Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Experience with the Piano

Well, today was the day. The first day that I accompanied the Relief Society at church on the piano. I could have conducted today instead, but wanted to dive in and get my feet wet with playing for people to sing. Kind of break the ice.

Let's back up a week. I was set apart last Sunday for this calling. I went home and went to work. I know that I can play the piano, especially if I practice--which I did. I practiced and practiced until my fingers knew the music so well that my brain had nothing to do with it. I really put in as much effort as I could have on my part. I prayed and put my performance in the Lord's hands, knowing I had done as much as I could.

Playing for people to sing has never been my strong suit. I am honestly really excited for this calling because I don't know of a better way to improve dramatically than to just jump in there and do it. There is something said for gaining experience. There are so many others in the ward more qualified than I, but I am still excited that I have this opportunity to grow as a pianist.

Ok, back to today. I went in to church early to practice on the piano I would be playing. I did fairly well. Jeff sang as I played. Then when it was time for Relief Society, I had to play some prelude music. I had put all of my efforts into the songs I would be playing for the singing that I didn't practice anything else for prelude. I pulled out a few hymns that I hoped I could play off the cuff. I did and did it well. Phew.... I was grateful for that.

Before I knew it, it was time for the opening song. And did I ever struggle. Usually, if I would stumble, I had practiced carrying on and keeping on going. I did so badly on the first verse that there was a part with no music while they sang as I collected myself and got back on track.

The closing song was even easier for me to play, but there was no time at the end of the lesson, so I didn't have a chance to redeem myself.

Usually, I would be humiliated or embarrassed by such a public display. I do worry too much about what others think about me, usually. That was not the case today. Mostly, I was incredibly disappointed. I had worked so hard and I really knew the music well. I came home and played through it perfectly, just to see if I hadn't imagined that. I had hoped to do well or at least much better than I did. As a friend at church told me--baptism by fire. I'm sure it wont be too long before I can do this and do this well. Growing can be painful at times, but always worth it.

I shouldn't be too hard on myself since I have never had this calling and opportunity before.

Anyway....that was how that went. Wish me luck for next time. I'll be practicing--lots!



  1. Keep going Maren! I am a living example of what can happen with church callings in music. I was a mediocre pianist at best, playing only easy songs that I felt like playing, and by memory, not by technique. Through the calling in the Primary, I learned to play, and practice daily. Never in a million ba-gaillion years would I had thought that I would be a ward organist. And actually believe people when they say they like when I play. Keep going, it is all worth it.

  2. A similar thing happened to our current RS Pres. She was called as the Sac Mtg organist. This lady has every advantage in life (She even has a private plane). Before she started, she hired a piano teacher to help, and she practiced and practiced. She absolutely BOMBED the first day. After Sac Mtg, she sat in her car and cried. She worked at it and each week was better. Eventually, she was an amazing organist. You can do it, Maren!

  3. I'm sure proud of you. I'd have been nervous as h-e-double-toothpics if it was me.

  4. I am super proud of you! Playing in front if people is a scary thing, then you add having to play while they sing is a whole other thing. I love your attitude and determination. Look at you. Look how amazingly far you have come. You can do this.

  5. I was there and very proud of you. Some things are hard buy not giving up is part of the battle. I know your talent will shine through. You are great!!

  6. I totally feel for you. That is so frustrating! I can't tell you how many times I have had that same type of experience. Don't get down on yourself - your going to be awesome!!!

  7. Just keep it up. You know you will succeed in time (probably next Sunday) Everyone is proud of you.

  8. Actually, this is mom on dad's computer. The above comment is mine.