Along with the rest of my siblings, I took piano lessons growing up. My mom is an accomplished musician and she wanted to be sure that her children carried on this gene. I was the only one of my four siblings who actually crossed the plateau from despising these lessons to actually (secretly) enjoying learning music and becoming fairly decent on the keyboard. I then joined the school band as well as the high school choir (the picture below is of me receiving a trumpet from my parents for my grade 8 graduation present).

Music began to carve its importance into my life as an adolescent and well into adulthood.

I believe that this “fostering of music” instilled in me at a young age by my mother was foundational, and became such a key part of my story. Even today, I find myself drawn to excellent music of all kinds, to listening for a perfect harmony, and allowing myself to be drawn into the beautiful gift God has given us.

Music is without a doubt a “Good, Beautiful and True” part of His design.

Deep within our Souls

I attended a middle school chapel recently and it was such a joy to be a part of. One of the songs led by their praise team was our school-wide theme song, “Lions” by Skillet. It had been awhile since I had sung that song, so it was nice to sing it again.

People often ask me why we have chosen to continue with a theme song every year as a school. It has become a practice of ours for a few years now to allow our Facebook community to select a song that our students will learn, lead and weave into the culture of our school. This year, of course, was no exception. The answer I give people varies a bit, because the reality is, pinpointing exactly why we continue to insist on having a theme song isn’t easy.

This past year, our leadership even wondered out loud if it was time to drop our school theme song, but in the end (as evidenced by “Lions”), we stayed with it. Part of the reason for this varied response and not being able to pinpoint exactly why we insist on having one is because I believe music has a mystery about it. Music is a gift from God that does something different in us. Music tends move into our souls and move us. It can uncover nostalgic moments of our lives. It can change the emotional state of ourselves and the rooms we are in. It goes beyond the conscious and moves into the subconscious.

Touches our Hearts

It’s no wonder we are so emotional about music and the choices of music we listen to. As parents, we care a lot about what type of music our kids listen to, in part because we know how much music can penetrate the soul. We don’t believe our kids when they tell us that “the bad” music they listen to doesn’t affect them—because we know music has a way of connecting to our very being. Interestingly, in our churches, it might be the topic that we parishioners disagree about (and maybe even argue about) more than anything else. It’s an emotional topic.

One Joyful Voice

It’s also no wonder music unites us.

When we sing corporately, whether in chapels, in the church buildings where we worship, in our homes with our families, or even at concerts where we are invited to sing along; we gravitate to this sense of being all together. I believe this is most likely at the core of why we continue to insist on having a theme song every year. Our theme songs tell a story of our united community; bringing us together without us having to say it out loud, and ultimately, giving us joy to proclaim with one voice—that “our God is a Lion”, and “if we’re going to walk, we’ll walk like lions.” The instruments that God gives us to play or sing beautifully, are truly gifts from Him.

And we believe deeply that music is a core tenant of what it means to be in community, and is an important part of how and what we teach at ACS.

If we’re going to fly,
we fly like eagles, arms out wide.
If we’re going to fear,
 we fear no evil, we will rise.
By your power, we will go,
by your spirit, we are bold.
If we’re going to stand,
we stand as giants.
If we’re going to walk,
we walk as lions.

Skillet, Unleashed. Atlantic Records, 2016.