Posts Tagged ‘needtobreathe’

The next chapter in the ongoing saga of “Kris turning 60” – aren’t you glad there is an end to all of this? Me too.

Music. Make it a part of your life.

Music is a unifier. When you can’t understand the speaking language of your child, try listening to the musical language they are speaking (or at least listening to). Try to find common ground in the bass and treble clef, even if it wouldn’t be your personal choice. See a concert together. Watch one together on YouTube. Discover a new artist you both enjoy. Talk about the latest song or the upcoming concert tour. Play music in your house, in your car, on your phone. Instead of closing doors when the music goes on, open them up. Ask questions. Watch how your kids respond to you enjoying “their music.” Dance together in the kitchen…or better yet, embarrass them by dancing with their friends in the kitchen!

If your kids express an interest, help them learn an instrument. Piano and guitar lessons can be pretty affordable. It doesn’t have to be a band instrument, even a little ukulele with some YouTube instructional videos would be fun. Both Don and I played instruments when we were younger (wayyy younger), though neither one of us do so now. We have a variety of instruments in our basement, due mostly to our children, but there is one really nice acoustic guitar that I own and I swear, someday I’m going to re-learn how to play it.

Music is a huge part of the McGarvey family. My oldest son has traveled the world playing music before thousands but it all started in our unfinished basement with pencils on empty popcorn tins as a toddler. Later he wanted a drum set so I negotiated. Two years of piano lessons first, then drums. Now he plays drums, keyboards, and acoustic, electric, and base guitar. He’s played every genre, every type of venue, though I’m sure he has a bucket list of venues he’d like to perform in.

Encourage musical interest, no matter the form.

My youngest is a music fiend but in a totally different way. He loves listening to music, attending concerts, discovering new artists, creating playlists, supporting his brother’s bands, embracing different genres. If I have a question about an artist, he’s the one I trust to know if I’d like that music or not. I think he’d make a great agent for an artist (shh – don’t tell him I said so).

img_4258Listen to all types of music.

We played music in our house all the time. Depending on the ages of our kids, we went from Donut Man to Mary Rice Hopkins; from DC Talk to Switchfoot; from Ella Fitzgerald to Louis Armstrong to Trombone Shorty; from Ben Rector to Colony House to show tunes; from I Am They to Lauren Daigle to Bethel Music. We have Bluetooth speakers in almost every room, ipods since the boys could take care of them, and hundreds of pairs of earbuds in multiple locations.

Establish a music tradition in your family. Follow a favorite artist.

In the last six years, I’ve established a tradition of taking my kids to at least one live concert a year, specifically the indie rock band NEEDTOBREATHE. We’ve traveled around the Midwest to see our favorite group…actually they’re MY favorite group, but the kids come with me anyway. We’ve discovered some new artists who we really enjoy – so much that we’ve gone to their concerts too. And the kids take me to their favorite live concerts too! This tradition, bound up in our common love of music, has made for some sweet memories, great travel stories, and good tunes!

I don’t know what our family would have turned out like without music…and I’m glad I don’t have to find out. This is one bit of wisdom I’m glad I discovered very early in life.




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Tonight is the annual Grammy Awards. In case you live under a rock, it is the award show highlighting the “best” music of the past year. I put the word best in quotation marks because I believe “best” is always an opinion, and I rarely agree with the music awarded a Grammy. But I do love music. Today I’m going to add to my Lenten 40-day journey by listening to more music.

I have a lot of favorite artists. Through the years I’ve spent money on music ranging from Alabama to ZZ Top, from Kenny Rogers to Kenny G, from Beatles to Wings to just plain Paul McCartney. I listen to praise & worship, jazz, pop, alternative rock, country (ish) and movie show tunes.  I love Bethel worship and Jason Upton (especially his latest album “A Table Full of Strangers”), but I also love pop stuff, like Ben Rector (I’ll be singing along with his latest tunes when he’s in Des Moines in March). Most of you know I’ve basically been a concert stalker for NEEDTOBREATHE (I think I’ve been to 6 concerts in 5 different states in 3 years). But at those concerts, I’ve fallen for the music of a couple of their opening bands, like Colony House and Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors. We like Drew’s music so much that I’m working on a way to see him while he’s in Des Moines in April.

The old stuff, from my teens and 20s, still have a hold of me. I recently purchased James Taylor’s latest album, Before This World, because he’s James Taylor. I don’t need any other reason. And it’s good. Really good.

Music is such a powerful influence in our lives. It can move us emotionally from the highest highs to depressing lows. I do try to avoid those types of songs. I’m not really into being depressed. The music and lyrics stay with us for most of our lives…I have no problem remembering the hymns I learned in my home town Methodist church when I was a child. I can sing the words to all the ABBA songs being played during my Curves workout.

Take some time today to fill your heart with good music…music to lift your soul, spur you to feeling good about yourself and others, music that helps you remember happy times.David was a lowly shepherd boy, who penned songs while watching over his sheep. He sang and played a variety of instruments. Music and worship became his training ground before being crowned king of Israel and called a friend of God.

By the way,  I do have a very favorite group- who do you think?

Psalm 18[a]

For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord. He sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:

I love you, Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield[b] and the horn[c] of my salvation, my stronghold.

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