“Think. Breathe. Sing!” I always remember seeing these words posted on the choir whiteboard. “Think” – learn the words and melody. “Breathe” – fill your lungs with air. “Sing” – form the song with your mind and breath. I thought this before, but choir taught me a deeper meaning for these words me than singing.
THINK. The music we learned came from near and far, steeped in meaning. I loved each one, becoming familiar with words in other languages such as Spanish, Swahili, Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. We used instruments, such as the djembe, handbells, and glockenspiel, to add richness. One time, we were learning a song that mentioned “grafting.” This term confused me, but Mrs. Trego explained that it meant joining a weak branch to a stronger tree trunk, which sustained and strengthened the branch. My mind was imprinted with this image of me grafted together with Christ, the Giver of my life and strength. “Think” became learning music and its meaning, exploring its history, and intellectually and emotionally connecting with it.
BREATHE. A few years into choir, I became a “mentor” to the younger choristers. I gave them musical guidance in rehearsals, and on Sundays, I led them into the sanctuary to sing. My love for choir deepened through my time with those precious children. I also noticed that Mrs. Trego and Mrs. Thompson taught with a deep respect and value for each chorister, never disparaging children because of their age or background; rather, they expected greatness from each child. I felt valued because they treated me this way, highlighting my virtues. “Breathe” became filling my life with God’s goodness in order to treat others with respect and value.
SING! Choir taught me to use my voice to praise God. To me, choir was a part of the Body of Christ. We were a team, individually abandoning pride in our own voices to create more glorious music together. In our liturgy, the choir added a musical intricacy to the service, helping unite us to worship God. “Sing!” became using my God-given gifts to join in the Body of Christ to love God and others.
Scout Wingate Batz