My Maranatha Journey – Melody Steinbart

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

            ~ Psalm 37:4-7~

Article written by Melody Steinbart, an instructor in the school of music.    

Although my time as a faculty member at Maranatha has just begun, my path at Maranatha began fifteen years ago when my dad took a staff position in the IT department. In junior high, I began studying violin with one of my influential mentors, Elizabeth “Miss Betsy” Pabon, at the newly formed String Prep School. I continued on at Maranatha for college and pursued a bachelors in String Pedagogy. Like the pedagogy programs now, I had the wonderful opportunity to join the prep school faculty my freshman year as a student intern teaching private lessons, group and theory classes while being mentored by Miss Betsy. During my second freshman semester, I also began working as an administrative assistant in the prep school. I continued working in these roles until my graduation, at which time I thought that my time at Maranatha was finished.

 

Following graduation, I headed to Greenville, North Carolina to begin working on my masters in Violin Performance with a concentration in Suzuki Pedagogy at East Carolina University. One might wonder why a Midwest girl would move over a 1000 miles to the eastern side of North Carolina to attend a small music school.

Although I could give many ways that the Lord made it clear to me and my parents that East Carolina University was where I was to go for further education, He specifically directed me through my interests/desires and provision for my education. From my experience in teaching in the prep school, I knew that the Lord was calling me to teach. My interest in teaching, however, grew from wanting to teach young students how to play the violin or viola, to wanting to teach teachers how to teach the violin with a biblical worldview and to impact lives for eternity. With these thoughts in mind, I looked for a graduate program that would help me develop both my playing and teaching skills enhancing the education I received at Maranatha.

I was particularly interested in doing some focused study of the Suzuki philosophy of pedagogy knowing that a deeper knowledge of this philosophy would benefit future teachers that I would teach. In addition to directing my interests, God also made His path for me clear in providing for a significant part of my education through a scholarship and teaching assistant position. With these two reasons and many answers to prayer, I headed to North Carolina – not sure of how the Lord would direct my life with the desires that He placed in my heart, but sure that this move was the next step for me to take.

During the spring semester of my first year in my masters program, Dr. Ledgerwood approached me about the possibility of teaching the string pedagogy classes virtually from North Carolina. One thing led to another, and by the end of the semester, Maranatha asked me not only to teach virtually during my second year in graduate school, but also to come back to campus and teach the following year as well. After much prayer and counsel, the Lord made it clear that I should accept the offer.

So, in the Fall of 2016, I began teaching String Pedagogy 1. The following spring, Dr. Ledgerwood again approached me and asked if I would consider teaching the upper theory and music history classes in addition to the pedagogy classes. Again, the Lord made it clear that this was what He wanted me to do. This brings me to the present, teaching pedagogy, history, theory, and violin at Maranatha. Two years ago, I would not have thought that the Lord would allow me to do what I love doing – teaching. Not only teaching pedagogy and violin, but theory and history, which I love and enjoy.

In closing, although my time on the music faculty has only begun, I value the opportunity to work with faculty and staff that have a unified goal of preparing servants to fulfill God’s, not their own, calling for their lives for His glory. I count it a privilege to be able to teach music from a biblical worldview and challenge students to use their music and skills for God’s glory and calling.

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