Wed, October 29th, 2014

8 Questions to Evalute Your Family’s Musical Environment!

Does your home promote your young child's musical brain development during the most crucial years of growth? Evaluate your family's Current Music Environment to see how to best utilize the Making Music Praying Twice curriculum.


1.      The children and adults listen to music together
a.       at concerts
b.      throughout the day at home
c.       in the car
d.      if the TV show we’re watching has music. Do commercials count?
2.      My children see Mom
a.       playing instruments and/or singing regularly for myself
b.      singing nursery rhymes and kids’ songs to them
c.       singing along to the radio and TV and at Mass
d.      telling others that she is “tone-deaf."
3.      My children see Dad
a.       playing instruments and/or singing regularly for myself
b.      singing nursery rhymes and kids songs to them
c.       singing along to the radio and TV and at Mass
d.      telling others that he is “tone-deaf”
4.      My children see me dance
a.       at performances and rehearsals
b.      at several community and family gatherings
c.       around the house frequently
d.      maybe once at my cousin’s wedding
5.      Our current music collection
a.       includes a variety of music from different styles and cultures.
b.      includes special CDs we’ve gotten for the kids.
c.       includes my favorite music from when I was in high school.
d.      is buried in the garage.
6.      Our home has
a.       two or more musical instruments for adult use.
b.      one serious instrument used in the home.
c.       kiddy instruments for the kids to use.
d.      I think that Elmo toy came with a maraca.
7.      Written music
a.       is represented in my child’s décor, toys and books.
b.      is used frequently in our home.
c.       is around for the older kids’ music lessons.
d.      is available at our local library.
8.      Are we composers?
a.       Yes, at least one adult in our home writes vocal or instrumental music.
b.      We make up silly little songs all the time.
c.       We change around the words to songs to make them funny or meaningful. (“Kelly has a big sheepdog” instead of “Mary had a little lamb”)
d.      No.

Interpreting the Results

0 – 7 This is good time to really work on your home environment. Make sure to try to add fun music time to your day. Remember, you need to have fun and love music if you want it for your children. Don’t let your own fears and insecurities stop you. It is better for your child to see you try imperfectly, than to wait any longer to have music as a part of his life. The Homeschool Edition provides further guidance and can help you to make improvements in your musical home-life right away.

8 – 20 You have the skills to create a musical environment for your child, but you can do more. Use this as an opportunity to be more conscious of the musical choices you make at home and try to fill your child’s daily schedule with more opportunities for music. Be especially aware of suggestions in the Homeschool Edition Manual that help you to add music to mealtime, bath time, bedtime, etc. Also, you may need enhance your music equipment and CD collection. CD recommendations are provided in the manual.

21 – 35 You are doing great. Now you need to integrate the specific skills and content we present in this program to help your children. The Homeschool Edition Manual with guide you in creating Unstructured Education Plans for your child which specifically deal with the issue of environment. In your plan, take your current musical environment and try to add one or two elements to it so you could retest and gain at least 2 points.

36 – 48 You have a naturally strong musical home. Your child is likely already progressing well in music development simply by being in this environment. Try to integrate the Making Music Praying Twice curriculum into your family’s musical life, and add a structured music time to your week. You have the ability to use the curriculum in a rich and meaningful way for your child.


3 points for every a.
2 points for every b.
1 point for every c.
0 points for every d

What do I do now? Browse our site for more information, testimonials, and videos. Or, click here to see 4 simple steps to begin your own at-home musical program!

