We've established the fact that we as Christians are commanded to praise the Lord with music. As "professional musicians" (and I use that term loosely) I believe we have an even greater responsibility. The Bible says "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the LORD, and not unto men." (Colossians 3:23) So not only are we commanded to praise the LORD with our music, but we are to do it heartily, to the best of our ability. Depending on our area of expertise, that may mean playing an instrument, singing, teaching music, etc. We must give the Lord our absolute best
But how do we balance this as piano teachers? (or violin teachers, or trumpet teachers...you get the picture.) How do we teach a piano lesson for the Lord without it turning into a church service? How do we focus on doing what we're supposed to do...teach piano....while doing the other thing we're supposed to do...praise the Lord? (Phew, this sounds complicated!)
1. Give God the Glory
Whenever you have the opportunity, give God the credit for what happens in your studio. The positive things and the seemingly difficult things! "Isn't it amazing that the Lord created our minds so we could process all this information at the same time?" "Isn't the Lord awesome for creating music all around us."
You students don't all have to be "religious" or church-goers for you to do this. Even "non-churched" students can hear these words! You most likely are not teaching in a public school...you can mention God or you can pray and not get in trouble for it! If you know that the religious views of a particular family might be offended by this, then use discretion. There is no need to offend. There is no need to embarrass your student or make them feel uncomfortable. Give God the glory where you can, and then move on with your lesson.
2. Live it
Realize that whether you are in or out of your teaching studio, you are teaching by your example. When your student or their parent sees you in the grocery store, their eyes don't see you any differently than when they see you in your studio. You are a living advertisement for your studio. So if you are going to "bring God into things" by giving Him glory in a lesson, then the rest of your life must fall into line. In all areas of your life, you must give Him glory and live a life that points others to Him.
3. Apply it
Find small ways to praise the Lord collectively in your studio. As I mentioned in my last post, several of my students and I memorized Psalm 150 this last year. Did all my students participate? No. Again, I tried to use discretion and not cause offense. But many of my students did and now several have a new favorite passage of scripture. :) Another thing that many of my students did was to find the first musician mentioned in the Bible. They had to tell me his name and one thing about him. Believe me, this isn't as easy as you might think! (Hint: its not David!) For some, I gave them the book or even the chapter so they wouldn't be overwhelmed. This was a fun assignment! (Especially when I heard my siblings asking their pastor-dad...even he didn't know!)
On the surface, having my students find the first musician doesn't seem like an activity that praise the Lord. After all, they are just finding the verse in the Bible...thats it. But it does cause them to not only search the scriptures, but also to realize that music and God are connected. They can see first hand that God does care about music...after all, He mentions it many times in His Word!
You don't have to be a Bible teacher or graduate from seminary to bring praise into your studio. Just find simple ways to praise God while teaching your students about the music He created.
What things do you do in your studio to bring glory to God? Are you wondering who the first musician in the Bible is?? :) How about a little challenge!? Lets see who can find him first. If you think you know, leave a comment with his name and the passage. If no one can find him, I'll start giving clues. :) Ready, set, go!