Putting Scripture to music for kids is one of my absolute favorite things to do! Singing a Scripture can make Bible memory a breeze. Think about how many songs you learned as a child that you still know today. You still have all that information memorized and logged away somewhere in your mind. And while knowing your ABC’s and that the little star above twinkles can be very important, how much more important is the ability to retain God’s amazing Word?
A simple melody and a Bible verse fit can like a glove and can solidify God’s Word in your hearts and minds. But how does one go about putting Scripture to music? Here are 5 tips I follow when writing my own Scripture music:
1. Look for words that rhyme. A Bible verse won’t always have rhyming words, but sometimes a Scripture will lend itself very nicely to this poetic form. For example, Hebrews 12:1 (NIV) could easily be separated into the following lines:
Let us throw off everything that hinders us
And the sin that so easily entangles us
And let us run with perseverance
The race marked out for us
The rhyming word or sound is the word “us”. You can even hear the “us” sound in the last syllable of “perseverance”. You can now use this rhyming pattern to your advantage when coming up with a melody line.
2. Determine the main word or words in the Bible verse. When putting John 3:16 to music, I wanted to emphasize the word “gave”, so during part of the song I actually repeat the word a few times in a row. Here is how I separated the lines:
For God so loved the world
That He gave His one and only Son
For God so loved the world
That He gave and gave and gave and gave…
This repetition lent itself well to my melody line as well as the emphasis I wanted. It also helped me create some fun motions that go along with the song that my kids enjoy doing.
3. If rhyming words do not exist, repeat the melody line. I realize this tip is hard to write about, but easier to “hear”. I will try and explain, though. Bible verses won’t often rhyme. So what you can do is separate the lines of the verse that fit nicely into a melody line that gets repeated. In other words, the melody is “rhyming” instead of the words. I have used this technique a lot and it works very well.
4. Make sure your melody line creates the mood you want to portray. Do you want an upbeat tune or more of a lullaby? What goes with your verse and what feelings do you want to convey?
5. Finally, don’t forget to add the reference to the verse. I think it’s important to include the “address” of a Bible verse in your Scripture song. You can really get creative here. Don’t feel like you have to put the reference at the end of the song. You can place it somewhere in the middle or even beginning.
Hopefully, these 5 tips will motivate you to get out your Bible and your favorite instrument and start writing some wonderful and creative music!
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