Our family gets together on the Fourth of July weekend at our church camp to enjoy each others' fellowship, and to practice singing. Then we sing at a church on Sunday, so that once a year we once again become the Klemp Family Singers. This year we picked up where we left off three years ago, having missed two summers, one for a wider family reunion and the next summer for a wedding.
As we began singing in that first rehearsal, we realized that while all of our eight children were there, many of our older grandchildren were missing. We knew that, of course. They had jobs, music camp, etc., but we always assumed that the kids familiar with the music would bring the younger ones along. Instead the oldest row of sopranos (there were three adult voices) included one grandchild aged 13 and then it dropped to 11-year-olds on down. They kept turning around and looking at us with bewilderment as each song arrived. They were having trouble reading choir music. Each song seemed to be a new song.
About three songs in it finally dawned on us. Having missed the past two years, the last time we sang this crop of grandchildren included one 11 year old with all the rest being 9 or younger. Other years we did not worry about the little ones. They did fine following the older cousins' leads, but now the "little ones" were the leaders, and barely remembered the songs!!
Well, they have Klemp Family Singer blood, and I am happy to report that five rehearsals later they knew the music and all went well.
Every Christmas I remind myself of the importance of Parochial school and Sunday school Christmas programs; the importance of playing and singing Christian music in our homes. What are well known and loved songs to us are not known at all by our children until we teach them to them. Never assume "common knowledge". Things become "common to the community" only when passed down faithfully by you and me.
"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress
them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when
you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6: 6-9