Monday, April 14, 2008

Piano Lessons

Psalm 150:3-6 (New International Version)
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with tambourine and dancing,

praise him with the strings and flute,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,

praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.

Praise the LORD.

Tonight was Tiffany-Amber and Victoria's piano recital and I was there to hear them play.

Being ten minutes early at Hope Methodist Church tonight, the girls I was there to hear had not yet arrived, so I quietly slipped into the church sanctuary to listen to four sets of other children playing the duet, Babbling Bears, which I have been listening to the girls practicing for weeks downstairs.

The atmosphere was very, very serious and the church was hushed. No one said a word, unless in very soft whispers, as each set of children approached the piano, and, depending on their personality, hammed it up a little, or seriously, or nervously, sat down and arranged their music.

I listened to the short duet played 8 times by the time Tiffany-Amber, Victoria, and their group were finished. I was amazed at the difference in each rendition. Some were crisp and clear and lively, while others played the piece perfectly but not with quite as much "life." For some, the counting of the beats was evident while others seemed to really enjoy playing the music and it sparkled; I could actually hear the "babbling bears" talking to each other.

Between each set of players, the adjudicator made careful notes. At the end, she gave feedback to the children, encouraging them in the gift she saw in each of them. She was absolutely wonderful in the way she found something unique and sincere to say about them all. She said that ideally they should be like one person with four arms--one brain, and that some children had listened to each other really well as they played; rather than just holding to their own part desperately.

Tiffany-Amber and Victoria played "sensitively," she said, and I thought that was a nice compliment. They earned a silver award.

As for me; I left with food for thought from this "piano lesson" that had some hidden life lessons.

I learned that it's important to learn the theory but then relax and enjoy the "feel" of the music. Like music, living life well is more art than science.

Let the things learned become part of you so that you no longer focus on the theory but just flow in synchronization with it.

I learned that it is important to affirm people's gifts and give criticism gently. (The adjudicator simply read the encouragement and said that on the sheet she gave each child there was a suggestion to work on with their teacher)

And I learned that we all need to listen really well to one another in the duets of life and not be holding so desperately to our part that we aren't aware of the other "player" in the duet.

I hope that I am learning to "play sensitively" and that if I keep practicing I will improve before the next "recital."

1 Chronicles 15:16 (New International Version)
16 David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brothers as singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals.


Dave Hingsburger said...

what a lovely blog today, much to thnk about. perfect for my day. thankyou.

Night Owl said...


Belinda said...

Night Owl, I was worried about someone who actually knows something about music reading this! :) It didn't stop me though. :)

Night Owl said...

You shouldn't have worried!
Music can never be "wrong". It's always beautiful... Well, as long as it's done for beauty and out of love (S.D.G.)and not for ego, that is. :)
I loved the post. :)
Love, Night Owl