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Music is a powerful form of expression, communication, shares BYU Education Week presenter

SHARE Music is a powerful form of expression, communication, shares BYU Education Week presenter
Music can inspire and edify, James Oneil Miner said during a BYU Campus Education Week presentation on Aug. 15, 2016.

Music can inspire and edify, James Oneil Miner said during a BYU Campus Education Week presentation on Aug. 15, 2016.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News archives

PROVO — James Oneil Miner grew up on a farm in the little town of Fairview in Sanpete County, Utah. On this farm, there was every animal he could imagine, but his favorite animal was his horse, though he had to share the horse with his twin brother, Miner said.

“(My brother and I) had retained this love for horseback riding through our entire lives by organizing trips with other horseback-riding friends of ours,” Miner said during a presentation Monday for Brigham Young University's Campus Education Week. “One of our most memorable rides of my life was through Kolob Canyon located in the northwest quadrant of Zion’s National Park.”

During the four-day trip, Miner and his group camped out the first night. The next day, Miner woke up before daybreak to give the horses a drink. After he finished watering the horses, Miner turned off his lantern light, allowing him to use both his hands to secure the ropes of the horse.

With his lantern light off, Miner said he became aware of the first light of the new day. It was so unexpected, intense, serene and spiritual, he said, and he began to cry. The first light of the new day led to the creation of his original song titled “First Light,” which he performed during his class, which was on “The Inspiring Nature of Music.”

Miner, who is a concert pianist, composer and founder of JOM Music Productions, began his class with a reading from his favorite poet, Elizabeth Landon, an English poet and novelist of the 19th century, to illustrate the “inspiring nature of music.”

People seek to be uplifted and inspired, and songs can bring back a host of feelings, emotions and relationships — all because of the melody, Miner said.

“At a young age, I started to realize that music was not only powerful, but it was a fun part of my life,” Miner said. “Music became a means, from that moment on, of expression and a way for me to communicate.”

Over the years, Miner has had many inspiring experiences he wanted to share and communicate with others, but words simply wouldn’t do. During his presentation, Miner shared some of his more inspiring experiences — through music.

“My prayer is that you will enjoy and appreciate these songs as much as my wife and I do,” Miner said.

After he finished his presentation through music, Miner concluded his class with a few requested songs, such as “Beauty and the Beast” and “Clair de Lune.” He reminded listeners that the nature of music can inspire and edify but also is the “soul's own speech,” he said.

Email: ewhite@deseretnews.com