Saturday, October 4, 2008

Practice, Practice, Practice

From elementary school throughout high school, I took piano lessons from my next door neighbor, Mrs. Pond. She was one amazing woman- having patience beyond anything I've ever seen (well, with the exception of William) with me. She was one of the organizers of the new hymn book (well "new" as in 1985 or the last edition) and so she made playing the hymns part of my weekly practice. However, my main issue with piano is that I get exceptionally nervous. It doesn't matter if I was playing in seminary, young women's, or my recital, I am so anxious that I start shaking while I'm playing. After my graduation from high school, I basically stopped playing regularly, but I have occasionally played for institute, sacrament, or relief society. The good thing is that over time, my nervousness has diminished- some what. It is still one of my greatest fears.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. William and I teach Sunday School to the 12-14 year olds. Our lesson that Sunday was about having a positive attitude no matter what the circumstances. The Lord has such a great sense of humor and a way to really test us to see if we truly do practice what we preach. IMMEDIATELY after giving that lesson, a member of the bishopric pulled me aside and told me that I was going to have an additional calling- that of Relief Soceity pianist. A few weeks before, I had filled in for our current RS pianaist, a good friend of mine, who was out of town and it turns out that I had to play for combined RS and priesthood. I was so nervous that I messed up several time and felt so horrible that I nearly started crying during the meeting. William reassured me that I did fine, but I wasn't believing him. After that, I knew that the ward wasn't looking for perfection with their piano playing or else they wouldn't have called me. I very graciously accepted the calling, knowing that the Lord wanted me to have a positive attitude about this.

I have been practicing nearly every day on the little mini roll out, table top electric keyboard that William received as a gift from his mom. It works pretty well to have me get the basic chords down and I then practice before church on the actual piano. And you have got to love my little pocket hymn book- it hast proved resourceful again and again. At first, I was very concerned about this calling, but after a few weeks, I am starting to enjoy it, being able to practice a little bit each day. That is one of the great things about our church. I know that callings are inspired and that they provide us with opportunities to make things that we previuosly weak become stronger. I know that I will never be a concert pianist, but I am so grateful that my dear piano teacher taught me how to play the hymns to help me and others help sing our praises to God.


Petertammenson said...

Oh Cheryl!! You are always so gorgeously comnposed that I don't think anyone would ever guess that you were nervous! So much luck; I know the Lord will magnify your abilities - and maybe help out a bit with the nervousness. You are great to share your talents, even if it's one that has lain dormant for a while. Go girl!

ryan, maren and leah said...

I'm so glad you STILL consider me a good friend after such an awful betrayal!! You will do great. I'm just sad I don't get to see you in action. :)