JT GarredDecember 17, 2020 2020-12-17 15:59
Music has always been a part of my life, but it has truly taken me on a journey beyond anything I could have imagined.
I grew up in a small town in Iowa and loved playing sports of all kinds, but my parents wanted me to learn music as well. They signed me up for piano lessons when I was 7 years old and no matter how much I complained, they wouldn’t let me quit. I’m so thankful they made me stick it out! Aside from piano, I sang in choir at church and did some musicals there as well. I also played trombone in the concert band at my school. However, during my middle school years, I stopped singing publicly because my voice changed and I didn’t like how it sounded.
When I got to high school, I wanted to learn how to play guitar so I taught myself from books and eventually wanted to play in the worship band for my high school youth group. During my high school years, I was starting to rediscover my singing voice. The first night I was to play electric guitar with the band, the main worship leader had an emergency and couldn’t make it. I decided on short notice that I would step in and sing in his place. It was a big step of faith because it was the first time I sang in public in three years. It wasn’t perfect, but it went well and I continued to get more opportunities to lead worship throughout high school. My twin brother, a couple of friends and I formed a punk rock band and we played locally through high school and college too.
When I went to college, I wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps and become a doctor, but God had different plans. I still was leading worship and playing on worship teams through college, but I felt God was leading me to vocational ministry. I gave up my pursuit of medical school and went all in with leading worship. At that point in time, I knew I needed to study music and take
Bible classes to prepare myself for ministry, so I went to Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. I graduated with a Masters degree in 2017. The three years of devoting myself to studying the Bible and preparing for ministry, while studying music and taking guitar, voice and piano lessons, prepared me for a lifetime of music and ministry.
After graduation, I served as a worship leader for a student ministry in Houston, TX for two years. The best part of my job was training up students and young adults (some who had zero prior music experience) to become great musicians and worship leaders. I gave piano, guitar, bass, drum and voice lessons to dozens of students. I also had the privilege to disciple my worship students, teach them how to study the Bible and grow in their faith. During my time in Houston, I strengthened my passion for helping students and young adults grow in their faith and discovered a passion for teaching music!
My wife and I recently moved to Atlanta, GA and I am excited to continue to teach music and equip the next generation of worship leaders here at Rooted!