Throughout this class I have not so much learned a lot as I have had the chance to explore topics of my choice and grown in how I listen to and participate in conversations about religion and how it relates to music. I grew the most from our class discussions, and the points that we teased out from the readings and identified as the most important to use as basis or a spark for further ideas. Our discussions allowed me to see into the perspective of others, especially those that don’t share my beliefs, religious or otherwise. It was also helpful to have such a group to discuss the results of the election with and connect what we had been learning to current events.
I think that what we learned and discussed in this class can be applied to how I think about my future profession as a musician and how the music that I may be singing fits within the theological and historical context of Christianity. Such insights will help me be more in touch with my own personal belief and whatever belief is baked into whatever that music might be. Otherwise, I don’t really know how what I learned can be useful, as I do not plan to become a musicologist (perhaps in grad school if I have to take more courses in history).
I understand that this class occurred partly because of the Reformation, but I wish that we had spent some more time on non-Western music (beyond the course introduction), as well as on contemporary music (which we only mentioned in discussion and did not read about explicitly in readings). I also found myself becoming a bit bored doing only Bach for so long towards the end of the semester.
Overall, this course had great opportunities for applying what we discussed to our own areas of interest, and I feel like I will walk away from this with improved ability to examine these topics effectively.