Music has always been a very important aspect of my life. I grew up performing in church programs and school concerts. I attended a small private Christian school until high school so most of my musical upbringing was founded in the church. I have always been told that music is a gift and the best way to use that gift is to praise God and share His message of love with others. This is a significant reason I decided to pursue music as my career. What could be a better use of God’s gift of music than sharing it with others through education and performance?I am continually thankful for the opportunities God has given me to explore my talents and share in that passion with others wherever I go. In high school, music allowed me to create life-long friends and even travel. I was blessed enough to take a trip to Europe through a music organization called The Ohio Ambassadors of Music where I was able to appreciate farther expanses of God’s creation and His people internationally. One of the most beautiful moments for me as a musician and Christian was the opportunity to sing a variety of hymns on a mountain in the Swiss countryside. It is incredibly moving to experience the community founded in music and I could not keep that experience to myself, so I decided to gear my passion towards music education. As I am seeing music from more of an educator’s standpoint during my student teaching, I see the impact it has on the next generation. Especially in such a difficult and dividing time in all our lives, it is encouraging and uplifting to see how unifying the act of creating and experiencing music can be. In a normal school year, one of the most beautiful things about a music ensemble is the gathering of students from all walks of life coming together for a joint purpose. This year that concept is amplified, and music not only brings people together but is one of the only times in their whole week where they get to express themselves and have fun with others. I see God’s presence in my students every day. I see God’s presence in their happiness in belonging something. I see God in the joy they feel when they master a section. I feel God’s purpose for me as a teacher when even just offering kindness and encouragement to students that need that positive interaction more than ever. These glimpses of His glory are some of the main reasons I see how music must derive its power from a higher source.