Why Study Music?

By | November 5, 2022

A couple of months ago my wife came across a meme on Facebook entitled “Reasons to Study Music.” With compelling graphics, it offered six to eight benefits that studying music provides. I’ve seen similar lists before, but all are derived from a secular viewpoint. I was led to come up with a list that also provides a Biblical and theological viewpoint.

If you find the list useful, please feel free use it. Click here for a downloadable PDF version of the statement. For a poster size version (legal-size), click here. If you have a moment, please click on the “Contact”  tab above and drop me a note. I would love to hear about your situation and how you used the statement.

Why Study Music?

1. Music is a gift of God (MUSICA DONUM DEI).

Music was created by God for our enjoyment and as a special means of communication. Throughout the Bible and all time God uses music to proclaim His love, mercy, and grace. Music is God’s greatest gift second only to the Word of God (Luther).

2. Music is art and beauty.

God gave mankind, the crown of His creation, the ability to create. Some are given the gifts of drawing or painting, some eloquence in prose or poetry, some dance and movement, others composing or performing music. We call these the Fine Arts to distinguish them from the Applied or the Technical Arts. The best of the arts allows us to glimpse the beauty and wonder of the world God has made thus enriching us and pointing us back to Him, the Creator of all things.

3. Music is life and culture.

Every culture throughout the world expresses their struggles, triumphs, joys, and sorrows through music. The best music of a culture builds and strengthens it. Examining a culture through its music is an effective way to learn about it.

4. Music is history.

Throughout history, people have expressed themselves through music. Studying historical music and historical events through music helps us understand history and historical cultures.

5. Music is language.

People sing songs in every language. Learning these songs helps us learn those languages.

6. Music is math and science.

Music is mathematics in time (Boethius) and part of the Quadrivium in Classical Education. Math is essential to reading, understanding, analyzing, and composing music. Math and science play essential roles in acoustics and the design and construction of musical instruments as well as many other aspects of music. “There is geometry in the humming of the strings.” (Pythagoras)

7. Music helps reading.

Reading music uses the same skills that help to develop and maintain literacy.

8. Music promotes physical and emotional health.

Singing or playing a musical instrument is a fine motor activity that requires the coordination of many parts of the body. Besides the physical benefits, good music helps to establish, increase, and maintain brain function and releases endorphins that promote overall health and well-being.

9. Music is theology.

By singing the songs that God gave us in the Bible, we learn theology. By singing the songs and hymns of the faithful poets and composers of the past and present, we learn theology. Singing these songs, we become “the living voice of the Gospel” or VIVA VOX EVANGELII (Luther).

10. Music is for all ages and for all eternity.

People of all ages benefit greatly from good music. When they die, the faithful will join the Eternal Song “with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven.”

Stained glass window depicting the Angelic Choir in the Brussels Cathedral.
Photo 26993302 © Jorisvo – Dreamstime.com

Soli Deo Gloria!

Martin Dicke – October 2022
© 2022 Martin P. Dicke. All rights reserved.