Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above {2016 Hymn Challenge}

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Wow, it’s already February! I finally sang through all six verses of my January hymn, Nearer My God to Thee, by memory last night. Barely beat the January clock… but it happened, and I’m sooo glad I memorized this hymn.

The prayer to be nearer to God’s heart is one that we can never ask too often, and Nearer My God to Thee was a really good hymn for me to sing over and over and over this month. January is gone, but I’m going to learn from these lyrics for a long time.

For February, I chose the lovely little five-verse hymn, Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above. The lyrics go like this:

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Sing praise to God who reigns above, the God of all creation,
The God of power, the God of love, the God of our salvation.
With healing balm my soul is filled and every faithless murmur stilled:
To God all praise and glory.

What God’s almighty power hath made His gracious mercy keepeth,
By morning glow or evening shade His watchful eye ne’er sleepeth;
Within the kingdom of His might, Lo! all is just and all is right:
To God all praise and glory.

The Lord is never far away, but through all grief distressing,
An ever present help and stay, our peace and joy and blessing.
As with a mother’s tender hand, God gently leads the chosen band:
To God all praise and glory.

Thus, all my toilsome way along, I sing aloud Thy praises,
That earth may hear the grateful song my voice unwearied raises.
Be joyful in the Lord, my heart, both soul and body bear your part:
To God all praise and glory.

Let all who name Christ’s holy name give God all praise and glory;
Let all who own His power proclaim aloud the wondrous story!
Cast each false idol from its throne, for Christ is Lord, and Christ alone:
To God all praise and glory.

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What good words, right? I chose this one because I need to be reminded to sing praises to God all the time. ALL THE TIME. All the time. In the very best moments of the day, on the days that aren’t great at all, in perfect order, and in perfect chaos, we should sing God’s praises. Joyfully, readily, deeply.

That’s my prayer for this month, and this hymn will help me to keep that prayer on my tongue.

So, hymn #2! Let’s do this! <3 #hymnchallenge2016

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Join Us for Hymn Challenge 2016!

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When I mentioned that I had challenged myself to memorize one hymn a month in 2016 last week, several people said that they would be interested in an online “group” of sorts where we could encourage one another and hold ourselves and each other accountable on our hymn memorization goals this year.
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So…. I started the Hymn Challenge 2016 page, where we can do just that!
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Want to join us? The benefits are many and the guidelines are simple. Take a look:
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BENEFITS OF THE GROUP:
– Study God’s character, love, and grace while memorizing edifying, God-centered hymn lyrics.
– Learn memory tips from other hymn-lovers.
– Learn more about the hymnwriters and their lives.
– Be encouraged by one another’s progress.
– Read devotionals drawn from hymns shared on the page.
– Help each other stay accountable by monthly, weekly, or daily (your choice!) updates on your memory progress.
– Have 12 hymns memorized by the end of 2016!
 
GUIDELINES:
– Choose your own hymns.
– Start at any time.
– Always be kind and show the love of Christ in your interaction with others. <3
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Want to join us? “Attend” the event, and let’s encourage each other all year long, okay? Here’s to 2016 and better memorization goals!
 
Lacie
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Nearer My God to Thee {2016 Hymns}

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Near My God to Thee_Lacie Bowman Music

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I’ve challenged myself to memorize one hymn a month in 2016. Anyone want to join me? (It doesn’t have to be the same hymns!) Tell me what hymns you’re memorizing.
 
The first hymn I’ve chosen to memorize this year is “Nearer My God to Thee.” Verse one provokes a lot of reflection:
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Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone.
Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n;
All that Thou sendest me, in mercy given;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest,
There in my Savior’s love, perfectly blest;
Age after age to be, nearer my God to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
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Is this the genuine prayer of hearts? Trial, hardship, difficulty. Whatever it be, Lord, draw my heart to yours.

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Happy New Year! {2016}

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Lacie Bowman Music 2015
#2015BestNine from @laciebowmanmusic on Instagram

 

What a year! What a great, great year! I made sooo many new friends in 2015, published my first music book, performed a solo violin concert, practiced hours and hours and hours (and hours), and made some of the most wonderful memories of my life with my husband, my two babies, and my extended family. What a gift a year is.

