Check out this month's Song Challenge
Home / Articles / Motivation for Making Music

Motivation for Making Music

All across the world there are Christians who have the opportunity to use their God-given skills to make a difference in other’s lives. Songs are powerful tools for encouragement, therapy, and emotional expression and you hold that very power in your head, heart, and hands!

There are tons of free resources online for songwriters. And for Christians with money to spare there are books, conferences and retreats. But there’s not a lot of quality, free, content out there for you. That’s one reason I’ve developed writechristiansongs.com.

One thing that sets a Christian songwriter apart from a songwriter who has not entrusted their lives to Jesus is MOTIVATION.

A Good Question

In general, as a Christian, I think a good question to always ask is simply, “Why am I doing this?” When setting out in life to do something, I think we need to consider our motivation. Let’s be honest. Our culture is an extremely influential force and we humans are impressionable. There is a part of us that gets excited about the idea of fame or fortune. But we must be cautious here. I remember being a teenage guitar player and finding myself in a living room with a few other guys, working to get a band going. It wasn’t long into our first rehearsal that we were discussing albums and recordings and band names. Guess what? We only had a few more rehearsals before the whole thing fizzled out.

Here’s the point.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to pursue monetary profit or notoriety for your songs – there are a lot of positives to those things if approached the right way. But I am saying that our motivation greatly affects every aspect of songwriting and may ultimately decide whether or not we feel successful in the end. My advice here is to pray about it and decide here and now whether or not you want to include God in your songwriting journey.

Decide your “Why”

I’ll leave you with this. Do some soul searching. Think about what is driving you to be a songwriter. If it is for personal gain, just consider if God is on board with that (I can’t tell you what God thinks about your personal pursuit – that’s for you to figure out!) Who’s to say God didn’t design you to become a vocational songwriter?  If you are not a Christian, you can’t be expected to adhere to this advice, although much of what I said still applies.  In general, I believe living for the benefit of others will produce a much more fruitful life than living for ourselves.

About Ben Chilcote

Ben Chilcote is a husband, dad, full-time minister and online singer/songwriter. He is a lifelong student of music and the founder of WriteChristianSongs.com.
  • Amber reinders

    I don’t have a talent or a knack for writing music. my pure motivation is to try something new and push my self beyond my comfort zone. i would like some help understanding how to begin writing songs. God is my life and i want to learn how to worship him any way i can.

    Amber

    • Ben Chilcote

      Amber,

      That’s awesome that you are interested in songwriting. I have a few ideas to help you get started. There are a few basic components to songwriting: the music, the words, and the main idea/message/story you want to get across. You could start with the words because the main idea of the song is what you want to build around if you don’t have any music ideas. Writing worship songs for yourself to sing would be a great way to start experimenting. Write some simple lines that rhyme that you would want to say to God or about God and then try to sing the words (out loud).

      You can also take some time to examine some of your favorite worship songs. Write out the words and see how the song is put together. Notice the way the music goes, the dynamics (how loud and how quite the parts get), tempo (how fast or slow), how the vocals are delivered.

      Are you interested in learning guitar or piano? Guitar would be easier to learn if you don’t have much musical experience. THere are tons of free online resources for learning guitar and you could probably find an affordable one to start out on.

      Those are a few things off the top of my head and I hope it helps you get started. Make sure you are on the mailing list so you can stay up on the newest posts on this site. I will continue to add more and more as time allows! Feed free to ask my any more questions along the way! :)

  • Jessica

    When I write a song, it is usually birthed out of scriptural inspiration or personal meditation. For example, after reading Psalm 70, I wrote a song called “There’s Not Much Time” and after studying Psalm 119:1-8 I wrote a song entitled “Teach Me Your Will”.

    • Jessica

      When I begin to get inspiration, I grab a pen and paper, and during that time the music ideas eventually just come to me. Even if I don’t write the music right away, when I see the words later, I will remember how it’s supposed to go. Although, I have to admit that the music often times has traces of tunes that I already know. Finally I make sure that it technically has at least two verses and a chorus, and, voila, I have written a song. The difficult part for me is actually finding the right chords on the guitar. (My keyboard is not working right now).

      Thanks for creating this website!

      • chilcote

        Jessica,

        I have similar experiences. A lot of times my song ideas come to me as a phrase and I try to get it down on paper or on my computer. I later revisit it and try to expand it. Yes – a lot of times I think our music ideas come out of the many ideas stored up in our minds. A lot of times, with me, songs I write sound similar in style to the current music I’m in to. But sometimes I draw from music that I “soaked in” years ago. It’s an interesting phenomenon.

