Making Music into More than Just Pretty Sounds

Don’t think music is important? Go to Mass where the music isn’t what you expected or isn’t what you like or is just plain awful. Then attend a Mass where the music blows you away with its quality.

There’s a difference. And while music is NOT why we go to Mass, it can really impact things.

I don’t know why, then, it should surprise me that music can play such a big part in changing how my days go…with my kids, with my work, with my outlook on life. Sometimes, all I have to do is turn on something quiet in the background to feel a little sanity returning. Other times, a more upbeat playlist hits the spot.

The team at Making Music Praying Twice has fused the importance of music and their passion for excellence. They’ve designed a program that brings children and parents together with music and movement. Their goal is simply stated: “While the gift of music education is invaluable, the gift of music combined with prayer is immeasurable.”

In a secular world often devoid of faith and of family togetherness, Making Music Praying Twice provides a genuine faith-based experience that is rare, enriching, educational, transcendental and beautiful.

There are a number of ways to approach this. Maybe your parish could start a program. Perhaps you’re motivated and you can pull this off with your family.

Or maybe, you can just pop in the CD (or copy it onto a playlist on your phone) in the background. There are five different CDs available, covering the liturgical year: Advent and Christmas, Ordinary Time: Winter, Lent, Easter, and Ordinary Time: Fall. The songs are professionally and flawlessly produced and are 100% less annoying than the other kids’ songs CDs my kids play over and over and OVER if I let them.

One of the ideas behind this music isn’t just to educate or teach, it’s also to foster prayer and Catholic devotion. Music can reach you in a way that other modes of communication can’t.

Co-founder Kate Daneluk shares her passion and some of the reasoning behind Making Music Praying Twice:

Our program relies heavily on the research of brain growth in young children.  Repeatedly, the research shows that the first few years of a child’s life are the most formative and the greatest opportunity for aptitude education.  We see the same growth happening in new families.  After the birth of the first child, a family begins to establish patterns and traditions that will set them on a path.  We want Church, faith, music, and playful and loving parent/child interaction to be the elements of this path – a path heading to Heaven, rather than earthly goals.  We must capitalize on these first few years in the child, and in the family with more than information – with experiences.  Experiences fill the memory in deeply, more lasting ways than information.  Experiences give us memories we can hold on to.  And experiences of music are some of the most powerful that exist. 

Even if you start by using the Making Music Praying Twice CDs as an alternative to Kidz Bop, you’ll find yourself praying and infusing faith into the airwaves. And that’s more than a start.

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.

Representing the Holy Spirit that descended “like a dove” and hovered over Jesus when he was baptized.

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