Music Touches the Heart – Especially of Young People

27023EDURGB600Last night, music took center stage in my session as we we explored the Psalms! We focused especially on the myriad of feelings that are expressed in the Psalms and used contemporary music to capture some of those same feelings. Our emphasis was on the notion that we can talk to God under ANY circumstances and in ANY mood.

Since last week was a snow day, not all of the kids remembered to bring in a song, but about half did and their examples were good. Using this handout (Psalms and Emotions Chart Handout), we went song by song, identifying the emotion being expressed and then reading a Psalm that expresses that same emotion (answer key ). After each one, I asked if anyone brought in a song that expresses that emotion as well. The best example was a young man who brought in “Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day, which deals with the death of the lead singer’s father. The student brought this in as an example of sadness/despair/depression.

If I were to do this session over again, which I probably will some day, I would re-do my handout to cover only 8 examples of emotions instead of 12 which was just too many and took too long. In all, however, the kids really enjoyed the music and it kept them very well engaged.

About Joe Paprocki 2745 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

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