Well… we did it! We did a hard thing—as a FAMILY! And it was so worth it! Here it is in high definition memory-catching video!
So—I thought I’d share our recent attempt at trying to be intentional about creating our family culture.
Set a Date—Make It Happen!
In February of this year, very early on the morning of my 40th birthday, the thought was placed upon my heart and mind that our family needed to create and share music together to “fulfill the measure of our creation.” Brigham is always game for an adventure, so he agreed to ramp up our musical interactions as a family and we set a date for our first family concert.
I Wanted to QUIT!
It almost didn’t happen… I wanted to quit several times. In a frustrated moment, I behaved poorly and sarcastically said to my family, “Let’s just cut the whole thing.” Fortunately, they ignored me (and hopefully forgave me). Nonetheless, the show went on and we shared our talents as a family, and it was…
BEAUTIFUL, UNIFYING, GRATIFYING and SATISFYING!
We performed as a family, our first entire family concert ever… filled with solos, duos, trios, poetry recitations, and even one song with all 8 of us playing the piano at once. We’ve been rehearsing on Saturday mornings for an hour for months now and those were “interesting” experiments in patience and creativity.
Create the Vision
As a couple, Brigham and I had a vision for making this opportunity an enjoyable experience for our children. That is where the challenge comes in… I haven’t quite figured out how to make the rehearsals both 100% enjoyable and 100% disciplined since lots of little boys don’t find JOY in sitting at a piano for an hour re-doing and re-doing.
Expect the “Less than Ideal” and Keep Going Anyway
Truth be told… there were A LOT of little people running laps, playing tag and chasing toys around the piano gallery while others tried to work out the details of a duo, trio or quartet ensemble.
Another struggle we discovered was “where did the music go??” I need a personal assistant just to track all of the music for each binder for each family member at home and at the piano gallery. I’ve got some ideas of how to systemize this though (I’m dreaming of digitized music with each family member having their own device to swipe through music—I can dream, right?)
Be Intentional about Creating Family Culture
Our little crowd of supporters showed up to cheer us on, and we did it! We shared our hearts, our stories and our songs and poems that had become the memories of our 2017 year of growth together. These are the ideas and melodies that have been rippling through our conservatory, our home and our Sabbath family times for the past year. For me, it was pure joy to see it all come together and witness the smiling delight of each child as they finished their performances.
Here’s what it looks like on Sundays at our house… everyone loves to sing with Dad!
Celebrate the Successes!
I wasn’t the only one who declared our efforts a success, though. One child said, “I’m so energized right now, I feel like I could run a marathon!” Then another, “I know, me too! That was so much fun!” Then another (the sarcastic older one), “What is this feeling I’m feeling… could it be happiness? No, that’s impossible, why, it must be JOY!” At our celebratory restaurant outing after the concert (yes, I do know how to get right to the hearts of my boys with FOOD), I asked everyone for their feedback on the evening and it was a resounding YES to do it again next year.
Make Concessions that Eliminate Stress
So maybe I’ll have to brainstorm how to do it better and happier, with less stress and more fun and memory making. Although I don’t know if we could get less stress than this one… we went for supreme casual and cut anything from the program that was causing anyone stress. And—I think it worked! Everyone had a great time. (It was my wonderful husband, Brigham, who suggested the no stress evaluation and program edit—that was pure genius!)
Begin Where You Are
So maybe consider throwing together a little family music program of your own some time to share your musical or other talents. Actually, I say that this is our first family concert, but maybe that is not entirely true because we have had MANY living room quickie recitals for neighbors and many holiday performances for nursing homes and grandparents. So begin where you are and think about sharing SOMETHING—ANYTHING—to help your children discover the joy of working towards a goal and sharing their talents. Then grow together and see where your sharing and caring may lead you.
These two handsome boys, below, started out sharing their talents with a mama bribe to share memorized quotes and scriptures for friends and family to get a treat. Maybe I should say a positive incentive… not bribery. Whatever works!
Discover the Greater Blessings that Await
For us, setting a deadline to share our talents has led to more talents, more interactions, more instruments, more opportunities. (Abby just had her second paying harp gig for the holidays and made $100 in one night—she says that’s better than babysitting!)
Know the Purpose—Determine Your WHY
The real beauty, though, is in knowing our WHY… the family unity that comes from working together, sharing together and creating together. Together—together—together—that is where the joy comes from the unity created as we practice and play together.
Give It a Try
Whatever you do… don’t forget the food! The rewards and celebrations are so critical and so FUN!
Or maybe your family has another vision for how you like to connect and create family culture and unity? I’d love to hear what makes your family come together and feel joy. Share in the comments, and thanks for stopping by MamaKarmel.com.
And here’s a little FREE PDF download that I created with my mama friends in mind, just in case you’d like to give it a whirl.
Remember, if you’ve never done this before—just teach little Johnny some nursery rhymes, a three sentence poem and a song and bam—you are off to the races! Invite his best neighbor friends over for some cookies after the show and get to practicing with little Johnny with ABUNDANT amounts of mama applause and celebratory hugs (love rituals)!! You’ll see smiles bigger than you’ve ever seen before as you prep for performance and share in the joy of developing the seeds of talent. Before you know it, your children’s talents surpass yours and THAT is a beautiful thing! That is what has happened with my daughter Abby… she’s better than me at ALL music and just about most other things. Hurray for her growth!
So cheers to a family culture of developing culture.
Now it’s your turn!
Enjoy this PDF download with MORE ideas! Have fun!!