Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Piano Lessons

    9:00. Monday morning. Doane 408.

    Undoubtedly the most exciting hour of my week.

    The first thing I notice when I walk through the door is the fresh, clean Aloe-y scent that fills my piano teacher's office. Looking up from his desk my teacher greets me warmly, as if it's been a month since I've last seen him, even though it's been only a few days. He's often wearing purple and is always wearing socks that are interesting but subtle. I set my book bag on the chair by the piano, arrange my books on the music rack, and take my seat at the piano. My teacher sits next to me in his swivel chair and my lesson begins.
    For the first five minutes of each lesson our conversation would seem quite normal to anyone listening, as he asks me about my week and reminds me of performance class, student recitals, and any other essential information. After a quick word of prayer the normality ends abruptly.
    As soon as he begins working on music all formality or reservation is thrown out his fourth floor window. He sings, dances, and gives odd and sometimes slightly gruesome analogies, and I never leave his studio without feeling like I've been through a whirlwind. I never know what's coming and half the time if someone told me what to expect I probably wouldn't believe them.

    Although my piano teacher never ceases to surprise me, he also never ceases to inspire me. His dreamy and slightly forgetful nature are quite the opposite of my methodical and organized mindset, but the contrast makes a perfect springboard for learning. While he often doesn't recall all the details (I often hear things like, "someone said they started working on a duet with you. That's just wonderful! I can't remember who it was..." or "did we lay out all the pages of this piece side by side to look at the form, or was that with someone else?"), his sense of purpose and the attention he gives to big ideas reminds me to always keep the main goal in focus. I'm challenged to not get bogged down in all the details and lose sight of why I'm making music: to glorify God and reflect his creativity. I'm reminded of the joy it is to make music and I'm encouraged to pursue knew heights of excellence and greater depths of beauty.
    I've never left a lesson discouraged, and most weeks I'm running to a practice room as soon as I can to try out whatever crazy things we talked about in my lesson. Each lesson is more exciting than the last and each week I praise God that I have a teacher who brings joy and warmth to my heart, sets an incredible example of excellence, creativity, and joy, and pursues Christ in all he does.

"Whatever you do, do all for the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31

"The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life." - Proverbs 13:14

[Soli deo gloria]

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