The accidental music teacher

SL-2016 07

by Emily T.*

I think it all started when people at the refugee church found out I played the violin. They pitched in and the church gave me a violin as a birthday present to use in helping lead worship.

One of the guys on the worship team was a 17-year-old who was writing his own worship songs in his language, but never had any formal music education. So I started teaching him the basics of reading piano music and Western music theory. Then a 17-year-old girl at the refugee Bible Institute, with whom I’d developed a friendship, expressed an interest in learning violin. I thought, “I’ve never taught lessons before, but I have been given knowledge and other people want it, so why not try to pass it on as best I can?”

Then it was the Christmas “choir” that got me into teaching a voice class. The only training I’ve had has been a few semesters of college chorale, but again, they had a desire to learn and I actually had something to give them.

I trust these students will lead the church into richer worship through the songs, voices and instruments they have to offer to God. I was super excited to use my God-given gifts in that way.

*Emily served at Entrust’s refugee Bible Institute in the Middle East in 2015 and 2016. She arrived willing to help out in any way possible, to encourage eager students and local Christians. Her willingness opened some surprising and beautiful ministry doors. Emily was Entrust’s first STEP (gap-year internship program) participant. Who’s next? Maybe you, or someone you know? Get in touch with us at

The accidental music teacher

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