In the same way that a certain smell can stir up powerful memories, music has a way of going deep and reaching the soul, catching in that place where words blend with feelings to create, or evoke the strongest of emotions. Today, I share with you the art of hymn study.
“Music is the art of thinking with sounds.”Jules Combarieu
Words to familiar songs often bring me back to when I first heard them or they bring up feelings related to the words of the song and events that are tied in my mind to the music The hymn sung at my grandfather’s funeral. The cheery tunes sung by the choir at the Christmas cantata, or the doxology after the Lord ’s Supper. These songs reach into my soul and remind us that thou we are but mortals we can glimpse the eternal.
Worshiping God through music that just draws me in and brings peace and joy to my soul. In our home we enjoy a variety of music; ranging from traditional hymns, to bluegrass worship, to contemporary praise.
In addition to listening and singing along, we like to study various hymns. In taking the time to look closer at the lyrics, the scripture behind the songs, and the stories of how or why they were written, one can more profoundly understand, and relate, to the powerful messages that are included in these works.
Does that mean that your hymns shouldn’t be fun? Inspiring? Or that your worship should be full of work? Of course not! Don’t get overwhelmed, and don’t fret that you struggled with high school poetry.
“Where words fail, music speaks.”Hans Christian Andersen
Making Hymn Study Fun
What can make a hymn study even more fun and powerful? Adding art to that study! Nana, here at You are an Artist, has done an entire course of art lessons that connect especially to hymns. This allows students to experience the songs in new ways and engages students that might not otherwise be interested in music. It’s the art of hymn study!
Nana has a knack for taking inspiration from the music, and helping artists of any level recreate her vision. A masterpiece created by your children also allows the opportunity to discuss the image, meaning, and inspiration with others. “Here Grandma! I made this for you. It’s a picture of the three Kings…”
To add more art to your hymn studies (or hymn studies to your art), you can check out this selection of hymns that already have lessons and hymn studies. Check the hymns course in your “You Are An Artist Clubhouse Membership” each month for new hymns.
Hymn Study and Art Pairings
- Amazing Grace paired with a beautiful painting of John Newton with one of his ships.
- America the Beautiful portrayed by an adorable painting of a ‘purple mountain’ and the plains.
- Just As I Am depicted by a painting of Paul’s shipwreck.
- Sweet By and By and a fun painting Pa with His fiddle from The Long Winter, since it was his favorite song.
- He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands wonderfully painted with a picture of a globe and two hands.
- We Gather Together paired with this painting of a beautiful little village.
- Jesus Loves Me depicted in this painting of Jesus with small children.
- My Country Tis of Thee represented by a beautiful patriotic scene including the American flag.
- Rise and Shine or Arky Arky combined with this adorable painting of a sunrise over a mountain.
- In the Garden illustrated using a painting of Jesus and a child going for a walk in the garden.
- Count Your Blessings paired with a fun mixed media sunflower art lesson.
- We Three Kings depicted by three camels on a beautiful backdrop of color.
- I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day portrayed by a beautiful snow covered village.
You might also like:
Dawn is a passionate follower of Jesus, wife to Chris, and homeschool mom of four. In her spare time she loves to read, hike, and write on her blog Schoolin’ Swag. She enjoys reviewing curriculum and helping moms find the right fit for their family.