“Scripture saturates all that we do. It is not a separate component of instruction.” So concluded Dr. Cody Laun, Instructor of Music, in an online music faculty panel this last Tuesday. Dr. Laun was joined by Fellow of Music Dr. David Erb and Lecturer of Music Dr. Cole Tutino, with Admissions Advisor Grace Hendrix moderating the discussion. In Tuesday’s discussion faculty introduced themselves, their concentrations, and talked about the value and quality of the music program. In the second half of the panel, Hendrix fielded questions from the online audience.
Laun’s comments were offered in agreement with Dr. Erb who said that Scripture is purposefully structured into NSA’s music instruction, but frequently the teachings of the Bible surface in the ordinary class discussions and in private music lessons. This opportunity for the Bible, doctrine, and theology to freely infuse what we do makes NSA a faithfully unique college.
Dr. Erb cited NSA’s mission statement saying that “shaping culture” is clearly what the music program has in mind. We have inherited a great wealth of musical capital that came about as the Gospel infused the thought, vision, and activities in Western Civilization. Erb continued, observing that the church nowadays isn’t affecting culture but rather follows mainstream secular trends. We need to recover our Gospel heritage if the church is to shape musical culture.
Dr. Tutino said he loves teaching at NSA in part because music is truly valued here. He added that unlike state institutions, where music often has to justify its existence in the curriculum, NSA’s music program is integral to our institutional identity. He acknowledged the top-down vision for music from President Merkle and Academic Dean, Timothy Edwards. The administration’s vision for music flows from music’s honored place in the Christian community that surrounds NSA. Laun said that he’s taught in many different communities and colleges, but the community in Moscow is the best he’s experienced. He added that in this community he worships with and fellowships with his students. It’s a rare thing. This is a community that is purposeful in what church life looks like, in extending hospitality, in educating children, in worship, and in singing and making melody (Eph. 5:19).
New Saint Andrews offers many opportunities for individuals to grow in their Christian musicianship. From our Certificate of Music program for undergrads, to our Chenaniah Summer Music Institute which trains music teachers, to the annual National Honor Choir event, to our community music instruction, the college “exists to graduate leaders who shape culture living faithfully under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.”