Musician, Content Creator, Singer, Speaker/Preacher, Producer
Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC), Composer, Seminarian (Theology and the Arts)
Click here to download Christian's Resume
Check out Christian's most recent Good Friday and Easter produced online services for Good Samaritan UMC Edina. So far these videos have over 3000 views combined between Vimeo & Facebook!
You can find many more services Christian has produced at good.org/watch.
Multimedia Content Creation focused on nature and spirituality
(still & video images, sound, music, spoken word, preaching)
Musical Performance & Interactive Music Experiences for all ages with a focus on seniors
1:1 Hospice Music Therapy
Audio/Video Recording, Editing, Production
For 22 years, music therapy focused on end of life, grief and geriatric mental health have been my passion and calling. For more than 30 years I've been providing church music, memorial service music, interactive musical experiences for all ages in a variety of settings and spiritual traditions. In the years before the pandemic, I began experiencing a new calling and passion. This calling was for me to take my various interests (spirituality music, photography, counselling, writing, public speaking, music production, and preaching) in a direction that integrated them all into a single, new ministry. Part of that calling was to find ways to bring a progressive, healing, and justice oriented ministry into the online world. where I feel it's so desperately needed. As I felt called to move in this new direction and I started the Master of Divinity in Theology and the Arts at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. The pandemic struck just after I applied and was accepted to the program. My music therapy and music work with hospice, mental health, and seniors came to a halt. In the confusion of those early months I began to reach out to churches who were struggling, and churches started reaching out to me to try and find a way to created sacred worship spaces in the online space. This was what I wanted to go to seminary to figure out, but here I was, with many faith organization in this unknown, uncharted territory. My calling, and my need to change and adapt was no longer something in the future, but it was right in front of me.
During the pandemic I served many churches in a variety of ways. For some churches, I provided musical content; for others I produced special segments that combined music, images, prayer, and poetry; I was a virtual guest preacher for churches; and for some churches, I produced the entire online worship service in collaboration with staff, clergy, and lay persons. The more I did this work, the more I realized it was possible to create safe, inclusive and sacred spaces online. In the turmoil that followed the murder of George Floyd, the ever increasing political violence, and the waves of online hate and disinformation, I have become convinced that I need to be doing this work right now. I'm called to take my own ministry in a new direction, using all of the things I've learned and continue to learn. For that ministry, I'm currently employed at Good Samaritan United Methodist Church in Edina, MN as Coordinator of Worship Arts and Online Engagement. In this work, I get to collaborate a with a very talented multidisciplinary staff to produce online worship and to build and online presence. I also get to collaborate with members of our congregation as well. I also design visual elements, assist in worship leadership, provide music, and preach as needed for in-person worship at least two Sundays a month. I also lead music and liturgy one Sunday a month at Lyndale Lutheran Church in Maple Plain, MN.
At the same time, my passion for music, working and advocating for seniors is still very much a part of my life. In my remaining work as a musician and music therapist, I'm called to serve seniors through music performance, interactive musical experiences, and spiritual care. I provide completely secular music programing, but I also provide spiritual music programming, and music assisted spiritual care. While working with seniors of all abilities, I have a very strong background in memory care programming, and find great joy in supporting people and their loved ones through the difficult journey of dementia. While these can be sad times in people's life, it can also be a time of joy when people are supported properly. I believe adapted music therapy and spiritual care can be an enormous benefit in this area.
I'm the son of a United Methodist Minister and have been providing music in church since I was 10. During my undergraduate time at Augsburg College, and in the many years since, I've studied the role of music in the spirituality of many faith traditions, and have performed and led music in churches of nearly every denomination, including faiths beyond Christianity. As a music therapist I've been called to support people wherever they are in their spiritual journey and whatever tradition they may be a part of. I've always felt that music is one of the greatest expressions of our shared humanity, and one of our best vehicles for connecting to the divine. Working in the space of end of life care, where the veil is often thin, I've felt the power of music help guided through suffering and on to beauty. This to me is the place I've found to be one of the most sacred. I've felt the presence of the divine with people of almost every religious and ethical belief system. I also consider playing and leading music for funerals, memorials, wakes, vigils, and celebrations of life, to be the greatest honor. In my career I've played for hundreds of services for people of all beliefs and ethical persuasions in houses of worship, gravesides, outdoor settings, funeral homes/chapels, and family homes/cabins. I work with each family, officiants, funeral directors, and other musicians as needed to create a service tailored to the beliefs and personality of the person who has died. I have also been honored to officiate funerals for those who have not felt at home in the church, or who desire a secular event.
I'm a graduate of the Augsburg University Music Therapy program and did my music therapy internship training at Park Nicollet Hospice, Methodist Hospital, and Struthers's Parkinson's center. As secondary area of focus at Augsburg was in American Indian Studies with a focus on spirituality. My therapy practice worked with Ridgeview Hospice from 2000 - 2021, as a founding member of that program. I started the music therapy program at Ridgeview, which continues to be very successful. In addition, I've served many other healthcare organizations, providing music therapy, group music programming, music for special events, consulting and speaking services.
I've also created many recordings for relaxation, meditation, spiritual practice, as well as some fun material. My recordings have been used by people of all ages through health & emotional crises (even premature infants). My YouTube page has over1,000 subscribers and nearly 500,000 views. You can find many of my recordings on the Recordings/Video tab and some recording downloads are available for purchase in the CD & Download Store on this site.