At the beginning of the year, I challenged myself to a list of very specific music goals. Here are some of the highlights from the year:

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PLUS, my first baby turned one at the end of April, and my second baby was born at the beginning of May. (Talk about a lot of love! I’m pretty sure we’ve broken their cheeks with all the kisses.) It was a fun year. I learned a lot about music, a lot about life, and whole ton about how they work together as a mom of two babies. ;)

I’ll be charting out my music goals for 2016 here in the next few days and sharing them on the blog next week. Suggestions?

Here’s to 2016! May it be another year of faithfulness, productivity, and service for Christ the King.

<3,
Lacie

 

My 2015 Music Goals: Mid-Year Update

Lacie Bowman Music // 2015 Goals

Happy July, everyone!

I can’t believe half the year is already gone. Wow. Back in January I wrote out my music-related goals for this year, and here’s the mid-year update on how they are going so far!

Personal Goals

// Maintain all pieces from my 2014 Repertoire Challenge.
Last Summer I challenged myself to learn 24 pieces on the piano in 24 weeks. I learned 112 pages of music in that time, and it was a quite a challenge indeed. But even harder was maintaining them all at the same time. This year my goal is to get them all back to performance level and then keep them for all of forever. Currently, I can sit down at anytime and play 12 of the 24:

Bach Fugue No. 2 in c minor
Bach Prelude No. 6 in d minor
Brahms Waltz in A-flat, Op. 59, No. 15
Chopin Waltz Op. 69, No. 2
Clementi Sonata in D Major, Op. 4, No. 1, Mvt. 1
Debussy Arabesque 1
Debussy Clair de Lune
Dvorak Humoresque, Op. 102, No. 7
Granados May Song, Op. 1, No. 3
Greig Arietta, Op. 12, No. 1
Mozart Sonata K. 331, Mvt. 3, “Alla Turca”
Pieczonka Tarantella in a minor

// Learn or re-learn 1 new piece / month on violin & piano – 24 total.
One might say I spent the first half of the year focusing on violin repertoire. I’ve already learned 2 more than the original 12 I challenged myself to do on violin this year, but only 3 of 12 on the piano. That means I’ve got 9 piano pieces to learn between now and the new year. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Lacie Bowman MusicVIOLIN: 14 of 12
Bach Concerto for Two Violins, Mvt. 1
Vivaldi Concerto in a minor, Mvt. 1
Vivaldi Concerto in a minor, Mvt. 2
Vivaldi Concerto in a minor, Mvt. 3
Pachelbel Canon in D
Massenet Meditation from Thais
Monti Czardas
Williams Theme from Schindler’s List
Saint-Saens The Swan
Bach Air on G String
Purcell Hornpipe
Lovland Hymn to Hope
Vangelis Hymne
Handel Arrival of the Queen of Sheba

PIANO: 3 of 12
Bach Italian Concerto, Mvt. 3
Chopin Prelude in c minor
Smith The Giving

// Relearn all Major and minor (natural, harmonic, & melodic) scales, arpeggios, inversions  (I, IV, V, MmVII), and cadences on piano. 
One might also say I have NOT focused on scales. As in, not at all. So these next six months should prove to be fun… 48 scales and 24 arpeggios, inversions, and cadences, here we come!

// Memorize lyrics from 12 hymns.
I’ve memorized 6 of 12: The Church’s One Foundation, God of the Ages, Be Still My Soul, Before the Throne of God Above, Not What My Hands Have Done, & Praise My Soul the King of Heaven

Lacie Bowman Music | www.LacieBowmanMusic.com

// Have a Solo Violin & Piano Recital.
DONE! We had our recital – An Evening of Classics & Hymns – on March 10th, and boy, we had a blast. (See the photos here.). We have a second one – A Classical Christmas – planned for December 1st, so mark your calendars!

Remembering WWII // Lacie Bowman Music// Coordinate Music for Remembering WWII.
Currently doing prep-work for the event, working with the event coordinators and performers, and starting a preliminary schedule! We’ll be having a fabulous USO-style show on Friday night (25th), plus a bunch of lovely music sprinkled throughout the whole day on Saturday (26th). It’s less than 3 months away… Hope you’ll join us!
[More info here: www.RememberingWWII.com]

// Perform (vocal) for Remembering WWII.
Picking and arranging some of my favorite wartime songs… This year I’ve got Vera Lynn, Bing Crosby, and Irving Berlin in the mix!


