion’s musicians to share, strengthen, and serve in the congregation and community.


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