Summer Reading and Writing

Every summer, my work schedule eases a bit since many of our music students take time off, which usually allows me to get caught up on some other things. Hopefully this year will be no different!

This summer I’m very excited about a project that’s been on the back-burner for a while. Last year I began developing a curriculum for our children’s choirs called “Systematic Hymnology”. We implemented it to some degree beginning in January, but thus far I’ve been essentially writing material for each week’s lesson during the week it would be taught, adapting my original plan here and there as I learned what “worked” and what didn’t in the classroom.

What we did worked very well, and showed me that it’s definitely a concept worth developing, but for it to be truly effective (and useful for others besides just me), I need to work quite a bit ahead, getting things down on paper and into the hands of our other directors. Much of my time this summer will be spent working on that, in the hopes of having at least one semester-worth of lesson plans written before choirs start back in the Fall. It’s a lot of fun, and I enjoy doing it, but it’ll also be a lot of work. Pray that the Lord will bless me with great productivity!

Something I’ve been working on this last week is getting caught up on book reviews. I’ve gotten so far behind! The last few days I’ve been updating my Amazon reviews. In looking over some of my past reviews, it was encouraging to see that there are several books for which my review has been voted “Most Helpful”. It’s not a terribly long list, but it’s comprised of some really great books!

For instance:

I certainly don’t write reviews for the sake of “helpful” votes, but I do write in the hope that my reviews will be helpful to those who read them! Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that when people purchase books after clicking through from the review on my blog, Amazon gives me a small commission! It’s not much, but it adds up after a while, allowing me to then purchase more books. If you ever need to purchase anything from Amazon, though, click a link from my blog first!

Here are some books I’ve read recently and hope to review in the next couple weeks:

Up next on my reading list?

Of course, “up next” doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t insert something else onto that list first! With the exception of the Steiner book, these are all relatively recent. I try to mix it up with some literature, biographies, and classics. I’d love your suggestions of books I should read and review!

2 comments on “Summer Reading and Writing

  1. Brian says:

    Saw this about Steven Furtick’s church. Thought you might find it interesting…

    • John Gardner says:

      I’m not a fan of Steven Furtick. I’m actually reading his book right now and trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, but ever since I first heard of him a couple years ago I’ve thought he was bad news. But I get free books sent from publishers and I have to review them whether I like them or not. Thankfully, I have seen a few encouraging signs that Furtick might be moving in a positive as far as his doctrine and approach to ministry (and the book has been better than I expected). I hope that is the case; he has a big following and could have a great impact for the Kingdom if he can become a real solid preacher.

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