So Why a Living Room?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Change: Singing With a New Voice

The Change

How with all I’ve seen can I keep making these mistakes?
And why with all I know do things keep turning out the same?
Every time I fall I come so close to giving up
So I just keep on trying harder--but will it ever be enough?
I keep trying to believe that I’ll get there someday but sometimes I just don’t know
I want to sing the song of redeeming love but I’ve forgotten how it goes…

I wanna feel the change
I don’t want to want to want sin anymore
And at that day I wanna look to Him
With clean hands and a heart that is pure
I wanna feel the change
I wanna sing with a new voice
He’ll you open my eyes and give me new sight
Make the dark disappear as I awake to the light
His grace will replace all my wrongs with what’s right
And I’ll start to walk in the newness of life…
And feel the change.

So I finally see what all my weaknesses have shown,
That I’ll never ever make it if I try to do this on my own,
Now on my knees I come to you with all I am,
And I’m begging you to mold me with those firm but loving hands.
I let go of my pride, surrender my will and put all my trust in you
I place my heart at your feet and my life in your hands…will you make me someone new?

I wanna feel the change
I don’t want to want to want sin anymore
And at that day I wanna look to You
With clean hands and a heart that is pure
I wanna feel the change
I wanna sing with a new voice
Will you open my eyes and give me new sight
Make the dark disappear as I awake to the light
Will you replace all my wrongs with what’s right
So I can start to walk in the newness of life…?
And feel the change.

-Em 12/1/01

I studied music in college. I had an incredible private voice teacher/mentor/choir director who taught me as much about life as he did about music. During one particular voice lesson, he mentioned to me that "some people come to me and say, 'I want to take lessons and learn how to sing' but they don't really want to sing with a new voice. They don't really want to give up their old habits and trade them for a new voice. They may want to be better, but they don't really want to CHANGE."
That turned into a fruitful discussion of both vocal and spiritual significance, as we discussed the importance of surrendering ourselves to the Lord and allowing him to not just make us better, but to CHANGE us.

As I learned to sing with a new voice in college, it required daily persistence.
I kept a journal where I recorded how I practiced, things I wanted to get better at, things that I struggled with, ideas from my classes that might help me, and techniques that really worked for my voice.
My voice lesson each week was an important opportunity to talk about my progress with my teacher and let him teach me more.
I enjoyed listening to fellow classmates perform and getting feedback from them about my own singing.
Joining my voice with other singers in a choir helped me to solidify the things I was learning about breath support and artistic expression.

I realized, during my college experience, that the process of learning to sing with a new voice really is a lot like spiritually learning to "walk in the newness of life." (Romans 8:4). It is a process that requires daily persistence.
Keeping a journal of goals and struggles helps me see where I've been and where I want to be.
When I pray and read the scriptures I'm checking in with the Master Teacher, showing him how I've progressed, and asking Him to teach me more.
We're all classmates in the school of life, and we can help each other learn to "sing" as we relate our experiences from different teachers and different classes and share what we've learned.
And, I think that going to church edifies us spiritually in the same way singing in choir strengthens us musically--you join with other people you love, to offer up your hearts to God. You don't all have the same strengths, you don't "sing" exactly the same way, but when you combine together there is a synergy that brings everyone involved to a higher level. Sometimes when I sit in church, I picture God standing in front of us, spiritually conducting our hearts, beckoning us to all follow him together. The more we focus on Him, and learn the way he communicates to us, and unify together, the more beautiful music He can create, with us as the instruments in His hands. (or sometimes, we can totally miss the point and just wrestle wriggly children, not focus on Him at all, and sing our own, off-key spiritual solo. I've totally done that!)


I did write the lyrics to this song, but most of the concepts came from "verses" that I didn't write. Thank you to Nephi, Alma, and Paul, for their contributions to the words. :)

2 Nephi 4:27--"Why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul?"

v. 31--"O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?"

v. 34--"O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever."

Alma 5:7--"Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. "

v. 9--"...and their souls did expand, and they did sing redeeming love..."

v. 19--" I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with pure heart and clean hands?"

Romans 8:4--"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."

So what's YOUR metaphor for this mighty change?


Em said...
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