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Fri, October 24th, 2014

Angel of God

Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side…
To light - Like a lighthouse, we need our angels as a beacon to show us the way home.  The enemy sends fog to confuse us and leave us stranded.  Our Guardian Angel is God’s lighthouse.  Follow the light.
To guard – Since God’s plan is perfect in every way, your angel is the perfect warrior to protect you.  Let your angel protect you body and soul and remember that the primary goal is to get you home to Heaven!
To rule – Angels have free will but they do not enact this will through a linear series of choices but in a single, timeless choice.  Angels have chosen to be in union with God’s will and so they can always tell you God’s will.  If you are to be obedient to God, you must always obey your guardian angel.
To guide – A guide is more than a simple map, but a personal helper who helps prevent and overcome the obstacles that one encounters on a journey.  We are never alone.  Our God with us.  We can constantly turn to the “cloud of witnesses” in the Communion of Saints and pray for help from the saints.  As if this wasn’t enough, we have a personal guide who is super powerful and smart and lovely!
The thing that generally blows my mind is that these agents of God that have been intimately bound to us by God are significantly more smart and powerful and knowledgeable than we.  Angels are a big deal!  They don’t sin.  They are always in God’s presence.  They do not have our limitations of time and space.
In my puny human mind, it would seem that we puny, weak humans would be like a pet to our angels.  “Here’s a human for you.  Now take good care of her and don’t forget to feed her!”  But scripture tells us that the Incarnation has changed the hierarchy and once again, the last are first.
By becoming human, Christ has made us greater than the angels, because we are now His brothers.  He made Mary our mother and their Queen.  Let that sink in.  Your mama is the Queen of the Angels.  You heard me.
The angels are more powerful than we are, and so they are our servants.  These are servants we should follow and obey.  Well, in Christ, all leaders are servants.  Christ washed the Apostles’ feet and told them they must also serve in order to follow Him!  So, of course, we should follow and obey our angels who want nothing more than what is best for us, because it is God’s will and because they love us.
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Wed, September 24th, 2014

Making Music Praying Twice Blog 2.0

Hello and welcome to the Making Music Praying Twice Blog 2.0, or as we refer to it, “On a Note & a Prayer.” We’ve had a blog at MMP2 for quite a while but, we are looking forward to more regular posting and, hopefully, more readers and followers! We have a lot of exciting things going on that we are anxious to share, but we’re not quite ready… yet. In the meantime, perhaps an overview of what MMP2 is all about is a good place to start. For those of you already familiar with our program, feel free to comment below on your experience with our music and products. Have you taught a class? Tell us about that too!

Let’s start with our mission…

Music is a pathway to God.

Making Music Praying Twice provides that pathway by bringing children and parents together on the wings of music. Our program of music and movement designed to foster faith in Catholicism and to enrich education and family life pursues a profound goal:

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.

So, how do we create a musical pathway?

At Making Music Praying Twice, we strive to provide curriculum, tools, and opportunities to Catholic families and parishes so that children can grow in rich, faithful, musical environments filled with the power of prayer.  By combining prayer, music, and family with the rich musical traditions of our Catholic heritage and all the sound educational principles of the latest advances in early childhood music and movement, children grow in music aptitude and overall development while drawing closer to God.  But, because of God’s generosity and goodness, whole families are brought closer together, closer to Church, and closer to God.  This is why we are compelled to provide the only faith-inclusive early childhood music curriculum for the Catholic child. 

When we say this, we aren’t referring to music as tool for worship or catechesis.  We mean that by learning and growing in music, this unique and beautiful gift from our Creator, we become more beautiful and more of whom He created us to be.  When we learn the prayers and songs of our Catholic heritage, we become united with the Communion of Saints, all our brothers and sisters from the past who praised God with these same verses and melodies.  When we become more musical in our daily lives, including songs of prayer and faith, our lives become entwined with this prayer.  Through this prayer, God changes us.  He answers our prayers and draws us to Him.  Music touches the soul and remains in the memory in a special and powerful way.

This is why we connect so deeply to St. Augustine’s memorable quote:  “He who sings, prays twice.” Music doesn’t just combine with prayer to make something special.  Music multiplies prayer and makes it into something even more powerful and beautiful.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss any news. Up next, what are the benefits of Making Music Praying Twice on a child’s mind, body, and soul?

