I Believe in Music, by Abdullah Alqasimi

I believe in Music. I can’t spend a day without listening to Music. Music has a lot of benefits for me, for example, it helped me to develop my English while I was living in my country. Listening to the lyrics of the songs takes you to someone else’s mind. With Music you can experience different stories, opinions, and new ideas. My favorite kind of Music is Heavy Metal, and my favorite band are Metallica. I grew up listening to Metallica’s songs, it effects in so many ways. Metallica are not usual band, they do not make songs because of money or famous, they make songs because they need to, or to share their ideas with the world. A lot of their songs talk about so many different subjects such as, war, politics, and religious. I believe in Music because it inspires me in my life and can change me to a different person. When I feel sad or mad I always take my phone and put my headphones and listen to music until I get finally alright again. I can recall one time my parents got into a big fight and the home was really intense. I couldn’t speak to anyone because all of them was angry. So I took my phone and began to listen to music for almost 3 hours with non-stopping until I situation went calm again. Music is a great tool, I can use it when I am mad or when I am happy. It’s really great that music can fit in all my moods, wherever I am, and whatever I do.

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Abdullah is an international student at TCU enrolled in the TCU Intensive English Program.

I Believe in Music, by Rev. Chris Stillwell

I believe in music. Of course I don’t simply mean that I believe music exists, rather I believe that the existence of music is the greatest gift we have in this world. While the stomach needs food and the lungs need air, the heart and soul need music above all else. I believe that the reason that the caged bird sings is because that is the only time when it is free, and when I sing, my spirit is free to soar to places that my body can never know. I believe that when I listen to music, I am transported and moved and when I play music I feel a holy communion.  The true gift of music is that I don’t have to be gifted in music to receive music’s gift.

A person who cannot paint can appreciate a masterpiece, and someone with no athletic skill can marvel at an athlete, but even someone who sings like I do can not only like music but actually and actively participate in it. This I have believed from a very young age when I learned to play my Walk-man. I sang along to every note of every cassette I owned blissfully unaware that when I sang, I sang loudly and poorly. It didn’t matter. The ability to sing united me with the song, its structure and movement, its meaning and feeling. It lifted my spirit and exercised my soul.

Even more amazing is experiencing music together. At a U2 concert surrounded by 60,000 people, most of whom I imagine sang as poorly as I do, we all united in singing the words of the 40th Psalm. “I will sing, sing a new song,” and together we sounded much better than we ever would have sounded alone. The transcendence of that moment was a striking lesson, and ever since then music has been my daily devotional.

I believe in music to inspire and uplift, to sooth and comfort, to release and build emotion. But more than anything, I believe music is the greatest gift because it is the most enduring gift. As a minister, I have often I gone into nursing homes to see people who have lived long lives full of loved ones and events that they can no longer remember. I have set with people who cannot remember my name or why I am there, but sing or play a few notes of an old cherished song, and they remember.  I won’t say it comes back to them because it never left them, and in that way I believe that music is our surest sign of God’s steadfast presence in this world.

I believe, I know, that when the day comes and I am in their place whatever else I have lost, music will still be with me. My hope is that anyone who visits me in the nursing home will know the first line to “Where the Streets Have No Name.” I believe that I will be able to take it from there.

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stillwellRev. Chris Stillwell is from Wheeling, WV and now lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife, Jessica, and his children, Owen and Charlotte.. He attended TCU from 1999-2002 where we earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Brite Divinity School. He is a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) where he has served as the senior minister of the Christian Church of Connellsville for the past twelve years.

I Believe in Singing, by Molly Suggs

I believe in singing. I believe that singing, although you might not realize it, is a natural phenomenon. When you do away with all distractions and people and you’re left with your simple self, I think there is song. What I am referring to, of course, is singing in the shower.

Honestly, in our most vulnerable and private space, we are moved to sing. I sing in the shower, I sing in the car, I sing when I’m home alone, and other appropriate and relatable venues. However, I also sing at work, at the grocery, and really whenever I feel the need –accompaniment being completely unnecessary. I grace the world with my average vocals because, sure, I enjoy it but I also believe in it. I believe in participating in music.

