Music is a vital part of our lives. When we play or listen to music, our minds are sharpened, our spirits are uplifted, and we feel joy for the beauty of well shaped sounds.
While music is often considered an elective, we at Exodus Books believe music should be an integral part of any Christian’s education. God has given us the privilege and duty of worshipping Him through vocal and instrumental music. Worship through music is emphasized throughout Scripture. Psalm 33 says "Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.” God also instructs us in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 to “sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; make music with gratitude in your hearts to God…”
For this reason we are expanding the music section at Exodus, bringing in more musical instructional material, and offering private music lessons right here in the store!
While our resident music teacher, Joseph Forster, teaches piano, guitar and recorder (see below), we have also teamed up with Aria Studios to offer more flexibility in scheduling and a wider variety of instrument options. Available times are not yet finalized, but you can see their website for more information: www.ariastudios.co.
Joseph began playing piano at age 10, was homeschooled all the way through high school, and graduated with a Piano Performance degree with a minor in History from George Fox University in December 2009. He is fluent in piano, guitar, recorder, and several other folk instruments and has been teaching for eight years. Joseph studied with several teachers in the Portland area over the last 15 years, most recently Kelli Stephens and Dr. Kenneth Willson. In addition to teaching, Joseph serves as a pianist, song leader, and choir director at Reformation Covenant Church in Oregon City. He also directs the Renaissance Music Ensemble at George Fox University and plays in a folk music band with his brothers.
Joseph primarily uses a classical approach in teaching the piano. Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary literature are the focus of the lessons, but some folk music and hymns are included as well. Lessons also cover basic note reading, music theory, sight reading, ear training, and basic improvisation. Other "practical pianist" skills and composition may be included if the student so desires. $20/30min. $35/hour
Beginning lessons focus on how to read music, and then progress to learning to play melodies and provide skillful accompaniment in ensemble situations. Joseph specializes in Celtic, Bluegrass, and American Old-Time music, and intermediate lessons will focus on those genres. $15/30min.
Often seen as a "toy" because of its low cost and common use in elementary schools, the recorder is in fact a genuine musical instrument! Before the violin took center stage in the 17th century, the recorder was the most popular instrument for expressive and virtuosic music. This old instrument is still an excellent option for the music student of today. Advantages include affordability (decent instruments are available for $12-$60), portability, and the opportunity for ensemble playing. It is much simpler for three siblings to make delightful music together with recorders than to get three pianos in one place for them to play together! Joseph teaches soprano, alto, tenor, and bass recorder. $15/30min.
Joseph's schedule is currently full. Please call Aria Studios at 503.380.3020 to learn their available times.
For those of you in our local area, we are pleased to recommend these additional sources for instruments, lessons, and books (including sheet music).