"I play the notes as they are written but it is God who makes the music." J.S. Bach
You may have noticed that I am a big fan of J.S. Bach. His Christian faith was a huge part of his musical philosophy, and I admire that about him. When I was just a little girl studying piano at the conservatory, I thought music was a delightful "extra" addition to the day to day basics of life--icing on the cake--almost frivolous. I see it so much differently now. Music is a part of almost everything we do. Although the following passage from the book of Colossians in the Bible doesn't specifically mention music, it includes several ideas that can be applied to music.
"For by (Jesus Christ) all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Paul’s Ministry to the Church
2Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me." Colossians 1:15-29
There are so many facts in this beautiful passage from God's Word that form the basis for the philosophy of this music studio:
1. All things, including music and the people involved in teaching and making music, were created for the glory of God.
2. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead works in us as we pursue the study, enjoyment, and use of the gift of music that he has given us.
3. Music is a powerful method and context for communicating the hope of the gospel.
4. We are stewards of the gift of music, to make the word of God fully known, directly and indirectly.
5. God uses music amid the sufferings, toil, and struggles of life, and in the process of bringing people to maturity.
Music is not a non-essential. We see it's importance throughout Scripture and history. It is part of all we do--our worship, our celebrations, our times of mourning...Those of us who study music should give it our all with the time we have to develop our skill and artistry.
Music is for everyone. The late Dr. Shinichi Suzuki has popularized the slogan, "Every Child Can," through his Talent Education program. This is true. Every child can become a skilled and artistic musician, yet not because, as Dr. Suzuki felt, people come into the world as a blank slate that is totally shaped by environment, but because each person is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and God is able to work powerfully in each person's life, giving gifts and causing them to grow. We learn in Ephesians:
"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21
[Historical Note: We know that Christ's afflictions lacked nothing in accomplishing atonement for sin (See the rest of Ephesians). When Paul speaks in Colossians about his own sufferings filling up what what was lacking in Christ's afflictions, he refers to what he suffered in his efforts to make the gospel known (shipwreck, persecution, and so on). Christ's sufferings lacked nothing; the only thing still needed (or lacking) was for the gospel to be made known around the world, and that is what Paul was helping to accomplish in his travels where he experienced much suffering.]