Faithful Learning in the Performing Arts
By: Audrey Statler (HS Music and Musical Theater)
Teaching music and musical theater have greatly deepened my faith in Christ over the last few years. I think the way I have seen the greatest correlation to my faith is through understanding the gift in the process rather than the end result. So many of the areas I teach end in a final performance or public showing. Myself and the students involved are often tempted to focus on the end result and what others will see rather than the process of getting to the end.
The problem with focusing on the end result or the image portrayed is that so much of the joy of the process is stolen. I often challenge the musical cast to make sure they are focusing on the joy of learning the music in everyday rehearsals and to focus on how their character is being shaped through the mundane tasks of learning lines and the discipline of practice.
I find this is so similar to our journey with Christ. He is daily teaching us about Himself and our own need for Him through the mundane. Christ disciplines us with love and longs for us to embrace the day to day challenges of choosing faithfulness to our Father and Creator. The privilege of directing students in musical theater has deepened my daily need for Christ. I am frequently reminded of placing focus on what I do “behind closed doors” rather than only placing value on what is seen by others. What a gift it is to practice using our gifts and to receive discipline from a loving Father!