Music can put us in a mood, good or bad, uplifting or sad
At Kamehameha Schools, music plays an important part in our learning development. There is music in the air at our school, especially when we are preparing for the annual song contest. The song contest is a wonderful opportunity because it creates a unity between class and a whole entire school. It teaches us to appreciate the beauty of music, the Hawaiian language and the writer's message.
Music creates a feeling and an atmosphere, whether it is good or bad, depending on the type of music. When my mom was a senior, a school concert started off with a hard-rock band. It was my mom's first time listening to that type of music, but she said it made everyone, including herself, feel all intense and edgy, and her heart was racing rapidly. She was amazed at how a song could make her feel. Following the rock band, they had a band that played Hawaiian music. She noticed those around her, herself included, started to mellow out and calm down.
I think I learned primary and church hymns before I learned to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." Our mom also taught us that when you have nightmares, when you dream, try to make yourself sing "I Am a Child of God" and to pray. She also taught us that if we were ever to get lost or feel junk to sing that church hymn.
Singing hymns and listening to appropriate music begins in the home. Our leaders have reminded us that as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we should fill our homes with the sound of worthy music. Hymns can bring families a spirit of beauty and peace and can inspire love and unity among family members. Sing hymns as lullabies to build faith and testimony in the young ones. Sing as you work, as you play and as you travel together.
There was one time I had my iPod and my friends asked if they could listen. They said, "Kyrie, your choice of selections is very interesting but uplifting." I have all the hymns and primary songs and classical music along with some popular modern songs.
Music can set an atmosphere of worship, which invites that spirit of revelation, of testimony. Inspiration comes more easily in peaceful settings. So when you are listening to loud, inappropriate music, you choose to chase away the spirit that could be with you.
I pray that we may eliminate any inappropriate music from our lives and follow the counsel of our Savior. Let us use the hymns to invite the spirit of the Lord into our congregations, our homes and our personal lives. Let us memorize and ponder them, recite and sing them, and partake of their spiritual nourishment.
The song of the righteous is a prayer unto our father in heaven, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon your heads.
Kyrie Nakatsu is a junior at Kamehameha High School and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kahala Ward.