Abellimento Violin Studio // Sponsor Spotlight

Today’s post is written by Holy Hen House sponsor Abigail Peterson of 

Abellimento Violin Studio

. She is a violinist, teacher, and blogger at 

With Living Soul

When I was in seventh grade, I decided I was going to be a professional musician. Of course at that age, all I wanted to do was play in a major symphony orchestra. I had just started playing in a youth symphony program and, even at twelve years old, could barely imagine doing anything else with my life.

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Over time, my dreams became a little bit more realistic and six years later, I started studying music therapy at the University of Minnesota. When I first arrived, I was thrilled. I had been fighting for independence as long as I could remember.

You see, I've been in a wheelchair since I was four years old. I was born with a rare spinal cord injury. For the most part, I have been extremely blessed and have been able to do most things independently. Sure, I couldn't play kickball the same way all the other kids did at recess in grade school, but we had our own modified version. I also played wheelchair basketball and of course, my main thing was playing violin. However, as a teenager, I began to crave more independence. I just wanted to live on my own in a new city.

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So there I was in Minneapolis. But college was not all I expected. The classes were hard and when faced with health issues during my first semester, I was alone. I kept at it, studying music therapy for the entire time I was there. I made lots of great friends and enjoyed my time, but during that time I started doubting whether or not being a music therapist was actually the job for me.

Sometime during my time there, I decided it wasn't. I moved home to Milwaukee, got married, and started the only other thing I could imagine doing with my life. I still wanted music to be my main focus, so rather than using it as a tool to heal people, I decided I just wanted to share my love of it with others. I wanted to do what my first violin teacher and parents did for me.

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That's what I do today. I teach Suzuki violin because I truly believe it is the best method out there, especially for teaching little ones. My favorite thing about it is the focus on the child as a person above and beyond being a violinist. I have an almost two-year-old son whom we take to a Suzuki Early Childhood class on Saturdays and I know he'll take Suzuki lessons in just a few short years, no matter what he picks as his instrument.

It wasn't what I imagined for my life before college. But God clearly had other plans for me. Things didn't go perfectly for me in college, and things certainly aren't going perfectly now, but I can't imagine doing anything else. That's not to say God doesn't have different plans for me along the way. I realize that. But for now, I'm completely happy sharing my love of the violin with my students and watching them learn and grow while I keep learning and growing, too.

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Abigail Peterson teaches Suzuki violin in West Milwaukee. She started playing the violin as a "Suzuki kid" at 4 years old and somewhere along the way decided she was going to be a Suzuki teacher, too. She loves teaching students of all ages and spends a lot of time learning and growing to become a better teacher. When she's not teaching, she's playing with her young son, Otto, reading a great book, or watching Netflix with her husband, Kyle.

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If you are interested in Suzuki violin lessons or hiring a wedding/event violinist in the Milwaukee area, contact Abigail here.

Why should kids listen to hymns?

Today's post is written by Holy Hen House sponsor Matthew Scott - bassist of church band Koine' There’s magic in hearing your kids sing. Most likely, they’re slightly off key, out of rhythm and they butcher the lyrics, but it’s still magic. I didn’t always appreciate children singing. In fact, when my wife, a teacher, invited me to hear her class sing in church, I couldn’t understand why she would extend an invitation to which I had no personal connection. I was foolish, and this is why.

I am now a father of 3 wonderful girls, all under the age of 5. While they are developing their own interests and personalities, I realize the most fascinating aspect of watching someone grow is seeing how their passions move them. What they choose to learn, repeat and perfect are the things that resonate with them, the things that they hold dear.

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I play bass for a band called Koiné. We specialize in arranging traditional Christian hymns with modern instrumentation. So, instead of singing along to Of the Father's Love Begotten or I Am Jesus' Little Lamb accompanied by a pipe organ, we play guitars, keyboards, and drums. I want my girls to know what I do and how I use my gifts to serve the Lord and His church. The effects of all this became very real to me the other day.

I was caught in bumper-to-bumper traffic, very aware that I was going nowhere. My “to-do” list running rampant in my head, I was sweating what I had left to do before getting home to make dinner and get everyone to bed. From the backseat, I hear my two-year old singing In Christ Alone. Not, just the chorus, but multiple verses. “How do you know that whole song?” I am astonished. Thank you little lady for turning my brain back to what really matters.

My kids sing hymns. My kids know hymns. Not just modern hymns like In Christ Alone, but obscure hymns like Amid The World's Bleak Wilderness, or older hymns like Salvation unto Us Has Come. Why is this important? It’s opened opportunities for lessons I don’t know I would have had otherwise.

