My journey to becoming a musician has been an interesting one. I recall my father playing Classical music recordings from tape cassettes at home every morning and evening when I was growing up. This early exposure to Western Classical music stirred up my interest in choral music. As a young person, I joined the SS. Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church choir, which my father directed. At this stage, my enthusiasm for singing was coupled with an interest in learning the piano. However, my musical experience was short-lived after moving to the city to continue elementary education. The music director in the Catholic church we attended in Accra required that I turn eleven before becoming a part of the youth choir, and I was eight at the time. I eventually went on to join an Evangelical church, where I had access to a piano. After a few years of self-taught lessons on the piano and an opportunity to accompany weekly church services, I decided that I wanted to be able to serve God better with my musical skills. I went on to pursue a degree in piano performance at University of Education, Winneba, after which I chose to pursue my master’s degree in church music at Baylor University.
Studying in the master’s program in church music at Baylor University is proving to be one of the best steps I have taken in my career so far. As an international student, I feel integrated into an academic discourse environment that is distinctly Christian, culturally diverse, and intellectually engaging. The knowledge I am gaining is helping me to develop a better perspective on church music ministry. I feel confident about my choice to be a music minister, thriving in the high-level musicianship training the program offers. Also, my interactions with church music professors and fellow students is helping me to establish strong networks and build social connections that will be relevant to my future as a church music minister. My position as a graduate assistant is also helping me to cultivate some social and professional skills that will be of a great benefit to me once I am done with the program and enter into full-time music ministry.
I believe that my decision to embrace the call of church music ministry is as important as the knowledge I am acquiring from the church music program at Baylor University. That being said, I feel confident with the progress I have made so far. At Baylor, I have come to realize that being successful and effective in music ministry does not require being a prodigy, but only taking steps towards acquiring knowledge that facilitates your work as a disciple of God. This makes me feel optimistic about my future as a church music minister.
Eric Amouzou is an international student from Ghana, West Africa. He is pursuing a M.M. in Church Music with an emphasis in Music Ministry. In addition to making music, he enjoys reading, watching movies, playing video games, and traveling.