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Mon, February 20th, 2012

Ultimate Lenten Challenge

When my oldest was a wee thing, I got involved in our parish youth ministry.  This was at least partly motivated by the selfish interest of finding local babysitters.  Training us was the Director of Lay Ministry, Dave O’Brien.  This is one of the reasons that my short stint on the Youth Ministry Team was so significant in my faith life.  Dave was one of those people who decided long ago that God mattered most and he jumped into this point of view with both feet.  He strives to live his faith radically, choosing extreme simplicity for himself so he can share more with others.  His sparse closet could inspire a new reality show on TLC:  Extreme Simplicity

Continue reading…

Tue, July 26th, 2011

The Unexpected Blessings of Trials

In these hard financial times, one of the greatest sacrifices we made turned out to be the greatest blessing.  I was very upset to find myself pregnant and unable to see my usual, pro-life obstetrician because of our insurance changes.  The new, low-budget insurance continually pointed me to a pro-choice clinic that put me in line to talk to a nurse so I could talk to a doctor weeks later.  Already almost 3 months pregnant, my regular doctor began running tests and found that I had some serious complications and needed to get prenatal care ASAP.  The clinic’s biggest concern was that I was missing my window for “genetic counseling”, which translates to being able to get an abortion.  The distress of feeling like I could not take care of my unborn child, could not get the medical care I needed, could not find a pro-life option, was overwhelming. 

Continue reading…

Fri, May 20th, 2011


When I was little, my mother always told me how old she was.  She never said, “It’s not polite to ask.”  or “29 forever” or any other evasive answer.  As I got older and heard other women refuse to reveal their age, I asked my mom why she was so practical about this hot-button topic.

“Why should I care about that?” she’d reply, “What’s wrong with growing older?”  I thank God for this example.  My mother tries to look nice.  She dyes her hair and cares for her skin.  But trying to look a little younger and healthy is not the same as refusing to acknowledge your advancing years to others.  There is an honesty and self-acceptance that makes this a beautiful thing.  The world may be obsessed with youth, but we don’t have to follow.  We must take joy in the journey, all of it.  Not fight it. 

Continue reading…

Wed, May 11th, 2011

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Phil 4:13

My life is not simple right now.  Pregnant at almost 39 means complications that I’ve never experienced before.  Our homeschoolers are going to have to work through the summer to complete this year’s work.  Making Music Praying Twice is growing, which is wonderful, but means regular travel and speaking in addition to my usual jobs of teaching, writing and keeping on top of the websites.  Of course, life continues to include dance classes, Little League, Tae Kwon Do, choir practice, forensics, physical therapy, etc., etc..

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Thu, February 3rd, 2011

Wrapped in Mary’s Robes

We needed a break.  It seemed like trial after trial was coming our way.  Amid the normal fears and financial tribulations of running a two-year-old business that we are passionate about, I’m dealing with the hormone shifts of a young pregnancy, and everyone must deal with me while adapting as a family to the changes that came with our 19-year-old niece moving in to help us out as a part-time nanny.  Our homeschooled clan is missing Mommy’s attention and the guilt is as powerful as the fatigue and morning sickness.  Suddenly, I’m faced with a couple of serious pregnancy complications, and health-insurance nightmares that keep pushing me toward a pro-choice prenatal clinic.  Our son is diagnosed with Lyme Disease, and my father-in-law dies of a sudden heart-attack.  We are trying to work out doctor’s appointments, plan a last minute 12-hour road trip for a family of seven complete with funeral wardrobe, and deal with the stress.  All of these trials are part of the normal storms of life, but it happened all at once.

Continue reading…

Sat, January 1st, 2011


Years ago, a close friend, the godmother of my youngest daughter, presented me with the Inventory of Charisms by the Catherine of Siena Institute.  It was a great opportunity to reflect and think about what God wanted of me based on the Charisms the Holy Spirit had manifested through me in my life.  But, in reflecting on where the Lord has led me now, as a wife, mother, and co-founder of Making Music Praying Twice, I find that the inventory brings me to my knees.   I need God to fill me with His power with charisms that make up for my failings so I can serve Him better. 

So, here are my very personal prayer resolutions:

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Wed, December 22nd, 2010

That will be for all the people…

Christmas is a time for worship, family, and giving.  It is also an excellent time for evangelization.  The angel told the shepherds at that first Christmas, “I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.” (NAB Luke 2: 4-5)  For all the people.  The shepherds were not chosen only as the first witnesses and worshipers but as early evangelists.  They were called to spread the Good News!  They returned from the Manger, not in silence, but “glorifying and praising God”. 

Continue reading…