"'Musicians barely make money. You'll be broke with no job.' I fear those very words might be true. As I pursue a degree in music, I hear those statements all the time, especially from fellow church members. People treat music like an accessory. Just something there to decorate a worship service or to dazzle someone's heart a few times. As far as I know, the conferences of the Adventist church do not really hold a substantial musician position. Therefore, musicians like me look for work outside the church. Sadly, that's where we make a living. But I know for sure that I love God and I love music.
I have been playing the violin since I was 8 years old. My siblings and I complete a piano trio- my sister on the cello and my brother on the piano. My parents always pushed excellence and reminded us that we give God the praise for what we do. I do not think I would be who I am today without music. The study of this art teaches discipline and gives me a way to express myself beyond words.
I see the arts in general as tools for keeping young people engaged in the church and off the streets. Artists do not just get up and perform. We take the time to learn, practice numerous hours a day, and create. Every detail considered contributes to quality content. Musicians, painters, filmmakers, etc.- we are the voices of this age and the church truly hinders its ministry by not adequately supporting these talents. Every day, I simply hold to the fact that God continues to open doors and will lead me to be where I need to be."
Danya Wilson is a student at Andrews University. Her story was shared in collaboration with the Andrews University Department of Visual Art, Communication & Design. Danya operates Danya's Jukebox, a page aimed at raising awareness and support for musicians.
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