By In Podcast, Worship

Episode 24: On Music Making Culture

In this episode of the Kuyperian Commentary Podcast Jarrod Richey and Derek Hale discuss music making in our culture.

The Desert of Musical Literacy

Jarrod begins with the observation, “Everybody in the world has music around them all the time, and yet, no one can make it. Everybody has a device, everybody has access to the world’s greatest music (and the world’s worst music) at the touch of a button or the click of an app. And yet, very few people have formal music training, have the ability to make music, or to be what we would call literate in music.”

Jarrod Richey is a music instructor at Geneva Academy in Monroe, Louisiana and also serves as choir director at Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church. He is the author of Bach to the Future: Fostering Music Literacy Today. Jarrod studied music at Louisiana Tech, received a Masters in music from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and his Kodály music teacher certification from Wichita State University.

How the Spirit Moves in Worship

“I do find it interesting, that the Spirit in a lot of these churches really hates classic hymnody,” remarked Derek Hale, who points out how many modern churches have confused our responses to contemporary music with genuine spirituality. Derek points to Ephesians 5:19 where St. Paul tells the church to address, “one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

“There is a this horizontal aspect [of worship] where we address one another,” explained Hale. He goes on to explain that the worship service is not only directed toward God, but serves as a means of grace, comfort, and edification for the community that you are presently worshipping amongst.

Derek Hale is a elder, chief musician, and performs pastoral duties at Trinity Covenant Church (CREC) in Wichita, Kansas.

Not Music Snobbery

Jarrod Richey also cautions musicians and pastors against musical snobbery. “We’ve got to encourage people to see the importance of music making…start where you are, but don’t settle or resign yourself.”

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Additional resources on Music and Culture: 

Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns: How Pop Culture Rewrote the Hymnal

In this book, T. David Gordon looks at changes in Christian worship and not only examines the problems, but also provides solutions. They are solutions of great importance to us all- because how we sing affects how we live.

All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes

Cultural expert Ken Myers helps us to engage pop culture from a historical and experiential perspective so that we can live in it with wisdom and discernment.

Exhortations : A Call to Maturity in Worship

This is a collection of the exhortations that Pastor Douglas Wilson delivers as a “call to worship” at the beginning of each Lord’s Day service at Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho.

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