Although we have a sense that the arts are an important part of a child’s education, typically our approach has more to do with a secular understanding than a biblical approach. A smattering of knowledge about the great composers and artists usually suffices.
However, even our measure of who is “great” has much more to do with secular criteria than with a biblical model of artistic objectives.
The importance of music education is to train worshippers. God calls some to be artists; God calls all to worship. As such, the focus and aim of music education is to train and equip students to learn to read, understand, analyze, critique, and create music for the purpose of worshipping well in spirit and in truth. Music itself can be true—not just the lyrics. Since beauty is an attribute of God, ought we not to offer back to Him in worship that which is truly and objectively beautiful? As such, we need to better understand the nature of music to more fully assess its worth and objective value.
In order to that, we need to train students in music for a task greater than recognizing the melodies of symphonies. I love the arts and have taught art history and aesthetics for a number of years; however, to give equal weight to the visual arts and to music in education short changes our ability to worship well. The fact that we do not have a fully integrated concept of music in education is testimony to the triumph of Enlightenment principles.
For the sake of worship, we must restore music to its rightful and equal place in the “core” curriculum of our education.
Psalm 66:1-4 (ESV)
Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise!
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.
All the earth worships you and sings praises to you;
they sing praises to your name.”