This next topic in the “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet is “Music and Dancing.” This can be a fun lesson for your family depending on the approach that you take. As you look over the ideas suggested choose the ones that will work best for your family. If you have a specific child who is listening to music that you feel is inappropriate be sure not to single her out during the lesson. You can talk to her in private after the lesson is over.
Begin the lesson by reading Doctrine and Covenants 136:28. Then as a family read the section “Music and Dancing” from the “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet. After you have read this you will want to discuss the different types of music that are available to listen to. You may want to gather several different types of music and have the family listen to a short amount of each type of music. You can explain what the difference between the genres in music and play some of your favorite songs. You can also play some music that you loved to listen to when you were a teenager. The night can really focus on appreciating the different types of music, which are available. You may also want to talk about appropriate dancing. You can demonstrate it and have the whole family dance to different songs. You can read this article about how to deal with inappropriate music and dancing at school. You can also share the article “Pop Quiz” and this question and answer article about appropriate lyrics from the New Era. You may want to discuss the mood that music sets as you listen to it. You could choose a piece of music that changes moods as it tells a story. Good examples of this can be found on soundtracks. You may also want to use classical music for this. You may also want to choose a hymn to learn as a family this week. You may also talk about different family members’ musical talents. As a family commit to listening to uplifting music throughout the week. Then read Doctrine and Covenants 25:12.
If you have primary aged children you will still follow the basic outline for the lesson. The younger children should really enjoy dancing as a family and listening to different types of music. You can also share the stories from “Gratitude for Music,” “Words of Warning,” and “The Little Friends” section on music. “The Little Friends” section has a matching game that you can play as a family.
If you are teaching adults you should still read the section on “Music and Dancing.” You may want to read “Blessing Our Lives and Homes with Sacred Music,” and this question and answer section on helping youth listen to appropriate music. You can then discuss the ways that choosing appropriate music has blessed your life. You may also want to share some of your favorite hymns and the background stories behind the music.
For the opening and closing songs you may want to choose a favorite hymn. From “Hymns” you could also sing “‘Tis Sweet to Sing the Matchless Love” p 176, or “There Sunshine in My Soul Today” p 227. As a family this week or in the next month you could plan a trip to listen to the symphony or attend a choir concert. Don’t forget to have refreshments!