This is a session looking at music.
It has a host of media clips and worksheets attached so please take a careful look at all of this. Some content has been developed from other content so please use and develop as I do:
By the way, the Gospel Music Association has released findings that Christian young people illegally download music as much as non-Christians - click here - it's time to re-educate!
1. Introduction and what do we want out of this session.
Brief chill-out time, maybe quick munchies. Define expectations of people listening and taking part etc. Affirm that we're all taking part, that debate is good, be involved as much as you can, we're here to learn from each other.
(Feel free to let debates go on, don't be too rigid in sticking to content. In this 45 minutes session we didn't do all that's listed below)This is a look at music, its Biblical history and perspective. We’ll look at what music is, where it comes from, whether it’s all from God and what our role can be.
Get someone to write up a bunch of different styles of music on a whiteboard (remember pens) or a flipchart etc. Get people to shout out.
(Examples - rap, r&b, nu-metal, gothic, house, techno, pop, drum'n'bass, rock, hard rock.. what about examples of music within music? For example there's loads of styles of rap music etc.)
We also captured footage (recorded) from TV. Nothing with a dodgy video but perhaps something with a very slight edge to illustrate how we need to be careful what we watch.
3. Bits and Pieces
This is a pop quiz where you get a load of short clips of songs and then put them into a mix and play it back.
Give out sheets of paper and pen and work in teams to guess both the artist and song title (point for each). Winners get prize. Playback then swap sheets to mark other’s papers. Can play back again and shout out answers or just shout out.
To do a bits and pieces quiz, go to the radio 1 playlist, click on 'listen' to the audio samples and record the brief snippets and then mesh them into a grouping of say 7 songs. If you have a Mac, you can download Audio Hijack for free. This allows you to capture any audio source on your Mac. I'm sure there is similar PC software such as FreeCorder. Alternatively, buy a latest music compilation CD and click through the tracks manually.
What instruments were there in the Bible? Answers on whiteboard.
Here are some: (check out 'The Bible made plain and simple' by Mark Water for diagrams and more info)
- Horn or cornet
5. So do you know what reasons for music there were in the Bible?
Give out Bibles to groups then worksheets. Let’s have a worksheet each to check it out. Go through the Bible verses and check them out.
Go through the worksheet carefully, get people to read the Bible verses out loud (always a good idea) and then discuss, feedback as appropriate.
6. So did God invent all music?
What do people think? What about music that is evil and damaging? Is it the music or the lyrics? Rick Warren says there’s no such thing as Christian music, only Christian lyrics. Is this right? What should our priority be (love the Lord your God and love your neighbour – Mark 12.29-31)
Let’s listen to an audio clip – click here for the link to the website with the audio clip - note that you may or may not want to play this clip back via audio. Basically it's Britney Spears - Hit Me Baby One More Time. A good enough reason perhaps not to download it but when the song is reversed it says, 'Sleep with me I'm not too young.'
Incidentally this audio clip has not been doctored despite some comments. I have personally tested (reversed) the original.
Makes u think about what you’re listening to!
Read Romans 12.1-2, Ephesians 4.23, Colossians 3.2. So the key is protecting your mind. What goes in comes out. Lads, ladies. It’s Summer. Be careful what you wear and what you look at and think about.
Incidentally, I've come across some 'Christian' sites that spend time dissing Christians and Christian music (go figure!) On one it said you shouldn't use drums in worship as they're not in the Bible. Hmm. So why do these guys have a website? Don't see that in the Bible! Strange how we all twist the Word of God at times..
7. Christian musicians or musicians who are Christians, or both?
OK, so there’s a big debate going on right now in Christian hip hop between people who are Christian rappers and others who class themselves as rappers who are Christians. It could be the same in any Christian music thing.
What do people think of this interview with rapper Red Cloud, who's a Christian:
" I love Jesus Christ. I will never deny that. But why don’t people refer to Rakim or Busta Rhymes as 'Muslim Rappers?' How come I never hear 'Ladies and Gentlemen let’s welcome Buddhist rappers - The Beastie Boys!' I could bang with the best of them bro - and have served many men… the same with Ahmad, TunnelRats or DeepSpace 5 - that’s what ministers to me. If I’m a Christian man… and I sell ice cream for a living… does that mean that I sell 'Christian ice cream' ? "
8. Practical questions - let’s learn together
Any other questions just shout out: can we listen to all music, is all music good for us, should we just listen to Christian music? Worship Music. Music is one way to worship God – perhaps play a track. We had one of the young people play a worship song on his guitar while people reflected on their response to what God had said - not all listened but remember, we all respond to God in different ways and on diverse levels.