// Write 8 new arrangements for violin, piano, and/or string ensembles.

COMPLETED
The Church’s One Foundation (Violin & Piano)
Day by Day (String Ensemble – 3 Violins, Cello, Piano)

CURRENT
Agnus Dei (String Ensemble)

NEXT UP
Sleigh Ride (String Ensemble)
Still, Still, Still (String Ensemble)

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// Read 5 books on music.

COMPLETED:
Raising Musical Kids (Kavanaugh)
CURRENTLY READING:
A History of Western Music (Grout)


// Complete an exciting secret project I’ve been working on this last year.
DONE!!! In March I published my first book of hymn arrangements for violin and piano, God of the Ages! I am SO excited about it.

SEE A PREVIEW of the book here and ORDER YOUR COPY here!

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Studio Goals

// Expand my music studio.
Enjoying summer lessons, choosing new student repertoire, and making plans for new students in the fall.

// Expand my repertoire library and teaching materials – purchase at least 12 new music books for myself and/or my students.

PURCHASED 3 of 12:
Bach Notebook for Anna Magdalena (Henle edition)
Chopin Complete Preludes (Paderewski Edition)
Bastien Piano Literature, Volume 4

// Organize & systematize my music area.
Organizing, check. Systematizing, next up.

// Have my 1890s piano reconditioned.
We’re gettin there.

Blog & Social Media Goals

// Expand The Music Blog & add some exciting new features & pages.
In March I launched my new website, www.LacieBowmanMusic.com {how’s that for expanding? lol!}, which came with several new pages and features including a STUDIO page, a PHOTO gallery, and a STORE! Go check it out!

{P.S. Soon The Music Blog will be moved to that new address as well, so be looking out for that!}

// Hit 100 blog posts.
Up to 56… 44 to go. mm

// Do 4 giveaways this year!
January’s giveaway had 239 entries & 3 winners. It was loads of fun. MY NEXT GIVEAWAY IS THIS MONTH. I can’t tell you what it is yet… so stay tuned!

// Create 12 new FREE downloads for my free downloads page.
None yet… But I’ll be giving away a ton of new ones (theory sheets, activity sheets, and even a piece or two) next month in honor of summer ending!

// Become active on Google+.
Check! ADD ME HERE.

// Create a Youtube channel and post 12 videos by the end of year.
I started a channel, but I wouldn’t call it active… yet. One video posted so far with a few more in the works. I will be getting a few teaching tutorials up in the next couple months, so check my channel again soon! (or SUBSCRIBE HERE)

 

Dream Goal:

// Learn Cello.
Sigh. Not yet, my friends… not yet. But IT WILL HAPPEN.

 

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What music-related activities have you been enjoying this year?

 

 

A Sneak-Peek Inside My New Book of Hymn Arrangements for Violin & Piano!

God of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman MusicORDER HERE

I am SO excited about my new book of hymn & psalm arrangements for violin and piano! I’ve worked on this book a long time, and it feels so fabulous to hold it in my hands.

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Here’s a little sneak-peek into the book!

God of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman MusicGod of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman Music

Choosing which hymns and psalms to arrange for this book was one of the funnest and hardest parts of the project. Fun because I love so many hymns and psalms, and hard because I love too many. Way too many.

But I had to narrow it down, so for this volume I chose the following melodies:

Be Thou My Vision
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Day by Day
Faith of Our Fathers
God of the Ages
Holy, Holy, Holy
Not What My Hands Have Done
Psalm 1
Psalm 71
Psalm 121
Take My Life and Let it Be
The Church’s One Foundation
There is a Fountain Filled With Blood
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

These arrangements are designed to cultivate the young violinist’s technique and skill and are ordered in a progressive level of difficulty, starting with simple melodies and gradually introducing more complex rhythms, longer arrangements, and harmony in the violin part with the pianist carrying the melody.

I wrote these arrangements for the young violinist’s level, but they are also ideal for more advanced students who love to improvise.

The piano accompaniment parts are written at an intermediate level and are simple enough for the average pianist to learn without a fuss, but full enough to carry the violinist with the flow of a more advanced work.

God of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman MusicGod of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman MusicGod of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman MusicGod of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman Music

The Music Glossary at the back of the book provides simple definitions of the concepts found in the arrangements and can be used by students to learn and review new musical terms, symbols, and concepts while they are working on their pieces.

