It is commonly accepted, at least theoretically, that music is an excellent tool for education. However, music only sometimes finds its best place in school life, either because of a lack of specialized personnel to lead musical activities or due to different administrative priorities. As Adventist educators, we should make a difference in this regard. If we provide our students with Bible-based music education, they will avoid receiving a distorted perspective from their musical experiences with social media, streaming platforms, and peer interactions. With this context in mind, we may question: What should music’s role be in an Adventist educational institution? How can we use it to nurture our students?
Music serves the balanced development of the whole person, one of the most important goals of Adventist education. It contributes to physical capabilities, from proper breathing to fine motor skills, and cognitive processes such as concentration, coordination, creativity, and memory. In addition, the social realm benefits through ensembles and collaborative music-making. Most of all, music may provide a spiritual framework to understand and share biblical truths.
Our institutions can include music in several ways. In addition to music courses, virtually every subject allows us to use musical activities to reinforce the learning of new concepts, thus promoting curricular integration, and to encourage faith and learning integration through music. Outside the classroom, we can create extracurricular projects such as ensembles or events that provide a fantastic opportunity to engage students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents and to involve our students in mission endeavors. We can even use our music projects for marketing purposes.
What works in one school may not work in another, but music will always be a perfect ingredient for an educational institution’s menu. If we find the right way to include music in our schools and universities, our students will:
- Become more engaged worshipers
- Be able to make wise musical choices
- Benefit from spaces for learning and socializing
- Enjoy a more pleasant school environment
- Obtain a more well-rounded education
- Grow holistically
Music can contribute significantly to our educational ministry, but we must take advantage of it. Music is not the only way to achieve our goals, but it is a gift from God, a foretaste of eternity that we can and should use to benefit our students. If we do not, the forces of evil may distort them and counter our redemptive efforts. So let us not neglect the proper use of music in our institutions; instead, let us allow it to become the blessing God intended it to be!