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!