Piano has played a part in my life since that first piano lesson in 1995.
My relationship with this instrument (and the inseparable component of music) has ebbed and flowed over the years. There were months (maybe years, even) when I didn't want to practice, the music was too hard, and I never played well at my lessons.
I distinctly remember learning the music to Belle's "Little Town" song from Beauty and the Beast. I loved that song and practiced it in earnest, day after day. It was challenging. (As a teacher now, I understand how much more difficult it is to learn to play those first few "contemporary" songs, particularly those that have lyrics to go along with them. The rhythms are drastically different from all of those lesson books' contents.) And after all of my committed work, I would go to my lesson and play so terribly that my teacher was convinced I hadn't even practiced. I don't blame her. I really didn't prove anything with my playing. But after months of working, I finally had it down and I played it at recital. My hard work had paid off! (Although, to be honest, I only remember one recital out of 18 when I played the song perfectly. Darn nerves.)
In the past 8 years, my piano repertoire has broadened, my knowledge of theory has deepened, and my love for music has blossomed. In the back of my mind, I always knew music would be used in my life, I just wasn't sure how essential it would become.
For the past 3 years, I've been learning to teach piano. I never would have dreamed that I would be good enough or knowledgeable enough to instruct others. But thanks to the encouragement and words of wisdom I've received from people like my husband, my Grams (a lifelong church pianist), Kevin's grandma (a 25 year teaching vet), and many more, here I am teaching. And I LOVE it. It is a joy for me to instruct students--both beginner or advanced--and see them catch that joy for music. To play, to practice, because they LOVE it.
And all that to say, my piano playing has now become useful on a weekly basis--and even beyond the walls of the Sunday morning church sanctuary. I was asked by the high school band director to play in the pit orchestra for The Sound of Music. Woah! How cool is that? I'm playing the keyboard synthesizer strings (so I'm playing the violin, viola, and cello parts via piano). I was totally intimidated by the responsibility, but the past few Mondays, as I've joined in with the 20+ member orchestra and played my heart out, I couldn't be happier. And WHAT FUN!? Even my daily hour or two of practicing is enjoyable. (crazy, right?) I can't wait to see everything come together--stage and pit--next week.
And just last night I was asked to accompany two friends as they sing The Prayer at their college talent show this Saturday. A few years back, I don't think I could have said yes on such short notice. But here I am, playing it well and eager to have their voices join in.
I am so thankful for these talents God has given me. And I truly believe that He is pleased with my using them for His glory. May I continue to serve Him in my music.
What talents has God entrusted to you? Are you using them or hiding them away like the servants in Matthew 25?