God of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman Music

The Teacher’s Guide contains a piece-by-piece outline of the skills found in each arrangement. New techniques and musical concepts are introduced progressively throughout the book, and this brief overview is meant to help teachers guide their young violinist through any potentially challenging skills new pieces may present.

God of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman MusicGod of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman Music – 

When I was 11 years old and learning violin, I desperately wanted a book of hymn arrangements to play, but there were none. That’s what made me write this one. I wanted a resource that families, siblings, friends, and churches could use and enjoy for a variety of settings and occasions – recitals, weddings, church, parties, sing-a-longs, and even just around the house.

So SHARE IT with all of your friends! (And don’t forget to order your own copy!!!!!)

God of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman Music

Click Here to Order.

THANK YOU, Friends… Recital Preview!

 

Lacie Bowman Music | www.LacieBowmanMusic.com

 

We had SUCH a wonderful time at our concert last night! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all of you wonderful people who came out to spend the evening with us. It was wonderful to meet so many new friends and visit with so many old ones. Can’t wait until next time!

More pictures and videos coming here and on my Facebook page soon, so stay tuned!

 

 

 

You’re Invited to An Evening of Classics & Hymns with Lacie Bowman & Laura Verret

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AN EVENING OF CLASSICS & HYMNS

Tuesday, March 10th
6:30 PM
Free admission.
Reception immediately following the performances.
First Baptist Church, Hohenwald, TN

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Dear Tennessee Friends,

My sister Laura & I would love for you to join us on Tuesday, March 10th for an evening of music and fellowship!

We will be playing many classics, including works by Vivaldi, Beethoven, Bach, Pachelbel, Kriesler, Massenet, and other classical composers, as well as a number of solo and ensemble hymns that I have arranged for violin and piano.

We will also have the delight of Ellen & Natasha Vernier and Audri Botkin joining us for a variety of ensemble music for violin, cello, and piano.

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We’re so excited about this, and we hope you will join us! A reception and time for fellowship will immediately follow the music in the same building.

EVERYONE IS WELCOME, so please bring your whole family and some friends. The more the merrier!

Stay tuned over the next 3 weeks, as we’ll be sharing peeks into the program through videos and pictures here on the blog, on my Instagram page, and over on our Facebook page.

If you would like, you can also RSVP and / or invite your friends to the recital via our Facebook Event Page: An Evening of Classics & Hymns

 

We hope to see you there!

Lacie

 

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How to Prepare Your Child for Music Lessons

 

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Nurturing a love and appreciation for music in your child is an important and beautiful preparation for formal music lessons. Someone has to invest time into developing their interest in music, and there is no better person than their own Mommy or Daddy!

When preparing your little people for music lessons, keep these three goals in mind: 

  1. Nurturing their interest in music.
  2. Giving them a head-start on understanding foundational musical concepts.
  3. Helping them develop the hand/body coordination they will need to handle the physical requirements of their instrument.

There are so many great exercises and activities you can do with your little ones at home to prepare their minds, fingers, and hearts for music lessons. Let’s look a few practical ways you can do that.

 

Nurturing Musical Interest 

Play Classical Music Around the House.  

Children aren’t likely to develop an interest in music if they rarely hear it, so make music a part of your daily life.  It doesn’t have to be at the forefront – play a variety of composers in the background during playtime, and your little ones will be influenced by the atmosphere.

Attend Real Concerts…

…and make a big deal about it! Talk about it ahead of time, get dressed up, take pictures — show excitement! When it’s over, talk about it some more. Concerts are an invaluable learning opportunity for you and your children and can be a memory they will always treasure, if you make it one.

Make the Most of The Internet.  

Thanks to Youtube, we can give our children musical experiences on the days, weeks, and months we can’t attend concerts. Pull up some chairs, huddle around, listen, watch, and talk about what you’ve heard. Oh, and don’t forget… Popcorn!

Read Stories of Great Composers, Hymn Writers, and Musicians.  

Few things will bring music to life for your children like the fascinating stories of the real men and women who spent their life studying it. Plus, kids love story time. So grab a blanket, snuggle up, and read, read, read, read, read…

Teach Them to Respect Instruments.  

Children won’t have a lasting interest in something they think is just another toy. Teach them how to approach instruments with care, gentleness and respect. It will intrigue their little minds more than you think. (And save your instrument much heartache in the future. ;)

Sing, Sing, Sing!

