Monday, December 2, 2013

Practice the Piano!

When you were young, did your parents hound you to, "Practice the piano!"? I told my children over and over while they were growing up to practice because they would need to play on their missions. I was sure they'd end up in a branch with no pianist, and they would have to stumble through hymns using their John Thompson 1st grade level knowledge.

Well, as you probably can guess, none of my children were called on to play on their missions.

But guess who has ended up in a branch that has very little musical training? Yours truly. My mother never hounded me about practicing because she never dreamed I'd serve a mission (or become a songwriter.) But here I am in Ayutthaya, and yesterday, because our fourteen-year-old pianist who plays from the simplified hymnal, became very ill, and I was the backup. So I played for sacrament meeting and Primary. (I think it was a first in my life.) Every song went fine until Far, Far Away on Judea's Plains, and my fingers couldn't play any notes right. The music looks easy but is really tricky if you haven't practiced.

The piano is a central-place in our branch.
When we were preparing to serve our mission, in prayer I'd ask what I needed to do to get ready. The answer always came as, "Practice the piano." Every time I asked, the answer was the same. I practiced for at least an hour a day for four months. For some reason, being able to play the piano was important to my mission. To what extent I didn't know.

Now I have 10 weekly piano students (and accompany for musical numbers when needed.) All of them are still at the beginning level, but they are eager to learn. Our piano is in constant use. Someone is always playing/practicing.

I am the music chairman in our branch. We have a special musical number every Sunday. Amazing when you know how little real talent we have, but everyone is very willing to participate. Good people.

So, you never know what you will do on a mission. Be ready to use your talents, shiny or rusty, in whatever way the Lord needs you. You will have some great experiences, as we have.


  1. Way to go Joan! That is so awesome that you practiced every day for 4 months and followed the Spirit!

  2. They are so lucky to have you there....they have no idea how awesome your christmas music will be!!

  3. Kali and Joe, thank you for reading our blog and for the comments.