January 4, 2014 |  by

Happy New Year!  May 2014 prove to be a blessed one for you and your family!  Our family was treated to a rare glimpse into the world of the Old Order Amish yesterday.  An Amish friend of ours did some serious arranging and got us into two Old Order Amish schools, a place where few “English” are ever invited.  It was absolutely fantastic.  Things were orderly and neat, as would be expected, but surprisingly humming and bustling with constant (constructive) activity.  The most wonderful experience came when both teachers had the students (or scholars, as the Amish call their students) sing for us.  It was an experience I will not soon forget.  It was a capella, of course, and I would describe the singing as a cross between early Appalacian folk and Gregorian chant.  It was really quite different – strange at first, but appealing after some time.  Songs were “called” by an individual student, who would then set the tone and tenor of each line to be sung, along with providing the first word of each line.  Melodies were simple and were often repeated for different songs.  Some songs were religious in nature, other secular but decidedly “old fashioned” – for example, “The Old Homestead” was a secular tune that was sung.

May the government continue to meddle as little as possible in the educational affairs of the Amish.


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