“My heart, O God, is steadfast;

    I will sing and make music with all my soul.” – Psalm 108

Merry Christmas!  I hope you had a great one.  Mine was spent with family in Orlando, where people were still wearing heavy sweaters and coats despite the weather being in the 70’s.

2014 ends on Wednesday, and I always reflect back on the year and make resolutions for the next.  I’ve made my music resolutions and would like to propose something for you as well.

This is what happens when I meet someone new:

Stranger: “So, what do you do?”

Me: “I’m a musician and worship leader/I’m a musician/I play music at a church” – or something similar, depending on who the stranger is.

Stranger: “Oh WOW!  Man, I used to play the _____ .  Yeah! I played for ____ years and I WISH I had stuck with it.  It’s one of my biggest regrets in life!”

And then there’s a story about how they didn’t practice enough, or they loved it/hated it, but it always comes back to wishing they had stuck with it.  This literally happens in about 95% of my first conversations with people.

I like hearing these stories sometimes.  It’s sort of a revealing of the past, mixed with feelings of regret, and longing for the simple childhood days when the biggest problem in life was that you didn’t want to practice the piano.  Music and making music evokes memories.  There are a lot of memories tied to experiences of playing in an orchestra, singing in a choir, or playing in the marching band.  There are lessons learned about artistry, creativity, technique, and perfection.  

If it was so wonderful, why does it have to be in the past?  Because I’m a mix of music therapist and worship leader, I will always advocate making music for its musical, nonmusical, and theological benefits.  

Consider this:  The act of making, practicing, performing music is a very powerful act of worship.

Would you consider making music one of your New Years resolutions?

In my next post I’ll be unpacking why I tie in music as a powerful act of worship and proposing practical ways to do this, but for now I wanted to share some of my resolutions:

1. Practice keyboard more – technical skills

2. Practice keyboard more – harmonies (I’m still growing my collection of chords and chord progressions!)

3. Vocal warmups everyday – my friend Rachel introduced me to a great vocal warm up app 

4. Regular rhythm of practicing songwriting 

5. Jam with kids at least once a week 

6. Jam by myself – create and just let it flow, instead of trying to make it perfect

7. Jam with others – have fun!

8. Worship in music