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Posted January 20, 2016 by
Tags: The Arts The Liberal Arts My Wheaton Conservatory

Rigor & Transformation: My Experience with Music Education at Wheaton 

My experience as a music education major at Wheaton has been marked by rigor and transformation. Early in high school I found myself muttering, seemingly void of inspiration, the ambiguous phrase, “I want to impact kids’ lives.” At the time, what I really wanted was an impressive performance career, but for the sake of job security, I “settled” for music education. Now, as I begin my last semester at Wheaton, I’m so thankful that God used my misguided motivation to bring me into the music education department at Wheaton. Music education is considered by many to be the most demanding major at Wheaton. Whether or not this is true, it was demanding enough to quickly challenge my motivation: do I really love music and people? What will motivate me to wake up every day and pour into students? What will keep me from burning out?

Wheaton did not expose these questions without providing resources for answers. A spring break trip led to an internship which staged a gospel-driven, heart-transforming summer. Professors invited me into their offices and lives, offering friendship, challenges, and opportunity. Friends shared meals with me and, while we ate, offered their passion for Jesus and his work. In its rigor, music education exposed me to questions that could only be satisfied by Jesus. When I began to discover his heart I found that it loves beauty, relationship, and work. God loves music education because He made everything about it.

I want to impact kids’ lives. The once ambiguous phrase is now poignant and inspirational. I want to share Jesus through music because through it, Jesus has found me.

David Batdorf '16 is a senior music education major with a French horn concentration. Visit the  Wheaton Conservatory website to learn more about Wheaton's music education program.

Photo Captions: David hiking in New Hampshire; David with the Symphonic Band French horn section