October 01, 2015

Greetings from music ministries at Central Methodist University! My name is Ryan McLouth, and I am the Assistant Director for the Center for Faith and Service and an Adjunct Professor of Music at CMU. Since I will now be the monthly columnist for Music Matters, I thought I would take the opportunity in this first article to simply introduce myself and my intentions.

This is my eighth year at Central Methodist, and my first year leading music ministries. For the past seven years I have been teaching in the Conservatory, instructing classical guitar, bass guitar, jazz improvisation/theory, jazz ensembles, and taking on other various roles.

I have a Bachelor of Music Education degree from CMU, a Master of Music degree from UMKC, and am near completion of a PhD in Music Education at MU. I have served on professional worship teams since I was 18 years old, and am happy that I now have the opportunity to not only share my spiritual and musical passion with the CMU community, but also get to teach students how to bring out the same in themselves and those around them.

As Assistant Director for the Center for Faith and Service, I have been charged with the duties of leading music ministries and forming multiple worship teams on campus. With these worship teams we have been leading weekly chapel services on campus, have performed for community events, and hope to reach out to United Methodist Congregations within the state.

Hopefully one of these congregations will be yours! I could not be more excited about my new role at Central. God, music, and helping young people to shape their lives are my three biggest passions. With my new position I get to have all three all day every day, which truly makes this a dream come true for me.

For this monthly column, I have high aspirations and several ideas for topics that I plan to cover. I hope to talk about music and its role within different styles of services, contemporary music and its role within worship, secular music in worship, and the spirituality of music in general. I also plan to reach out to other worship leaders within our state for interviews and profiles within some of the articles, giving us a chance to meet professionals in this field around the state. In addition to these items, I hope to share some helpful thoughts on the technical side of worship music and worship leadership as well. Technology, equipment, communication within the language of music, and building a successful worship team are all also on my list of subjects that I hope to cover.

Thank you for taking the time to see what this is all about and learn more about music within worship. I think to many of us music matters, and the fact that you are reading this article proves that it must be true for you. If I can ever answer questions, be a resource to you or your congregation, or if you know a young person interested in a career or scholarship in worship music, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. You can email me at rmclouth@centralmethodist.edu or reach me via phone at 660-651- 9964. Until next time, keep playing and singing!