Hello from the Bradford family and Heartstrings Music!
We are a one-family music group, singing and playing a variety of instruments together. Our unique presentations include carillon handbells, concert harp, string quartet, keyboard, and singing. Each family member has a part in the group, and we work in harmony not just in the music but also in the behind-the-scene activities of practice. preparation, travel and set-up!
Craig and Joella, the parents, both grew up in musical families, Craig in up-state New York, and Joella in Pennsylvania. Craig’s parents sang together and his mother would play the piano while the children and other relatives joined to sing in old-fashioned songs for the family circle or their church. He grew up singing and playing organ or piano for his home church. Joella came from a family of 11, who traveled and gave performances in handbell ringing and singing. She learned to play piano, flute, and violin at a young age. Craig and Joella met while both studying music at a small Bible college in Pennsylvania. Craig majored in piano and voice, while Joella studied Music Education, and across the years, they have continued to use their skills to share music publicly together or teach. It has been an exciting adventure and journey through life, as one by one, each child arrived and added his own dimension to the joy of life with each one’s particular talent.
All of the children have received piano lessons over the years, and each one has also branched out with other instruments. Susanna, the oldest, plays concert harp, violin, and viola. Charity has excelled on the violin, and Ethan is learning cello. Jonathan and Laura are beginning violin training as well. It is a dream come true to be able to pick up instruments and play music together, whether it’s Bach, Mozart, folk songs, wedding music, hymns, or performance specials.
Music is a divine gift. Through many generations, families have made the art and skills of music part of their home life. Even in an era when it has become easy to just touch a button to produce music, it is still, (and possibly even more), beneficial to children and families to learn to sing together and play instruments to inspire and stimulate us mentally, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually.
The Family Unit is also a divine gift. No one could ever improve on God’s plan for a mom and a dad to raise a family in an environment of love and learning. Most of all, we as a family know we are here to glorify God, to spread the Good News of salvation in Jesus, and to do our part to make this world a better place for all.
Perhaps today you know what it is to have broken heartstrings. Problems of relationships, health, guilt, pain and sin have one by one shattered what was once a sweet instrument of praise in your heart. May you find Jesus taking His gentle hand to tune your Heartstrings and make beautiful music there once again!
“All my life was wrecked by sin and shame,
Discord filled my heart with pain.
Jesus swept across the broken strings,
Stirred the slumb’ring chords again.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Sweetest Name I know; Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.”
We hope you will enjoy learning more about our corner of the world and listening to samples of music from our Heartstrings to yours!