The latest Cultivate podcast episode features a thoughtful and fun discussion with Elisa Chodan, former Veritas Music Program Director, giving us some great pointers to help your family appreciate and enjoy music that nourishes your soul. We invite you to listen to the podcast episode here or read on and use the links at the end of this blog.
Whether choosing a playlist for your family road trips or enjoying an outdoor evening concert, chances are music has a pretty big role in your summer activities.
Thanks to the proliferation of devices, streaming services, and more, our ability to connect with music of all genres - from just-released tunes to centuries old compositions - has never been greater. Our kids can curate their own personal listening experiences as many of us parents were never able to at their age (Remember the days of perching at your radios, queued up and tuned to the hottest music station, waiting for your favorite song to come on so you could press "record" and slap it on your latest mixtape? Sigh. Good times.).
Whether you're an avid musician or have never taken a music lesson in your life, most people have a measure of love for music. You have favorite artists. Songs that you claim as "your jam," perhaps. You have preferences, some of which are quite zealous, as so often evidenced in those heated debates about whether country music or hip hop is better. You often choose to fill the silences in your life with melodies pleasing to your ear.
We humans - as image-bearers of a creative, beautiful God - love music. We seek it out, take it in, talk about it, pay for it by the millions, take it with us wherever we go. The soundtracks of our lives invoke memories and incite emotions, set the mood and satiate our senses.
"It's a unique form of human expression because it goes beyond words," says Elisa Chodan in our latest Cultivate podcast episode. Elisa, who this fall begins her studies for a Masters degree in Music Therapy and Counseling from Drexel University, was our Music Program Director from 2018 through 2022.
"[Music] takes our experience to a level that can't necessarily be quantified. Trying to explain why it's powerful is difficult to do...There's an element of transcendence."
Because music is such a powerful and moving force in our lives, it is worth examining how the music we take in affects our souls. Whether you're a parent of a teen or tween who is concerned about the content and quality of songs your child favors, or you simply want to be mindful about filling your home and life with things that edify you and your family, this question is important.
How can we cultivate listening habits that benefit our souls and enrich our lives?
That is the very question that Elisa and Ty Fischer dig into in this Cultivate episode.
In contemplating how we should approach our relationship with music in our home and daily lives, Elisa likens our music intake to our diet. After all, what we listen to regularly feeds our minds and hearts. And, as Proverbs says, "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks" (15:7).
So, what is going into your heart? Into your children's hearts? Elisa muses:
"A good way to think about music would be 'Does it feel like I’m eating good food?’ Is it not just enjoyable, but is it also nourishing? That's an important way to think about discernment as we're deciding how to spend our time listening to music."
As a classical Christian school, Veritas is committed to providing an education brimming with truth, beauty, and goodness. Music plays a central role in that vision.
Whether as a vital (and fun!) learning aid in the lower grades, as a cornerstone way to express and bolster students' faith through hymns, as an illustration to illumine texts students read in secondary school, or as part of our robust music, choir, and orchestra program, music will always be a crucial fixture at Veritas Academy. (We invite you to read more about why that is in this blog post.)
So, this discussion was a natural fit for Veritas, as we explore together in the podcast what makes music "good," and how (and why) you can broaden your family's tastes and enjoyment of music.
Your ears (and heart) will enjoy a real treat with this episode, which includes a bonus time of listening to and discussing varied and unique music pieces together - from classical to jazz to contemporary Christian!
Use the links below to listen to the latest Cultivate episode on your Favorite podcast platform, or listen directly with the embedded player.