How to Teach Hymns to Children
Contrary to popular belief, you can never start too early when teaching your children hymns. Even if you have older children, any time is a great opportunity for introducing them to great hymns of our faith. The overall goal is to help our children see the love and power of Jesus Christ, and this has often been done by singing God’s word.
Purchase a hymn book.
In some cases, you may be able to obtain an old hymn book from a local church that still uses them. If not, you can easily find them here. By having an actual hymn book on hand, you can have a lot of the songs at your disposal. This is also a great way to show your children a visual of what sheet music looks like. Not to mention, they can read the words to the songs and learn to sing them as we did as children.
Learn the songs with the help of a Youtube video.
Maybe you are thinking this is great, but “how do I learn hymns?” or “How can I teach myself a song?”. This is where modern technology works to our benefit. Being able to hop online and find just about any song is a plus. Find easy hymns to sing or the version you like best and have your children listen to it. They can also use their hymn book to sing along. Some videos provide the words while others may just be a slideshow of beautiful pictures. Choose one song to learn at a time. Also, let your kids dance or sway while listening to the hymn. This is known to help with learning as well!
Highlight the gospel story written in hymns.
This is a two-fold suggestion because while learning the song itself, you can also teach your children the truth of God and the gospel story. In the five hymns below, you’ll learn about why the song was written in addition to the biblical truth it is attached to. This, in my opinion, is one of the most important aspects of gospel music. It’s easy to sing the songs, but there is something special when you can actually make the connection between the words and the great truth.
Make your favorite hymns part of your homeschooling.
Just like morning basket time, you can teach hymns in a similar way. Simply go over a song of your choice, use the time for a hymn study, or listen to the song a couple of times. Younger children typically learn best through repetition, so whatever you choose to do, be consistent and stick with it. If your church sings hymnals, your children may be able to hear them during church services. With these tips in mind, let’s look at a few of the most popular hymns that you can teach your children.
5 Easy Hymns to Teach Young Children
Amazing Grace was written in 1772 by the English poet and Anglican clergyman John Newton. Newton wrote the words from personal experience with a message of forgiveness and redemption. This is an especially important principle for children to learn as they grow in their spiritual walk and relationship with Christ. They need to know that Jesus loves them regardless and that He will always extend His amazing grace.
The history of this hymn isn’t completely known; however, the words themselves are worth singing and believing. It speaks of cherishing and honoring God, the Creator of all. It goes on to sing praises to the Father, which is something we should always do. Sometimes life’s circumstances aren’t always fair, but even still, the Lord Jesus and His will are the fairest.
Mighty Fortress is one of the best-known hymns by the reformer, Martin Luther. It has been called the “Battle Hymn of the Reformation” for the effect it had in increasing the support for the Reformers’ cause. It is said that Luther wrote it sometime between 1527 and 1529. Written from Psalm 46, this hymn speaks of God being our help and His kingdom enduring forever.
This is probably one of the most popular hymns that is still sung right now today. It was written by an evangelist by the name of George Bennard. He often turned to Scripture to reflect on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. After writing the hymn, it was sung with a guitar accompaniment and then with a five-voice choir. Eventually, Bennard would sell the copyright to his song.
“In Christ Alone,” written in 2001, is one of the most popular Christian songs in this century. It is written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, who are known for many other popular songs. Getty says he wrote the hymn out of excitement to help twenty-first-century Christians sing, know, and embrace the incredible truths of the Lord in fresh language. He also wrote it out of frustration with the lack of depth in the songs that were being sung in many churches.
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Final Thoughts on Teaching Your Children Hymns
Teaching your children hymns is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. Beyond the academic aspects of learning to read, write, sing, and the like – your children will learn about worship songs that magnify the power of God, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Use the tips and suggestions mentioned above to teach your little children songs they’ll remember for a lifetime.