Description: Most would agree that music is a powerful conveyor of truth and can thus be instrumental in forming ideas and habits. If music is so influential, how is the faith of our children being formed through music they experience in worship? If delivering and inculcating the faith is an important function of church music, then how can music provide a basis for spiritual formation of children that will serve them into adulthood? While significant theories in faith formation have been devised in the past 50 years, studies specific to the formative role of music itself has received only cursory attention. This presentation seeks to bring together the fields of education, liturgical studies, and church music by investigating the perspectives of twenty adults between the ages of 20 and 36—often known as “Millennials.” Those interviewed were asked to recall and reflect upon particular childhood experiences of music in worship settings. While the study was conducted with participants who had grown up within one church body (Lutheran), the results suggest broader principals that transcend denomination and generation. The analysis in this study provides a musically ethnographic counterbalance to the published literature and offers further insight into the formative role of church music in the life of the church.

Location: McCrary Music Building, Baylor University – Waco, Texas