“Do you know what salvation means?” “Do you know what grace is?”

I’m not saying that listening to hymns alone replaces daily prayer or family devotionals, but it’s definitely been a supplement in my family’s walk with God. I’m thankful these resources have been created. Having CDs for listening at home or on the road has been extremely helpful bridging the gap between people they know from the Bible with more complex concepts of faith: grace, salvation, God’s covenant with us. Their knowledge and repetition of the lyrics gave me an easy opportunity to offer some explanations. Do they understand it all? Not always, but maybe just as they pick up the lyrics and melody through repetition, something will click with them the next time we have a conversation.

Proverbs 22:6 - Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

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Koiné has recorded 7 albums to date. Koiné (Self-Titled), Gesangbuch, Church Bells, The Vine, Visit, Emmanuel Lux and Anno Domini are available for download on iTunes, with CDs available in their online store.

*** Use coupon code HENHOUSE to get $5 off the purchase of a CD. Limit 1 CD per customer. *** Coupon expires May 31, 2015. 

Be sure to follow Koiné on Facebook, Twitter, or join their email list for free music, news, and more.

You can also watch concerts and videos on the band’s YouTube Channel. Find all this and where Koiné will tour next at koinemusic.com.

Karla Adolphe Lingering Christmas EP Giveaway

Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.- Edward Hays, A Pilgrims Almanac

Lingering. This is the word. The one I've been searching for this Advent season. Since December began a common theme throughout all of our posts has been to slow down. To rest in the grace that we don't have to do anything extra this Christmas! Immanuel came to do everything. To save us. This is what Christmas is about. Let's linger in that grace.

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Lingering is the title of Christian Indie musician Karla Adolphe's new Christmas EP and her music creates a space to listen and ponder Immanuel, God with us.

When I play Karla's music it is like she is sitting across from me with her guitar and telling stories from her heart. The story closest to her heart - Jesus.

Her voice is strong, soulful, and intimate.

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Karla's original, All Your Glory, is a wonderful addition to the more familiar Christmas melodies such as We Three Kings, Do You Hear What I Hear, O Come O Come Emmanuel, and In The Bleak Mid Winter.

In All Your Glory Karla sings,

You will be with me,  right by my side.

Those words sound like lyrics to any song but when you attach them to Jesus and Christmas this brings peace beyond understanding. We are not alone. We are not left alone in our sin. Immanuel came, God with us.

So sing along and remember God's promise - even if we don't feel worthy...

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. - John 14:18-20

Karla will be giving away one album download of her recent Christmas EP, Lingering, to FIVE of our readers!

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In Karla's own words,

"Christmas is often the most wonderful time of the year, but as I learnt with Honeycomb Tombs, grief can cause even the treasury of Christmas to become challenging.  I really wanted to create an album that would extend grace and warmth to those of you who may be grieving this season and honour your kindness to me as a listener.

I hope you enjoy the songs I selected, some of these are my absolute favourite!  The songs express themes of pilgrimage, longing, hope, revelation, visitation and prophecy.  I hope in them you find rest; linger with me and thank you for joining me on this journey."

 

To enter the giveaway, you must answer the question in the comments below.  How do you linger in the meaning of Christmas this time of year?

 

The 5 winners of Karla Adolphe's Lingering Christmas EP will be announced December 16th!

 

Chair+and+Microphone+Vol+3+karlachairI happened to come across Karla Adolphe’s music by chance on Pandora and had to find out who she was! I love when Pandora pleasantly surprises me like that. When I first heard her music I quickly highlighted, copied, and pasted “You Are Mine” in my search bar and ordered the album Enter the Worship Circle, Chair and Microphone, Vol. 3 immediately! The songs are based off of scripture and Karla does an incredible job of including personal poetry to make a unique work of sacred art. Enter the Worship Circle, Chair and Microphone, Volume 3 is one of my top five albums.

 

 

 

cover-honecombHer album Honeycomb Tombs is for a more specific audience and mission: to bring comfort to those in grief. After the death of her friend’s daughter, Karla brought comfort to the grieving family with music. She has extended that gift to us on this inspired album. A true gift is given freely – click here to download the album for free. Did I just say free? Yes, but if you are ever so kind, you can pay $5 to help with her project.

 

 

 

Stay up to date with Karla Adolphe by her Newsletter // Facebook // Twitter // Website

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