Some of my earliest memories are of the “old-fashioned” hymns sung in our little country church during my childhood. I vividly recall my dad’s enthusiastic singing. He sang with all his heart, his face glowing. Even as a little girl, I knew my dad loved the old hymns.
My siblings and I were also expected to participate in the singing. Many a time my mom looked down the pew at us four kids, sternly mouthing the word, “Sing!”
I’m sure it’s not a coincidence that I know dozens of hymns by heart today. My parents blessed me with a “goodly heritage” (Psalm 16:6), and I want to pass that heritage on to my children, as well.
A love for the old hymns doesn’t just happen. It is instilled and nurtured from a very young age. This list of hymn study resources will help your children develop a love for the great hymns of our faith.
Hymn Study Resources: Books
Hymns for a Kid’s Heart Series
This series by Joni Eareckson Tada and Bobbie Wolgemuth is perfect for studying hymns with younger children. Each book covers 12 hymns (great for studying one hymn per month for a full year!) and includes an audio CD.
For each hymn, the book includes a story about the hymn’s author and background, a devotional, lyrics and music for the hymn, and a Bible verse and prayer.
Books in the Hymns for a Kid’s Heart series:
- Hymns for a Kids Heart, Vol. 1
- Hymns for a Kid’s Heart, Vol. 2
- Christmas Carols for a Kid’s Heart
- Passion Hymns for a Kid’s Heart
Mr. Pipes Series
Each book in this series presents the fictional account of two American teens who travel with an elderly English organist known as Mr. Pipes. The three travelers have plenty of adventures and also learn about a number of hymns from a specific region or period of time. Great read-alouds!
Books in the Mr. Pipes series:
- Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers
- Mr. Pipes and Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation
- Mr. Pipes Comes to America
- The Accidental Voyage: Discovering Hymns of the Early Centuries
Then Sings My Soul Series
This series of books by Robert J. Morgan would be an excellent resource for older elementary level and up. The books include devotional-style stories, music, and lyrics for each hymn.
Books in the Then Sings My Soul series:
Biographies of Hymn Writers
These biographies of well-known hymn writers are designed especially for younger readers. Although they are suggested for ages 8 and up, even younger children would be able to understand and enjoy hearing them read aloud.
- Ira Sankey: Singing the Gospel
- John Newton: A Slave Set Free (Trailblazer series)
- Fanny Crosby: The Blind Girl’s Song (Trailblazer series)
- Frances Ridley Havergal: The Girl Who Loved Mountains (Trailblazer series)
- Well with My Soul: Four Dramatic Stories of Great Hymn Writers (Heroes of the Faith series; stories about Frances Ridley Havergal, William Cowper, Horatio Spafford, and Philip P. Bliss)
- Fanny Crosby: The Hymn Writer (Heroes of the Faith series)
- John Newton: Author of “Amazing Grace” (Heroes of the Faith series)
- Adventures in Odyssey #242: Hymnwriters (dramatized story)
- Adventures in Odyssey #221: It Is Well (dramatized story)
- Fanny Crosby (audiobook)
Hymn Study Resources: Printables
Here are several printable resources that will help your family learn more about hymns:
- Hymn Study Notebooking Pages (Follow link to downloads page; then choose music option.)
- Hymn Study for Homeschoolers: Timeless Hymns for All Ages
- A Mighty Fortress Is Our God Hymn Study
- Trust and Obey Hymn Study
Studying hymns with your children will take some time and effort. But I can promise you that it will pay lifelong dividends. Let’s pass this heritage on to our children!
…teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16)