At Concordia, people have this concept of Christian love towards each other, and that really just shines through everything we do.
Although this Christian love is something that permeates throughout Concordia’s campus, Renata especially recognizes its relevance in the music department. “Music programs in general have the potential to be very cutthroat, but that’s not what it’s like at Concordia. The teachers and students all have amazing work ethics and high standards, but, at the same time, they also really value community. It’s all about encouraging people to do the best they can.”
Concordia’s music program does have incredibly high standards, but because of its welcoming atmosphere, people from all different walks of life feel they can find a home there. “Concordia really emphasizes making music something for people to enjoy, rather than just something for music professionals. In our music program, more than half of the people in our choirs aren’t music majors, but they can still enjoy it and build skills they can use for the rest of their life.”
This belief that music can be for everyone is part of what motivates Renata to pursue music education. “Some people think that music teachers just want their students to be musicians and that’s not the case at all. I just think music is something people can really enjoy, and if you teach it right, it’s something people can enjoy for their whole lives.”
Another important aspect of music for Renata is its ability to communicate. She hopes to do this communicating through her other major—church music. “Church music is another way to speak the gospel and that’s what kind of motivates me to do it so well, because it’s such an important message.”
Renata appreciates the fact that she can communicate her faith in her other classes, especially the classes she takes in the Luke Scholars Program. "There are people driven and motivated about what they want to do in whatever major you choose, but in the Luke Scholars Program, you have people from many different majors, with many different perspectives, who are all contributing to conversations about difficult topics. We can also integrate our faith into these conversations, which isn’t something you can get from too many honors programs.”
With her music classes, ensembles, the Luke Scholars Program, and just her regular classes, Renata maintains a busy schedule. However, she is gradually learning how to balance all of her responsibilities. “It’s really easy to overbook yourself just because there are so many things to do, but it’s important to have some cushion time so you can spend time with people you care about.”