A Creative Escape
The Fine Art world has been my home since I was a little girl. I started off in Elementary School by joining the Choir and taking Piano Lessons. I learned Flute when I got to Middle School and joined the Band. I later added Oboe, and continued both Flute and Oboe throughout High School. Band was my LIFE throughout Middle and High School. I competed in All-State almost every year, went to USC Band camps and USC Band Clinic all while remaining heavily involved with my High School’s Band. I then went on to pursue my Music Degree at Columbia International University in college, with an emphasis in Instrumental Studies (with Oboe as my chosen instrument).
Music and Art have given me ways to escape and heal from the tough parts of life, enjoy the great parts of life, and Worship in a way not everyone can Worship. I was awful at school. I found out that I had a lot of learning disabilities when I became a Senior in High School. Since I was relatively old to find out I had these issues, the tutors were confused as to why I got so far through school without more help. During the tutoring sessions, they found out that Music and Art had actually saved me from being held back in grade school, and even saved me from being put into Special-Ed classes in college. Specifically, Music taught me perseverance, hard work, and problem solving skills while also strengthening my brain in a way no other activity ever could.
Music also gave me a way to escape the constant struggle with Depression and Anxiety. It gave me a way to be a part of something bigger than me. As an introvert and a quirky person, I always struggled socially. I did not have many friends, I was bullied, and I was put down by classmates and teachers. Because of that, I felt like the only place to hide was in one of two places-
1) My mom’s office in the library or
2) the Band Room.
Now, even though I am not heavily involved with Music at all, I still find my mood being lifted by listening to or playing Music. When I have had a bad day and I am driving home, I listen to music and sing. It never sounds good, but that doesn’t matter. I find that it brings me out of that bad mood much faster when I lose all sense of “I’m not good enough”, and just let things out in a way that is creative. There is something about taking something negative (like my bad mood) and using it to create something that makes me think more clearly and positively.
I feel that God gave us music for a reason. There is beauty in silence, but the beauty of creating Music makes me feel so much closer to God. Worship can be done with or without words, and even with or without a Christian writer. There is a time to let the worship songs we hear on the radio or at church do the talking for us. Those words can be used as a pre-made prayer that we can put on repeat throughout our day. There is also a time for non-Christian songs. For me, I have had some of my best conversations with God come from a line I hear in my favorite Beatles or Queen song. Yes, the people in non-Christian bands often denounce God, but that doesn’t mean that God is not going use those same people for His glory. The struggles they talk about in their songs are often the same struggles we all go through, Christian or not. They are often misfits or outcasts who made it big in the music world. To me, hearing music from a fellow misfit can do a world of good. It is like God is reminding me in a new and different way that I am not alone in my struggles. God uses everyone and everything to glorify him, and non-Christian music is no exception. There is also time for the music that does not have words. When I play music on my instruments, it is so easy to let God’s words to me fill in the space for lyrics. Whether it is the music of Cimarosa or Mozart, or the music from my favorite hymns, each piece can be a different conversation with God.
I would encourage anyone to get involved more deeply with Music in their daily life. That does not mean you have to be amazing at it! If you don’t feel comfortable singing or playing instruments, just listening to Music can encourage you in a way nothing else can. Maybe even listen to a Hymn or Worship Song as part of your daily devotion! Even if you feel like you are just having fun listening to Music, you may not realize how much it is actually doing in your life. I would love for everyone to eventually see and appreciate how much Music can do in their own lives, just like I have seen how much it has done in my life.