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?
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
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.
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.
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..
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.
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:
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”.