Music is more than sound emanating from an instrument; it can take us to a place of worship. For me, music is the best (and at times only) way I know how to pray. Prayer can devolve into a mechanism for us to ask for God to make our lives better, giving God a list of our expectations. I’m not the only one, right? Even tonight, I found myself asking God to please make potty training easier for my 3 year old. Music, for me, has become a way to detach from the expectations of whatever I think I want from God and instead to focus on God through the gift that music is.
The beauty of worshiping God through music is that God is always present. There are times, particularly in rehearsals in a church or at home practicing violin, that I find myself most at peace, more intune (if you will) with the spirit. Putting adequate focus on a single note or phrase for an entire practice session is when I find myself turning toward God.
Since I tend to be a nervous performer, I take a breath prior to playing and ask God to infuse the notes I play to touch others with meaning and beauty. I am no Hilary Hahn or Jascha Heifetz and never will be, but hopefully listening and attending to music still becomes a form of prayer for others too.
“I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music.” ~ J.S. Bach