This blog is not an official website of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nor is Lindsay their official spokesperson.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Music Lovers Unite

Dear Readers,

The post that has received the most comments has been the post about singing to my Daughter.

Music is a large part of my life, always has been.

I started taking piano lessons in elementary school after trying to pick out melodies on our piano.  I took all the way through high school and even some in college.  My first piano teacher  was an amazing person and very well respected in the community.  With her wise fore-sight she handed out my name as a piano teacher when I was in high school. That first phone call was quite shocking to me, because I hadn't known this and I did not consider myself a piano teacher.

I have taught over 40 students over the years and I know I am just beginning.  I love teaching piano lessons.  I know I haven't written anything about it for awhile, but I guess that is because I have been so busy with so many new students!!!

I recently realized that I am NOT a piano teacher.  I choose to be a music educator.  Yeah, doesn't sound like a big difference I know, but here's my thinking.

The Mormon Church or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints loves music.  The scriptures tell that Jesus sang a hymn with his apostles at the Last Supper.  We follow in his example and sing hymns in all our meetings.  The Mormon Tabernacle choir is made up of 300+ voices and provides music for our General Conferences as well as the weekly "Music and the Spoken Word" program.

At the local level, in each congregation many music people are needed.  Someone needs to lead the music while someone accompanies the singing.  Both organists and pianists are needed.  Each congregation is encouraged to have a choir which also needs a director and accompanist.  With all of the different meetings that we have, that adds up to a lot of people, because some situations overlap so two people can't do it all.

My goal as a music educator is that my students will be able to serve in any music calling that they are asked.  It is not just enough to play the piano.  I grew up in a congregation that was very talented and full of music people which helped to spread out the load (who wants to play two funerals in the same week?!?!).  Now I live in a congregation that is full of music-phobes.  Some people are afraid to even touch a hymnbook because of their lack of musicality.  Scary, I know, and sad, because music has blessed my life too many times to count.

So here I am entering "recital season" with much excitement.  Some of my piano students have recently turned a corner and I am blown away each week by their progress.  I love seeing them succeed.  I know that I am giving them tools to help other people.  I cannot even try to think about the number of people that have heard me play the piano in my life.  I have been in many different wards.  I have played for stake meetings.  I have played for baptisms, funerals, weddings, retirement facilities, choir numbers, you name it.  Honestly, when I add up all of the places that I have played, performed and accompanied I am going to go with 2000 (very conservative guessing) people have heard me play the piano.  When I started taking piano back in the early '90s, I never could have foreseen to now.  Now it is my turn to be the wise piano teacher and see all of the potential in each of my students.  I know they will help people worship through music.  Forty students times 2000 people's lives that they can touch is 80,000 (conservative guessing).  That is no small responsibility.

I am excited for some of the recent progress of my students because they have seen the joy that comes from playing for themselves.  They are really starting to "feel" the music and see that it is a way for them to express themselves.  I am thankful that I have been able to bless others, but it means so much more to me that I can use it for myself.  In high school it was my "therapy".  Bad day at school, sit down and play a few songs.  Annoying sibling, sit down and play a few songs.  I always feel better when I get up from the piano bench.

May my parents be blessed for however much they spent on lessons for me.

My heart sings.

Singingly,
Lindsay

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