Choir is a required course of the curriculum at Highlands Latin School. Every student, kindergarten through twelfth grade, participates in choir. As you can imagine, not everyone likes choir. Not every person enjoys singing or aspires to be a singer. It can be a challenge to motivate such students. However, I see the value in maintaining this curriculum requirement for three reasons:
Number one, and most importantly, we are commanded by our Creator to sing. He made us musical beings so that we may worship Him with song. All creation sings the praise of its Creator. As His people, why would we not pursue excellence in doing so? Over and over in the psalms we are commanded to sing.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
Sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Sing to the LORD, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Read Psalm 150 and feel the importance of our musical praise. If you’re breathing, you’re without excuse!
Praise the LORD!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with tambourine and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flute.
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals.
Everything that has breath shall praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD!
Number two, there is great value in training our young people in how to collaborate with others and to effectively deliver the result of their work. Exhibiting professional stage presence, maintaining poise while under pressure, following a leader, and even the ability to stand still for long periods of time greatly benefit anyone desiring to be an influential adult.
Finally, can we put a price tag on the value of doing hard things? Adulthood is a daily grind of doing what we must do, not simply enjoying what we want to do. Too often in our society we hear sentences begin with, “I don’t feel…” or “I don’t like…” or “I don’t want…” When we train our young people to have the mental strength and the physical capacity to do hard things they don’t feel like doing, we are preparing them for life.
To learn how to do this, we look to the best possible role model: Jesus Christ. He showed us what it means to do the hard thing. “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Christ is the inspiration for every action we take, large or small.
What are the hard things in our lives? What do we not feel like doing? May we lean into our union with Christ for the power to persevere. Through His strength we can do hard things, even sing in a choir.