Read the article ‘Explorations: The music of faith’ and answer the following questions. Then share your answers in pairs, small groups or in a classroom discussion.
1. What sort of music do you like? Where or from who did you develop your taste in music?
2. Fr Andrew Hamilton writes ‘Music can bring people together’. When have you experienced music bringing people together?
3. He also writes that music can divide? How can music divide families, generations or even friends?
4. Where do you hear music in your community? Why do you think music is played in so many different places?
5. What sort of music do you like to hear at church? Do you like old or new hymns?
6. What music do you think could inspire young people to participate and engage in the Mass?
1. Music around you: This week pay attention to the music around you that you may not notice. What sort of music do they play in the shops compared to the music they play in a doctor's office? How do you think businesses decide to play the music they do? What music do you like to listen to in the car compared to what your siblings or parents like to listen to? How does your family choose the music they listen to?
Then write a one-page reflection on how music can help unify families and communities.
2. Do you play a musical instrument or sing? If yes, write a short description on the instrument do you play and why do you like to play this instrument?
If not, write about what instrument you would like to learn?
Also, why not try learning an instrument? It doesn’t have to be too expensive, such as buying a new instrument and getting private lessons. Nowadays, you can try an instrument at a low cost, since there are tons of music teachers on Youtube.com offering lessons for free. You can ask your parents to help you find a second-hand instrument and then with a parent explore the different lessons offered online.
3. Music Talent Show: Plan a musical talent show at your school. Ask your principal and teacher if you could organise a talent show at your school where classes could show off their musical talents. Each class could perform a song together, or students could perform individually and in small groups.
Students could publicise the talent show for parents to attend and even sell tickets to raise money for charity.
4. Student Choir: Does your school have a student choir or band? If yes, why not join?! If not, why not organise a student choir? Ask your principal, teacher or (if your school has one) music director, if they could help you organise a student choir at your school.
For younger students
Teachers can read or summarise Fr Hamilton’s article ‘Explorations: The music of faith’ for students. Then lead a discussion on the music students like to listen to at home and what is their favourite music to hear at Mass. Teachers can ask students to list all the different ways music can bring families, friends and communities together.
Teachers can then explain why different cultures use music to worship God and as Catholics, one of the ways we worship God at Mass is through song.
Ask students to illustrate on a piece of paper, why music is so important at Mass. Then have them write a short description of their picture below or on the back.