What child doesn’t like songs? Even my 10-week-old would crack up when I started singing to him! Kids can usually handle simple tunes long before the complexities of an instrument, so when your kids are infants sing to them. When they’re toddlers sing with them. Your voice doesn’t have to be great… just sing – they’ll love you for it!

Celebrate Music

Pick a composer’s birthday to celebrate each month, and have a party! Spend the morning or afternoon listening to that composer’s music, reading stories about his life, enjoying a meal or treat from his culture, studying his time period, and anything else you can think of. If you’re really into it, some birthday cupcakes will be a hit, too! This one is more elaborate than the others, but if you’re up for it, you’ll have a blast!

 

Fostering Musical Understanding

Teach Them Basic Music Terms & Symbols.  

If a child can learn to recognize ball, chair, and cookie, he can learn to recognize note, staff, and “twebble clef”.  Give him a jumpstart on the stuff he’ll need to know when he begins music lessons – it will help him feel less overwhelmed at the first lesson.  Start with helping him to recognize these, and he’ll have a great head start:

  • Staff, Treble Clef, Bass Clef, Measure, Barline, Time Signature
  • Quarter Note, Half Note, Dotted Half Note, Whole Note
  • Quarter Rest, Half Rest, Whole Rest

Ear Training

You can never start training a child’s ear too early. Even the most basic ear training will make a tremendous difference. I’ll be sharing some beginner ear training activities soon, but in the meantime, try starting with simple exercises like these:

  • Loud/Soft, Long/Short, High/Low, Same Note/Different Note, Notes Going Up/Notes Going Down

Help them Learn the Names and Sounds of Instruments.  

This one might just be the most fun of all! Look at pictures and illustrations of instruments online or in a music book together.  Help your children recognize different instruments and instrument families. Watch solo and orchestral videos on youtube to help them learn the sounds of each instrument, then switch to recordings where they can only hear the instrument sounds. This can be a super fun and educational guessing game!

Teach Them the Names of Basic Instrument Parts…

…and what they do!  Kids are fascinated by how things work, and instruments are no exception. If you’re not sure what’s what, do a wink or two of research and then let them learn with you! (Online is an excellent resource.) Keep it interactive and try to get around as many instruments as possible. Your kids will have a blast, and you know what?  You will too.

Names of Keys

They’ll need to know how the music alphabet works, and the piano is a great place to learn.  The keyboard is arguably the easiest instrument to learn how the music alphabet works – partly because of its simple visual patter (it is straightforward and repetitive, unlike the violin or trumpet), and partly because it’s right in front of your face instead of left, right, up, or down, like the violin, flute, trombone, or cello.

 

 

Developing Physical Coordination

Clapping their Hands to the Beat in Music

This one is important! Clapping their hands to the beat will not only help them recognize where the beat is, it will also help them learn to coordinate their body movements with the beat, which is a crucial part of understanding and executing rhythm on an instrument.  You can do this one with classical music, or your favorite hymns, folk, or pop tunes. P.S. …it’s lots of fun!

Holding a Ball

If your child is starting with piano lessons, holding a small ball will help to prepare his hand for the correct playing position.  The ball should be small enough for him to wrap his fingers around in a curved position, but large enough that his fingers aren’t touching. (A $1 bouncy ball from Dollar Tree will do the trick!)

Learning Good Posture and, um… Sitting Still

Help your child understand what it means to sit with his back straight and his legs not twisted into a knot.  His teacher will be thoroughly impressed if you get this one down.  ;)

 

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And last, but not least… Remember that Your Attitude is Key.

You don’t have to be an expert in music to encourage a love of music in your child; you do have to have a love of music yourself. Your attitude and actions alone will make a difference. Your children learn what it important by watching what you get excited about. Watching you approach music with enthusiasm will show them that it is something to be valued. 

 

“Make delighting in music a part of your daily life,
and your children will learn to delight in it too.”

 

Have any question or additional ideas? I’d love to hear them. Comment below or send me an email through my contact page. 

16 ways to prepare you child's mind, fingers, and heart for music lessons. www.sfzMusicBlog.com, Lacie Bowman Music #music #musiclessons #musiclessontip #musictips #musiceducation #musiced #piano #teaching #homeschooling #homeeducation

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