        I’m glad you find this site helpful!

  • Maggie

    Sometimes at work ,where it is very noisy,I come up with song ideas and I just go crazy .No one can here me and Im sure if they could they would think I am crazy .Lyrics always sound great when you cant actually hear yourself .lol.Anyway ,I usually forget words and/or tunes before I get home so I purchased a small handheld recorder very inexpensively and although the sound quality is poor I can play it back at home and then use an instrument to put the tune on paper.

    • chilcote

      Maggie – That’s good to have a recorder. I don’t have one but sometimes will call myself and leave a voice mail :) There are times I forget stuff too so I’ve really learned the value of capturing ideas. Even if it seems small and insignificant, it may grow into a full song one day.

  • http://www.facebook.com angie

    i would love some ideas on how to write christian music

  • Joseph

    i am trying to write a song for god but it is so hard to do i cant find a topic to write on and what to start with if you guys have any ideas please help :)

  • Tgmsings

    My motivation for writing song is love. Love for God and love for people. It hasn’t always been this way, but I have had a massive change in lyric writing since life is no longer about me, but about others and about Christ.
    And btw..the way I write songs? I get a hook melody stuck in my head..play around with lyrics on the tip of my heart and mind and go to the bible. From my idea, I want to structure verses, choruses and bridges all from solid truth. I take the hook and the bible and try to form a creative and fun/simple song. It’s a real trip too.

  • ustaknow

    It’s true, no one just wants to “get together” and write a song, sing it and that’s it.

    No we have many things to “waste a day with instead”.

    We’ve got youtube, twitter, facebook, google plus, blogs, and a forum for everything :n) Moreover, all has to be at “master” level to be any “good”? Really?

    In my experience over several years, —-even at a number of Churces, benevolent organizations, I’ve commented, —-“let’s write a Prayer, put a couple of chords to it, make a song, sing it and we’ll have a great time” — and what happens? Nothing.

    It can’t just be me. If it were, “this” here would not exist from Ben, too. I tried facilitating someting like this here as well. I’m re-engaing it “here”, since was “contacted” by Ben via YouTube the other day. So, we’ll see how it goes. I am still curious how he thought to do that YouTube contact — I’m not really that easy to find, on purpose too. :n) I am a follower, and into music –we’ll, I guess it’s not important.

    Well, I’ll end with that, —-I’ve engaged music all of my life.

    I only “wrote” it down for myself, when I engaged it as Prayer based, Folk Rock.

    — Who likes it, to date? No one :-) Nevertheless, sit in my home, and just “do it”!

    I have “performed” it out, and typically get a rush of young Christian Rockers who approach me afterward and ask, “hey, who is that, where’d you get it?”. I tell them, oh, it’s just me — would you like a copy of the Lead Sheet? (Yes, all is reg’d Corpyright, etc.) Ahh, no. :-/ It seems it’s “not good” unless it is […insert name…]. Wow?! Then, why approach and ask that way?

    I’m not “singing” I am praying. I try as hard as I can to make it “public” “Amen-able”, not private prayer, indeed. All should be able to say “Amen” for themselves sincerely.

    So, there you go Ben — my why. Yours sounds pretty typical from what I’ve experienced too!

  • Symone Williams

    Thanks for the invite. This sounds like a great opportunity to connect.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/symone1176

  • Aimee Zagala

    The reason why I write…. well, to tell you guys honestly, I’ve been writing since before I met Christ. I write songs, essays and short stories as my outlet for all of the stress and loneliness. But when I met Christ, well, that’s when I found my melody.

    I remember the very first song I wrote after being “found,” I titled it “I’m Completely Yours” and I wrote it on the train going home from a fellowship. My heart was just so filled with God’s love and it overwhelmed me…In the end, it flowed over onto my notebook.

    Right now, I write about God and what He has done for me… Who He is as God and who He is as my Saviour. I write about His promises as a reminder to myself and to the people who have ears to hear. I write to challenge and to encourage people during the darkest times of their lives…I write to let them know of the hope that I have found in Christ.

    Most of the time, I am able to write during my quiet moments with God…and sometimes, I write no matter where I am… As soon as I hear God whispering to me through that still small voice, I write.

    So, to sum it all up… I guess my reason is…and will always be.. God… :)