The Music Network Relay elective programme is designed to give music graduates the opportunity to explore the implications of the biblical Christian worldview for both the field of music generally, and your own practice of music specifically. The programme helps you develop a theology of creation, work, and the arts that is deeply rooted in God's revelation of Himself and His world, as found in Scripture, and gives you some space to develop your practice accordingly. As a Relay Worker, you'll be equipped to disciple music students in your CU and effectively communicate the gospel to unbelieving music students on campus.
For those considering a career in music after Relay, the Music Network elective programme gives you a firm foundation to build on as you seek to live and speak for Jesus in the world of music: doing all your music-making to the glory of God, and proclaiming Him who created it all!
The elective study programme consists of reading various books and articles and listening to various talks and podcasts, which should take up four hours of study time each week.
Term 1: The Christian worldview, and a theology of work
As Christians, how should we look at the world around us? And is music really a legitimate career path for a Christian to pursue? In the first term, we'll lay the foundations as we explore a biblical Christian worldview, before turning to a theology of work so as to see how that fits into God's economy.
Term 2: A theology of music and the arts
Do the arts, including music, have value in and of themselves? In the second term, we'll explore the value of the arts and music within a fully-orbed Christian framework of creation, sin, and redemption, thereby seeking neither to elevate the arts too highly nor to disdain them unjustly.
Term 3: Further theology of music, including praxis
So what does studying, evaluating, and making music from a Christian standpoint actually look like? In the third term, we'll carry on from where we left off previously, but seeking also to put into practice some of the principles we've learnt along the way.
I loved being able to read and really think about how music and faith fits together, and how music fits into God's design for the world. It's completely shifted my way of thinking about my own music, my life as a performer, my life with other musicians, and it's just been great to have the time to think through that.
Whereas core study is supervised and discussed with one's main supervisor (usually the CU Staff Worker for the CU with which you are working), your Music Network elective study is supervised and discussed with the Music Network co-ordinator.
You will be part of a twice-termly group discussion via Zoom with other Relay Workers taking the elective - before which you will be expected to have worked through the required study materials - as well as receiving personal feedback (either in person or via Zoom) on your written elective study responses.
The Music Network elective programme includes two residentials - two chances to spend a relaxed couple of days away together to enjoy fellowship, study God's Word, and reflect on the reading done during the year.
Significantly, it is also a chance to make music together, and to showcase our musical practice to each other, with a chance to ask questions and give feedback as forms of encouragement and edification.
Alongside the elective study material, there are various other opportunities throughout the year to be involved in the Music Network as we seek to reach and disciple music students. As well as assisting at various events such as the annual Autumn Gathering and the Music Network seminar track at Word Alive, there are opportunities to create content for the website, meet one-to-one to disciple one or more music students, and maybe even come on a Music Network missional summer team abroad, if such a team occurs. We are keen for Relay Workers not simply to receive input whilst doing the Music Network Relay elective programme, but also to contribute to the network's output, so that they can use what they have learned and gained to serve others.
To ask any questions, either about the study programme or these other opportunities, get in touch with the Music Network co-ordinator Tom Chevis (Music Network co-ordinator) - email@example.com
If you're still a student, the first thing you need to do is apply for the Relay programme as a whole! So head over to the Relay Leadership Network application page here, or if you're already convinced, apply directly here!
If you've been accepted onto Relay and are wondering what elective study programme to take, then first, chat to your Staff Worker about whether the Music Network elective programme could be the right thing for you. Then, to apply, please email a brief summary of why you would like to participate in the programme to firstname.lastname@example.org, copying email@example.com, by whatever date is specified on the MN elective study brochure, which you or your staff worker should hopefully have a copy of (the date is normally the second or third Friday in September). In that application, please include the uni where you are doing Relay, your CUSW/supervisor, your degree subject, your instrument(s), any ensembles which you have been (or intend to be) active in, and a postal address to which we can send your books.