Singing has a cathartic quality, and it’s one that gets me from day to day. Finding that perfect song to embody your feelings and then proceeding to belt it like no one else exists is powerful.  Numerous studies demonstrate how singing reduces stress levels, benefits heart health, and causes many more positive effects on the physical body. Now I’m no doctor, but I believe that having a good jam session a day is far more beneficial than any apple.

I believe it because I witness the power of singing all the time. The best way to get my month-old niece to stop crying is to sing – it doesn’t matter if it’s coherent or on pitch. The best way to remember information is to put into a song – it doesn’t matter how long it’s been, once you know every word of a song, you know every word. And, most importantly, the best way to forget any and all worries is to sing – it doesn’t matter where or when. It has the simplest power to move and inspire, which is why I believe in singing.

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GA TIB BOOK Molly SuggsMy name is Molly Suggs and I am senior Anthropology and Philosophy student at Texas Christian University. Originally from San Diego, California, I enjoy traveling to new places and experiencing cultures different from my own. After graduating in the spring, I am interested in pursuing the international non-profit world with hopes of moving and living abroad. And any free time I have is consumed with shameless and ridiculous singing.

I Believe in the Power of Fine Arts, by Kyra McGuirk

I’ve never been particularly logical. Sure, I like to have order in my life, but in terms of my goals, none of them really make a whole lot of sense to most people. At TCU, I’m studying to get a degree in musical theatre. That’s right; I’m going to an incredibly expensive private school for a fine arts degree. You’re allowed to call me crazy. I’m well aware.

I’ve loved performing ever since I can remember. I was serenading my parents’ friends at cookouts at the age of three, and I still know lyrics to songs I used to listen to in elementary school. My parents love to tell the story of how I sang a slightly inappropriate song for my Sunday school class while we were visiting a church… We didn’t return, as you might imagine.

As I begin my senior year of college, my mind is plagued with doubts about the degree I’m getting, and I wonder what my life will be like a few years from now. The lack of any sort of plan that accompanies the type of degree I’m getting is absolutely terrifying to me, and when people ask “So what are you going to do with your degree after you graduate?” it usually puts me in a rather snarky mood. That being said, I don’t know what else I could do with my life.

I truly believe that God put me on this earth to perform. Not for any kind of personal gain, but to use the gifts He has given me to make the world a better place. Art is so important. When times are tough, people turn to the theatre, music or film to take their minds off their hardships. Good stories bring people together and fill the world with a kind of joy that can’t come from anywhere else. Theatre itself can be a tool to teach, and people can learn so many life lessons or moral or ethical issues just from watching a well-produced play. Music is proven to be therapeutic, not just emotionally but in certain physical ways as well.

These gifts can be used in church settings too; theatrical skits can add so much to a service or a camp. Music completely affects the way a service goes; to me, music is the most important part. Everyone is different of course, but I connect with God most through music. Nothing fills my soul like leading a contemporary worship service. That may sound strange, but it allows me to connect with God on such a deep level, and also allows me to spread the joy I feel to others.

So, while my BFA may seem silly and illogical to most of the modern world, I’m proud to embrace it. I may not know where I’ll be in five years, but I know that I’ll be filling the world with God’s love in the best way I know how.

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GA TIB BOOK Kyra McGuirkKyra McGuirk is a senior at Texas Christian University working to get a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre with an emphasis in Music. She is originally from Indianapolis, IN and was raised by Greg and Linda McGuirk, with an older brother, Ian. Kyra has attended Geist Christian Church for most of her life.  ALTARed, the young adult worship service, is where she began her path in contemporary worship music. While at TCU, Kyra attends Ridglea Christian Church and is the Music Director of the TCU Worship Team. After she graduates, Kyra hopes to pursue some sort of career in the fine arts, and eventually hopes to be able to start a fine arts school in an area where public schools have cut funding for the arts so that kids will have the opportunity to explore their talents and pursue their dreams.