"Anyone can cook", so says a chef in the popular movie, Ratatouille. In that same light, I argue that anyone can write music. More than that, anyone can share their personalized testimony through music. Also, the more we do, the more we are able to bring ourselves, and others, closer to Christ.
This is the philosophy I take in Mark Richins Music. I've been able to use this site to share some of my own music. But as I continue writing hymns, arrangements, and children's songs, the more I really crave finding a way that others can do the same thing. There's this perception out there that music, and writing it, is hard. In a sense, yes, some aspects of music and music writing can be hard. However, sharing your testimony through music, for the purpose of bringing others to Christ, doesn't have to be hard.
We often say that we can't fully express something in words. We also say that music has a way of expressing what words fall short on. I know many of us feel this way when sharing our testimony. It's time that we stop limiting ourselves through just words. And that's the reason I've created a new resource. It's called the Make Your Own Hymn Worksheet. (It's an incredibly creative title, I know). It's something I intend to be used by parents, teachers, music leaders, primary leaders, and youth leaders for children and youth of ALL ages. It can be used as an activity to review a recent lesson from primary, sunday school, family home evening, or any other occasion where you learn and review truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
You may be thinking that this sounds a bit much for you, let alone your students or children. I assure you it's well within your reach as well as theirs. With the worksheet, I lay out a few instructions to help inspire you on your way to creating a hymn. Just make two sentences, bonus if they rhyme, on what you learned about the gospel that day, and then follow the instructions to find a melody you think properly expresses the words you wrote. Included with the worksheet are some accompaniments a pianist can play as another person plays around with the notes. When you think you've found something, write it down! All you need is a handy piano or keyboard. (Some handbells could work too).
At the end of the day, the definition of a hymn is, "A religious song or poem, typically of praise to God." It doesn't say it's a "perfect" hymn, (whatever that means). It doesn't say "a hymn that has the approval of Mark Richins" or any other composer for that matter. All it has to be, is your testimony. Your words. Your music. The only person it has to be special for, is you.
Finally, included on the worksheet are two open lines of a music staff that can be filled in with music notes. If two lines of music isn't enough for you, your student, or your child, feel free to print off the staff music I have available as well. If you stumble on your very own hymn and setting you've fallen in love with, send it to me through my Etsy account here to get it set in stone. I'll send you back a PDF as well as a recording.
I'm a sacred music enthusiast. I'm one of those people that attends church for the music just as much as the sermon, one of those people that give an evil glare at the people who leave for the congregational hymns, (Ok no, not really).