Arts & Culture

With a Thankful Heart

This month I had the great pleasure of interviewing several Potter’s School students, all of whom are excellent musicians and in the case of a couple people, composers. To begin this article, I’m going to introduce to you our first composer, Ethan T! This talented musician, who lives in Massachusetts, has been playing the piano for nine years and has composed twelve original pieces, approximately twenty-four uncompleted pieces, and five to six film score arrangements. Check out his amazing score here.

A young yet accomplished student, he performs regularly at recitals, festivals, and concerts. He even had the great privilege of studying music at the New England Conservatory of Music for the past three years, which he explains as an “experience I wouldn’t even have dared to dream of as a kid.” So, what about music and his musical experience is he thankful about? “I’ve had lots of opportunities in advancing my skill in music, and I’ve been blessed all around me with supportive parents, teachers, and classmates who have encouraged and pushed me on in my musical endeavors.” Music has been a big part of his life that has allowed him to move on in the rapidly progressing world.

Meet the second musician and composer, Madelaine Setiawan! As a musician in a small town in Indonesia, she enjoys singing and playing the guitar, piano, and flute. Having been influenced by her father and the musical talent of her family, she quickly picked up the piano and guitar, which she has been playing for around seven years. For a first-year composer, she is absolutely fantastic. She pours out her heart in a simple yet incredibly touching piece—-a story—that was “built out of something I felt.” Check out a small clip of her piece by clicking here. Having lived in a very musical family, Miss Setiawan explains that music is “how I praise God, it’s how I speak when I don’t have words to say, and it’s what I love.” With a very thankful heart, she explains that her musical passion has set her free to express her many emotions.

Living in Virginia, Sarai Morato expresses her enthusiasm for music. Already playing for nearly eleven years, she wishes to continue performing the piano at different events for God’s glory. Still following her musical passion, she began learning Christian songs from online tutorials. She wishes to eventually go to attend WorshipU at California since they “train worship leaders with musical and leadership skills.” Her love for God is certainly expressed through her musical enthusiasm.

Anyone from Louisiana? If you are, you’ll just have to meet Makenzie Davis! She has been playing the piano for thirteen years, having been taught by family friends. Though she confesses the challenges of virtuoso piano playing, she thoroughly enjoys her lessons, while at the same time bonding with her teachers. She wishes to maintain her piano skills for the rest of her life. She explains to me that “playing an instrument is a skill that you can develop for your entire life—you can play for family gatherings, holidays, relaxation, or even in church.” God has given her a wonderful gift that she is entirely thankful for.

As a pianist, vocal singer, and occasional composer, Faith Thompson of the state of Maine demonstrates her love for God and desire to glorify Him. Having played the piano for eight consecutive years, she plays at her church to bless her fellow worshipers. “I wanted to emulate her [a friend], so I started playing seriously and grew by leaps and bounds in talent, perseverance, and time spent,” she notifies me. She wishes to continue following her musical passion by minoring in college so that she can “bring praise and honor to Him through my piano playing.”

Music can do wonders to a person’s life, even draw us closer to God. As a musician myself, I hope that I can manifest the talent of others and benefits of music through the stories of the several people I had the privilege to interview this month. Psalm 95:2 says, “Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” Since music is a beautiful gift from God, I encourage all musicians to remember and be thankful for the wonderful sounds an experienced soloist can produce from their instrument, whether it is their voice, a piano, guitar, or flute.

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