Music shapes, changes listeners

By Doug Brooks: Guest Columnist

Editor’s note: This is part of a week-long series in which local columnists talk about their love for music in celebration of “Music in Our Schools Week” at Clovis schools.

Music has been a powerful, influential component my whole life.

I was in the school and church choir and I stayed in choir through my college days at Wayland Baptist. I believe that music is one of the most powerful and moving elements in life today. It seems that everyone and everything has been shaped and changed in some way by music. Everyone likes something about music. Whether it is country, rock, easy listening, jazz, rap, Gospel or contemporary, music evokes powerful emotions.

As a boy I would spend time listening to the Gospel quartets that were shaping the music of the church as well as the radio personalities that were huge in this country like Glen Campbell and John Denver. In school choirs I was taught an appreciation for music of other cultures and languages and practiced honing my skills to perform them. It seems that each decade of music helps to shape and define the country we live in.

Lee Greenwood’s “I’m Proud to be An American” gave new meaning and energy to American Patriotism.

I believe that some of the best Christian Music has been written in the last decade. Music by Casting Crowns and Mercy Me have added a new chapter in the history of music.

Music always has been and always will be intensely personal. Regardless of it’s style and flavor, music has the ability to speak to all people. If I am singing “It Is Well With My Soul” or “Who am I,” it still becomes the message of my soul and my heart. I do not believe that music shapes worship, but is an instrument of worship. Worship remains a matter of man’s heart opened to God’s heart and together they beat as one; whether there is a room filled with music or complete silence.

I loved music from the beginning of my life and still love it today although I don’t sing as much as I once did.

Though I have spent the last 25 years preaching, when I die, music will probably say all that needs to be said or sung.

Doug Brooks is the pastor of the Parkland Baptist Church.