Music for Granada

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The people in Granada love to sing. They sing for meetings, church services, and Sunday school classes. If a meeting is 15 minutes late ending, they still sing a closing hymn before they say “amen.” The interesting thing is, no one here has had any training in music. To begin a hymn, they count “una, dos, tres,” and then everyone starts singing—on their own key and with their own creative timing and melody. Several people have asked us for music lessons, and now we are suddenly busy teaching piano lessons with 8 keyboards that are a gift from the Harman Foundation.

In a place where people routinely arrive as much as 40 minutes late for church or our English lessons, we have people arriving 20 minutes early for teclado lessons, because we don’t have enough keyboards to go around. We are teaching three nights a week from 4:30 to 7:30 and then 9:00 – 10:30 and again 3:30 – 5:30 on Saturdays with standing room only crowds asking for more. Tonight, we actually taught one of the little street boys that routinely climbs the fence to play ball at the church when no one is there. He has a lot of natural talent and kept telling the other boys to leave him alone so he could practice.

Our goal is to have the members ready to play hymns from the simplified hymnbook by the time we leave Granada at the end of the year. We can already see that we will have students ready to play the sacrament hymn in a few weeks.

After listening to eight keyboards at a time hammering away at “There is a Green Hill Far Away” for hours at a time, we both almost laughed out loud when we got to church on Sunday, and in both branches we attended, Frank played the scheduled hymn. You guessed it, “There is a Green Hill Far Away.”

This week Ellen is scheduled to teach all the primary presidencies about using music in the children’s classes. We love the way that music teaches gospel lessons for all ages, and brings the Spirit of the Lord into our meetings, hearts, and homes.

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