Hearts and Minds

We have heard a great deal in the past few years about "winning the hearts and minds" of the people of Iraq, Afganistan, etc. As I drove into work this morning I thought about this in the context of ministry and the music of the Da Capo Institute. How exactly do you do this? I guess the answer to that is truly the question.

As a classical musician, I think that maybe we sometimes lose the right focus on reaching our audience's hearts AND minds. I wonder if we continually approach both. Maybe I am referring to my own up and down approach to the discipline necessary to use my music effectively...I tend to plan towards the heart, others often focus on the mind. To be successful, we must have both and we must find a way to make music elite, but never elitist.

Last year's key note sermon at the Lasker Summer Music festival addressed some of this as Dr. David Adkins eloquently addressed the integration of art and faith. Click here to read a transcript of his words.

Dr. Charles Hulin has also written some great words of wisdom on this front in his Christmas 2006 address.

As I have worked to add a wonderful series of articles to the Lasker website in the past few weeks I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the contributions of this wonderful group of scholars and performers. I would encourage you to read a bit when you have time, as these articles are inspiring and instructional all at the same time.


I am encouraged by passages from Jeremiah. I apply them to my ministry and my music and these passages formed the base of our approach to music ministry in the past few months.

There is a continuing role for the pursuit of musical excellence in today’s non-musical world. Communities need a framework to pursue musical excellence in a world that they understand and can relate to…It is our job as professional and even amateur musicians to provide that.

Jeremiah 33:3&6 (From THE MESSAGE)
Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.
“But now take another look. I’m going to give this city a thorough renovation, working a true healing inside and out. I’m going to show them life whole, life brimming with blessings.


Charles Hulin said…
Hi Jeff,

I appreciate your kind words about the Lasker materials, and I especially like knowing that someone is reading them and that they are making a difference.

Regarding the mind/heart issue, I like what my Dad said in his Lasker sermon about the passage in I Corinthians 14 concerning making music "with the spirit and with the understanding." He preferred the translation "with the spirit and with the mind in action."

Somehow that version of the phrase makes these two things seem more connected as the mind being in action seems more spirited.

I think of performers like Richter or Fischer-Dieskau when I think of that phrase - performers who seem to have found a synthesis of the two in which there is no contradiction. I think that self-integration makes their performances compelling and more completely human.

I don't think anyone would accuse either of those performers of being unsophisticated or half-hearted on their best days. Their deeply human stature as performers reminds me of Jesus and the combination of his unshakeable intellect and his absolute commitment.

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