***The first musician in the Bible is: Jubal, in Genesis 4:21. He was the father of all that handle the harp and organ. Congrats to Sheryl for getting the right answer! It was also pointed out to me that really the Lord is the very first musician! So true! But the first human musician was Jubal. Great job!***
We have been discussing how to apply Psalm 150 to our lives as musicians. If you missed the other posts in this series, here is Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Most of the time on this blog, I focus on piano teachers, their teaching and their students. But praising the Lord with music is not limited to this group of people. What are some other ways that we can praise the Lord with our music?
Singing. We often joke that the Bible says, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord," but it doesn't say it has to sound good! (Psalm 100:1) Anyone can sing to the Lord. I have known people who, shall we say, "can't carry a tune in a bucket," but they don't let that stop them from joining in the congregational singing at church. I deeply admire those people that are willing to sing from their heart and not worry about what other people think. We are all commanded to sing to the Lord. (Psalm 100:2)
Playing an instrument. It doesn't just have to be piano! Any instrument can be played for God's glory. Just be sure the focus is not on you, the musician, but on ministering to the hearts of the people listening. A good question to ask yourself is, "Will my "performance" (I don't like to use that word when we are speaking about playing for the Lord, but I trust you understand what I mean.) turn the listeners thoughts to God, or to myself?"
Playing the radio. You may have started to figure out that this radio thing may come up often in my posts. :) That's ok, because I think it is so, so important! Along with this we can include any music you play, on cds, ipods, and all the other gadgets that are out there today. Yes, even this music should be played to bring glory to God! I do not think that all music we listen to as Christians needs to be hymns played slowly on an organ. I love a good soundtrack every once in a while! The Irish Tenors + me = love. Are you getting the picture? I do think, however, that even this music needs to be glorifying to the Lord in its style. Think about it this way: we've all pulled up beside a car at a stop light and had our eardrums blasted out by the vehicle next to us. Usually this music sends a VERY clear signal - and its not a signal that makes me think any thoughts about glorifying God! So if someone else were to hear the music that I listen to, would it in any way hurt my testimony for Christ? Think about it.
Invest in others. Maybe you are beyond the age where you feel you can learn an instrument. Maybe you are one that can't carry a tune, or you've lost your ability to sing due to illness. Whatever the case, you can invest in some one else! Let (or make) your kids take instrument or voice lessons. Set an example to others by joining in congregational singing or some other involvement. If you are a man and you can play an instrument, please, please, PLEASE don't hide your talent under a rock! Little boys need to see that playing an instrument is not in any way "girly." You don't know the impact you could have just by your example. Perhaps you don't have kids or grandkids of your own, but you could provide a way for someone else to take lessons. Offer to help with a piano recital at your church (food, decorating, etc) or be a van driver for your Christian school choir or band. If you use your imagination and become intentional about music, anyone can find a way to participate. Be creative!
Those are the ways I have come up with. Does anyone else have suggestions? What are the ways you have found to praise the Lord with music? Don't be shy, we'd love to hear!