Music has always been a constant in my life. Growing up in a homeschooled family, it wasn’t an option, it was “class”. I never thought much about it those early days of practicing. I just got up, ate breakfast, and sat down at the piano. A few years after starting piano, I begged my parents to let me add more joyous melodies to the house; soon the sound of a nine year old perfecting the screeches of a violin began. It was just an every day part of life.
At the time I had little idea where practicing all those scales would take me. Beginning with Twinkle, Twinkle on a little stage and playing in music festivals, to being concertmaster at Conservatory orchestras and playing the famous Beethoven’s 5th in the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Looking back, it’s pretty incredible!
However, more amazing than music “accomplishments” are Christ’s accomplishments, through our music. Through music, the news of Jesus Christ is brought many places, places that normally would not accept it. Some of my most intense moments of prayer have been while playing with a choir and orchestra in Europe; crying out to the Lord that people would see Jesus as we sang about Him at an outdoor park in Lucerne, Switzerland, for Muslim children at an outdoor basketball court in Hamburg, Germany and in the Swedish state church.
In the Psalms we are told to “Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to Him on the ten-stringed lyre.” (33:2) and to “Praise Him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute.” (150:4).
Sometimes I think we forget that music is not just another item to add to the “to do” list. It isn’t a chore. It is worship. What is more, it is an intimate, direct link to the heart of Christ. Through music, more than any other venue, can we can express and release emotion to the One who created our souls. While learning, playing, singing and listening to music, we can express what is in our hearts. Anger. Joy. Sadness. Happiness. Disappointment. Excitement. Love.
Music releases emotion. Therefore, it creates an emotional connection with Christ that we are not always aware of. Seeing this transformation happen in someone as they participate in worship through music is amazing. People come into church with their arms crossed and mind focused on life issues, but leave praising the Lord. I come to rehearsals drained and tired from a long day, and leave renewed and energized. People who are closed to the message of the gospel will listen to music proclaiming the truth of Jesus.
Music has changed me. Through the power of music I have come to love Jesus, more and more and more. This has a ripple effect. The more I express praise and worship to Him, the more others are provided with an opportunity to do the same and love Him more. Music changes people.
So, as I continue to lift my violin at choir and orchestra practice, as I sing in church, and as I play piano for a gig, I remember that my sole goal is not to improve my skills, or have fun (although I do!). I do it to create and express emotion, to enter into worship of my God and Creator, and to ultimately spread the love of Christ.