May 26, 2011

Psalm 150: A Biblical Perspective of Music

The subtitle of my blog says this:

"A peek into my life as a piano teacher and my efforts to live out Psalm 150:6, "Let everything that has breath praise the LORD."

(See, right up there. Thats what it says.)

Why do I try to live out this verse in my music endeavors? This is why: it is a command. Simple as that. A command not just for piano teachers and their students, and not just for anyone pursuing any type of musical training. It is a command to everyone that is breathing to praise the LORD. (I'm really hoping that if you are reading this right now, you fall into that category. Breathe in, breathe out. Everyone good? Ok, moving on..)

Last fall, my students and I made it our goal to memorize Psalm 150 in its entirety. Well actually, I made it our goal, but my students were quick to latch on to this challenge. The encouraging thing is that this Psalm only has 6 verses, so it did not seem like a daunting task at all. I wanted my students to really embrace this Psalm and see that our piano playing and practicing is ultimately to bring honor and glory to Him, not for ourselves.

They did a great job. Several learned it even quicker than I had hoped. We talked about the different instruments mentioned in this Psalm, and often went over the correct pronunciations. :) But most of all, I pray that they grasped the concept, that what we are doing is all for God's glory.

I hope that it is important to you. I hope that you teach with this principle in mind. I do. I hope to take the next few blog posts to discuss (notice I said discuss...that means I don't want to do all the talking :) how we can have a Biblical perspective of the music we teach. If you are not a piano teacher, don't stop reading. You need a Biblical perspective of music, too, whether it be the music you listen to, sing, play, or whatever your case may be. I hope to present a balance between teaching our students music for education's sake, and teaching our students music for the Glory of God.

Because it is important to Him. If it wasn't, we wouldn't be commanded to do it.

Psalm 150:1-6

Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.


  1. God and I have had an amazing week - well, actually probably about a month - of special piano lessons. As I see a student excelling in the talent God has given, I mention that to them. I have been in tears several times as I have seen one boy watch me do triads and inversions for the first time, and copy exactly! Another girl caught on to the math in minor scales, and then played back an entire piece I'd just played, and she sight read (I wouldn't let her try HT because it was an invention, and I wanted her to hear each hand's melody). One adult lady has enjoyed learning easy transcriptions of hymns, and uses her practice time as praise to God. Another girl and I frequently sing "I Can Do ALL Things" to each other when a piece seems daunting.
    Thanks for the reminder that in all things we are to give thanks! I'm praising God for the awesome students He has gifted me to teach! My piano area is my mission field to reach others for His Kingdom!

  2. Thank you "anonymous" (do you mind telling me who you are and where you are from?? Just because its fun to know:) It is easy for us to overlook God's hand in our day-to-day "mundane" teaching, and instead focus on the talent of the student or our amazing teaching skills. :) Lol! Once we recognize that those talents and the accomplishments we see are from God, it changes everything about our teaching! Thank you for commenting and for pressing forth in your mission field!

  3. What an inspiring post, Nicole! I am always looking for ways to instill into my students the concept of praising the Lord with their music. Very cool that you all memorized Psalm 150 as a studio! I'm very excited to see (and hopefully participate) in your further discussions on this topic!