Years ago my father sometimes held revivals in small churches in southern Illinois. Many of the churches either had no piano player (this was before the era of drums and guitars in worship) or a very untalented player. Since he felt music was important for sharing the gospel, he came up with a solution.
He would give his daughter piano lessons and she could go with him to play at these services.
I was excited to learn to play. Unlike most piano students who start with music books like “John Thompson’s Modern Course for the Piano,” my book was an old hymnbook.
The first song I learned to play was an OLD hymn called “When I See the Blood.” It was written in the key of “C” with no sharps or flats and a good place to start for a beginner where I could just play on the “white” keys.
After 10 months of lessons I was quite adept at playing all the songs in the hymnbook. My teacher said I was the best student she had ever had and she wanted to teach me classical music. I was so excited as I started this course of study.
Shortly after a few lessons in this new genre, my father felt learning classical music was money wasted. He wanted someone to play in church. Who needed to know how to play Bach or Beethoven?
Although I had no more lessons as a child, I continued to study on my own and took more lessons as an adult.
My music has been such a blessing to me – and I hope to others.
When I have experienced great “highs” and great “lows” in my life, music has been a release. I can play lively show tunes or songs of praise in times of great joy. When I have experienced times of distress or sorrow, music has also been a place of comfort.
Now I am enjoying one of the greatest joys of my musical experience. My little granddaughter has a love for music and for the piano. A few months ago I started giving her lessons. Her parents say they never have to tell her practice – she loves to play and needs no prompting to play.
What is so sweet – last week she decided to become a composer. She has a lot of stuffed animals she calls the wolf pack and she is writing a song for them. “The Theme of the Wolf Pack.” Not only is she writing the music – she also has words to go with the music.
She is not quite ready to draw the lines and the actual notes so she has just written the letter of the note and has specified in some cases if it is the right or the left hand that plays the note. She also has a repeat bar at the end so you can go back and play for the second verse she has yet to write.
It thrills this old grandma’s heart to be able to share this love of music and pass on a little of my own knowledge to the next generation.
Who knows? Maybe some day she will write songs of worship for her generation to praise the Lord!