Several nights ago I had the pleasure of attending a concert by The Piano Guys at the Paramount in Seattle. Have you heard of them? Jon Schmidt on the piano and Steven Sharp Nelson on the cello are the performers, with two other guys that handle the promotion, sound, videography, etc...all from Utah. They actually became known by posting videos on YouTube and eventually were picked up by Sony....playing a combination of classical and contemporary hits, often in awesome settings.
Have you ever had one of those days when life is feeling a little overwhelming...and then you hear a song on the radio, or on Pandora, or at church... and you are lifted above your troubles and your hope and joy is restored? That's how I felt that Thursday night. The music of the Piano Guys was like balm to my soul! Martin Luther once said, "Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us."
I grew up with a dad who would wake us up on Saturday mornings by playing phonograph records on the record player in the kitchen. He would blast the music loud enough so we could hear it upstairs...an effective alarm clock! He enjoyed a variety of music, but much of what he played those Saturday mornings was classical, from Beethoven to Handel. My dad and mom both grew up in musical families. Mom played the piano, as did her sisters, and sang alto. Dad loved to sing tenor, and as a boy played in the Farland String Band in North Dakota. They would often sing duets together and whenever we took road trips, which were frequent in Brazil and in the U.S. as we travelled to the Midwest to visit mom's family, we sang in the car. Dad loved old American classic folk songs like, "She'll be coming around the mountain," "You are my sunshine," and "Let me call you sweet heart,"....you get the picture! Mom loved the hymns, "Great is Thy Faithfulness," "Be thou my vision," and "The King of love my shepherd is" and many more. Though we did not all have the greatest voices, we sang with joy and gusto!
We four siblings all learned to play instruments, trumpet, and flute...as well as piano lessons. I have to admit...I hated piano lessons. Mom tried to teach me at home first...didn't work! My older brother and sister were already taking lessons so I know this was a considerable financial investment for them at the time. Eventually, I too went to piano lessons and started playing the flute at the same time. The flute was more fun for me because of the band. Most of my close friends in grade school and junior high were in band so it was a social thing as well as musical. I was supposed to practice daily at least half an hour on the piano, and then half an hour on the flute...hmmm, I think that rarely happened! After a couple years of piano lessons, I wasn't advancing much (lack of practice might have had a little to do with that!), so Mom made me choose, piano or flute. I chose the flute and played on through 9th grade. In high school I chose to sing in choir instead of being in band...only room for one music elective in my schedule. So, I dropped the flute as well....might have had something to do with transferring schools and no longer having band friends....as well as an absolute dread of playing in marching band in the parades like my older brother and sister had done. Looking back....I so wish I had stuck with piano...one of my life long regrets. Yet, I still love music and am thankful for the efforts my parents made to install that in us. My husband and I so thoroughly enjoyed watching and listening to the Piano Guys, who masterfully display their talent and absolute passion for music. I encourage you to look them up on You Tube...you will not be disappointed! I leave you with one final quote by Martin Luther, "Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world." Happy Monday, friends!