Learning to Sing

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Amoong the pupils of Porpora, the great Italian master of music, was a lad from Naples in whom the great musician took a special interest.
One day the master asked him if he had the courage to undertake a special course, and stick to it, regardless of how long and wearisome it should seem.
The pupil agreed. Whereupon Porpora wrote upon a single page of ruled paper, the Diatonic and Chromatic scales, ascending and descending, the intervals of the third, fourth, and fifth and
so on, in order to teach him to take them with freedom, and to sustain the sounds, together with the trills groups, appoggiaturas, and passages of vocalization of different kinds.
This page occupied both the master and scholar during an entire year; and the following year was also devoted to it.
When the third year commenced, nothing was said of changing this primary lesson, and the pupil began to murmur. But the master reminded him of his promise and the fourth year slipped away. The fifth followed, and they were always at that one eternal page.
The sixth found them at the same task; but the master added to it some lessons in articulation, pronounciation, and lastly in declamation.
At the end of this year the pupil, who supposed himself still in the ABC's, was much surprised, when one day his master said,
“GO, MY SON, YOU HAVE NOTHING MORE TO LEARN, YOU ARE THE FIRST SINGER OF ITALY, AND OF THE WORLD!”
He spoke the truth, for this singer was none other than the celebrated Carlo Broschi Farinelli, born in 1703 and died in 1783. He was the most extraordinary tenor the world has ever known. It is difficult to imagine the furore which his appearance created in London in 1734.
His fame reached the court of Spain where Phillip V was suffering from black melancholia. The exclusive services of Farinelli were engaged and for ten years he sang the same four airs for the king, night after night.
Such an anecdote as this, as recorded in a standard history of music, well illustrates the Lord's way with those who have accepted Him as their personal Savior.
It is God's purpose to fill heaven with singers who were once sinners; but saved by His grace.
The sweetness of God's grace is tasted when we first accept Christ as Savior—"in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace.”
But the fullness of that grace will be learned
all through our Christian pathway through this world.
As Farinelli was told by his master, "you have nothing more to learn, you are the first singer of Italy, and of the world," those saved by grace in the highest sense, having learned their lesson, shall find to their joy and amazement that they are perfect singers.
And oh, what a song will be theirs! Such strains as no ear ever listened to before; telling out, as they will, the praises of Him who is infinitely worthy.
“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy... for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.”