The Scientific Mind–Weaned from a Musical Soul

Jae-Min Park

Jae-Min Park

In high school, Jae-Min Park felt he wanted to be a doctor but wasn’t sure if it was the right career for him. His parents inspired him to study medicine. They encouraged him to pursue biology and when he did, he ended up liking it. Today, Park is a senior biology pre-med major at Southwestern Adventist University. But he also has a special love for music.

Music for Park, however, is more than just an enjoyable pastime. Park demonstrated a unique talent for and interest in piano from a young age. At age two, he would climb into his cousins’ laps and watch as they played the piano, then he would play back what they played. Noticing this unique talent and gift, his mother began teaching him how to play the piano herself and then sent him to a piano teacher when he reached the age of three. Around the same time, he picked up the violin but couldn’t continue with it when he moved from Oklahoma to Texas due to the lack of violin teachers in Texas at that time. He also taught himself how to play the guitar at age ten after seeing one of his pastors play it.

Since then, Park has progressed a long way in his love for music, and currently performs with a Christian band called Contagious Faith, known for their ministry in music. He first heard about Contagious Faith when he came to Southwestern.

Jae-Min Park (center) will miss performing with Contagious Faith, shown here on the cover of their latest album.

Jae-Min Park (center) will miss performing with Contagious Faith, shown here on the cover of their latest album.

“I really enjoyed their music and attitude towards worship,” he says. He got to know Anthony Cortes from Contagious Faith, when he used him as a bassist for his praise team and then his brother Alexander, the other band member.

“As I played with them, we formed a unique chemistry and realized we had something special,” he recalls. Park joined the band around two years ago. Since then he, with the other Contagious Faith members, have been reaching others and honoring God with their talents.

“I joined the band because I believed in the ministry and realized I could contribute something to it,” he says.

Even though music is important to him, Park knows where his priorities lie. “I won’t be a part of Contagious Faith when I go off to med school,” he says. The ministry of Contagious Faith won’t end with the departure of Park. Contagious Faith started with a mission to reach others through music and will continue to do so.

“The band just had their eighth birthday this month,” he says. “The guys will keep it going for as long as they can. Members come and go, but the ministry keeps on.”

He admits that music plays a huge role in his life. For the time being, though, he is content with ministering to others through his God-given talents in music by helping out with song service and other events. “Music is my passion and the way I minister to others. It is my way of leading others to Christ.”

Finding time for multiple obligations as a pre-med biology major may be hard, but Park makes it work. Dividing his time between school and music, he rarely has time for anything else. “I sacrifice a lot of study time to do music, but my life kind of revolves around music and school.” However, his dedication to his music has helped him in his studies and enabled him to handle the pressure that comes with academic studies. “I use music to de-stress from schoolwork a lot,” Park says.

“I have found that stretching my memory by memorizing pieces of music has helped my short-term memory to increase, which has helped in my studies. The same self-discipline and dedication needed to master an instrument is definitely needed to do well in school.” Park is glad that God has given him a love for both music and science. He believes they complement each other well for him.

Park has accomplished many things during his musical journey. He’s had the opportunity to play for Jennifer LaMountain and professionally record songs with Contagious Faith.

Park is grateful that he could study at a university where he could pursue both his love for music and get the pre-med education he is looking for. “I’ve been allowed to share my talents of music a lot better here than I could if I was at a larger school.” At the same time, he’s been able to assist his biology professors with research and spend one-on-one time with his teachers in order to get the help he needs.

“Southwestern has given me so many opportunities,” Park states. “The kind of opportunities I received here, I wouldn’t have been able to get on the same scale anywhere else.”

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