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Why did I become a music teacher? What did I always hope for my students? Why did God allow me to enjoy such successes and lessons in the music classroom in seemingly impossible inner-city situations? For one reason and one reason alone: TO TOUCH THE MUSIC AND BE TOUCHED BY THE MUSIC, which to me is the same as TOUCHING GOD AND BEING TOUCHED BY GOD. I knew from the first time my soul was touched, I wanted others to feel music in their hearts as deeply as I did.

MY SOUL TOUCHED. My life’s dream is to share the heart and soul depths of music. I will never forget the time I was of elementary age playing with toys upstairs in my bedroom. The Lawrence Welk show’s pianist began playing the first part of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2. The sound instantly seized my attention and I went flying downstairs to get as close as I could to this incredible music. Consequently I have been a career musician and music teacher. In the last few years, I FOUND the music I want to play. It is Zephaniah 3:17. I want to play God’s melodies back to Him that He sings over me in all their many emotions, styles, volumes, tempi, and timbres for all the different situations in my life. I want to play those melodies so sweetly that others will hear them and be drawn to the Lord into a deeper relationship with Him. May I ask you to help me? Please pray that I will be able to hear every nuance of His melodies with perfect ears and be able to play them back with perfect musicianship. You are welcome to listen in!

OTHER SOULS TOUCHED. What do I mean by touching others’ hearts and souls with music? I will never forget the first time this actually happened. I was playing the Warsaw Piano Concerto as solo pianist. It is basically in three sections. The first is showy and bravissimo as is usual with a concerto; the second is slower with a beautiful flowing melody; and the third is a recapitulation of the first. The auditorium was packed, the piano was front and center, the orchestra was tuned, and the concerto began. The first section went as predicted. Then came the second section and an experience I shall never forget. The beautiful melody began to speak into my heart. As I heard its beauty and felt its emotion, I released my heart to enter into it. I flowed the melody through my heart and then out my fingers. The orchestra heard and felt it, and fed more into it. I in turn freed my heart to release more! Back and forth the musical content of the melody escalated into extraordinary and aesthetic. (Unknown to my awareness, I became totally lost in the music.) When the concerto ended, it took a few moments for me to realize I needed to stand up and bow. When I turned to face the audience, they were on their feet clapping and cheering wildly with tears running down their faces. I have never forgotten that experience! If this is what music can do on earth, what will it be like in Heaven? (I relayed back in the section on Student Accountability how the same experience happened to the students in my music classroom.)

WHY? Why have I written all these things as analogies and word pictures to pastors and churches? Because the Holy Spirit recently said in my ears that He wanted me to share the successes and understandings He gave me of how I led streetwise, inner city kids into loving and respecting music, loving and respecting me, and loving and respecting each other to make music together harmoniously. He also said if this was done with street kids who are normally at odds with each other, then pastors should certainly do the same in God’s churches where people are already singularly focused on Him. Pastor, the challenge is now in your hands! What will you do with it?

ONE LAST MIRROR REFLECTION. This discussion about paradigms began with my relating how I could read the students’ mirrors of attitudes, behaviors, and so on. There is one last reflection a teacher or leader needs to see in the mirror. Yourself. Teaching success is directly equivalent with how well you know yourself. The more I understood my own faults, failures, and character flaws, the more I could heart-connect with my students to help them, both as music students and personal individuals. In the proper process of knowing yourself, you should first know who you are, second know what you are, and third know what you do. Knowing yourself and having it settled inside you, reveals what you are created to be, which then reveals what you are to do with your life. Too many people try to determine first what they want to do with their lives, and then they attempt to see backward through the three levels to answer who they are.

Over time, I discovered that my students learned a little from WHAT I SAID (press your thumb and index finger together). They learned a little more from WHAT I DID (position your thumb and index finger about an inch apart). They learned the most from WHO I AM (spread your two arms as far apart as you can reach). Who are YOU? What are your answers to the questions in the first paragraph in the "(1) Introduction"? Know yourself !

HAPPY TEACHING !!! or is it HAPPY PREACHING !!! ???????
With lots of love, Dave Knauss

Your Belief System and Your Church: (1) Introduction

Your Belief System and Your Church: (2) Your Paradigms

Your Belief System and Your Church: (3) Bondage or Freedom

Your Belief System and Your Church: (4) Gateway Skills

Your Belief System and Your Church: (5) Teacher Accountability

Your Belief System and Your Church: (6) Talking About vs. Doing

Your Belief System and Your Church: (7) Student Accountability

Your Belief System and Your Church: (8) Assessment

Your Belief System and Your Church: (9) Bury Dead Tradition

Your Belief System and Your Church: (10) Teaching vs. Learning

Your Belief System and Your Church: (11) Teachers' Three Phases

Your Belief System and Your Church: (12) Excellence is NOT a Goal

Your Belief System and Your Church: (13) My Teaching Limits Were Their Learning Limits

Your Belief System and Your Church: (14) Unlearning Creates Success

Your Belief System and Your Church: (15) Pioneers vs. Settlers

Your Belief System and Your Church: (16) Real and Lasting Learning

Your Belief System and Your Church: (17) Problems With Memory

Your Belief System and Your Church: (18) Ownership Creates Success

Your Belief System and Your Church: (19) Not Perfect, But Honest

Your Belief System and Your Church: (20) Take Risks and Give Away Control

Your Belief System and Your Church: (21) Out of a Job

Your Belief System and Your Church: (22) KCAASE and Proverbs 24

Your Belief System and Your Church: (23) Responding vs. Reacting

Your Belief System and Your Church: (24) Only When Performed

Your Belief System and Your Church: (25) A Supervisor's Vision

Your Belief System and Your Church: (26) Glimpses Into the Spiritual

Your Belief System and Your Church: (27) One Reason Alone

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Pastors we desperately need you to touch our hearts and souls with the depths of the Lord. I pray you are truly called to this. I can't see anyone making it in such a difficult field without being called. We can do as David asks with his music and pray that you hear clearly and follow perfectly while we listen. It is as we watch you walk what you talk that we listen . Frankly, I stop listening to folks who make no effort to walk what their mouth speaks. I respect my current Pastors, even when I disagree, because I have seen them walk their talk through a very difficult church split. Although deeply hurt just like some of the rest of us, they have not become bitter and have continued to bless even those who have been hurtful. Their walk speaks louder than their talk ever will. It is because of this that I so willingly pray for them when I say areas where they need improvement. I know they do the same for me even when I don't want it.
Thanks for your encouraging support, Lisa. I respect your independent yet honoring demeanor with your pastors. I pray my posts represent the same kind of honor, yet present pastors and churches with fascinating challenges as well.
Blessings, Dave

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