Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Piano

Sunday evening Abe, Bethany, Elinor, Greta, and I attended a piano concert in the beautiful penthouse apartment of our dear friend Andrea.  It overlooks Temple Square and is exquisite.   Occasionally she hosts a concert in her home-- last month it was a harpist graduating from BYU in harp performance that just took your breath away it was so good. 
 This past Sunday evening was Josh Wright.  What kind of piano teacher am I that I'd never heard of him?
You must simply go check him out at

Andrea owns a very fine instrument.  It's a baby grand-- the kind I can only dream about owning someday.  But seriously, where would I even put it? 
 I digress.
She owns a beautiful instrument that is well-crafted, well-tuned and deserving to be well-played. 

I, too, own a piano.  It's nothing too fancy, but it's a good brand, holds it's tune and is played A LOT!  Between my own children practicing and daily piano lessons I teach, it does not want for attention.

There are thousands and thousands, probably many millions of pianos in the world.  Some are impressively shiny and sparkling new.   Others are many, many decades, if not centuries old, possessing the charm of generations of love and attention. 

Josh Wright began lessons when he was five years old.  Can you even imagine the hours he has put in?  Did he ever argue with his mom about practicing?  Maybe.  Probably.  He has dedicated his whole life to mastering this art.  I can only imagine what other activities he sacrificed to attain such a level of seeming perfection.  He was unbelievable!
Frankly, I did not even know a piano could do what he did to it!  I was practically in a trance listening to him perform.
I suppose I haven't been to many piano concerts beyond my own children's and student's piano recitals, where there are moments of relative accomplishment and brilliance, but nothing even near to what Josh Wright did.

This got me thinking.  All modern day acoustic pianos are constructed basically the same way.  They have the same number of keys, strings, little hammers, usually three foot pedals.  Josh Wright could sit down to just about any functional piano and make it do what he made Andrea's piano do.  

Assume for a moment that Andrea's piano had a mind and could think.  Sunday night it had to be thinking, "HOLY SMOKES!  I had no idea I had that in me.  I didn't know I could be so spectacular!  Is that what I'm meant to be doing?  Here I've been content with a few scales and Christmas carols now and then!  I am a concert piano!  I am invaluable!  Did you just hear that?"

If Josh played my piano at my house, my piano might think, "I thought I had it good with all those kids playing me for hours and hours every day.  THIS!  This is what I'm actually designed to do?  I am meant for greatness!  That felt great!  I did not know that was possible."

Each of us is like a piano.  Some are new, some are old.  Some are more in tune than others.  But we're all constructed pretty much the same way.  Some of us look so beautiful and are accustomed to regular praise for our appearance.  Some constantly work hard to try to sound really good. We think our hard work will be enough to reach our full potential.   Others are content to coast along without too much effort.  We all get used to what we can do and think that that must be what we were designed to do.   
The great piano maker knows each of our worth.  He knows what he designed us to be able to do.  What we think is our very best is nowhere near what he knows it can be.  In our current earthly surroundings, we might occasionally catch glimpses of who and what we really are.  But I suggest that at this time, my piano is content with novice piano students banging away for hours a day, and Andrea's gorgeous baby grand is content to stunningly overlook the Downtown area.   Both pianos are almost clueless about what they are actually designed to be and do.  Our great "Piano Maker" can and will show us what we actually are.  Beautiful instruments, capable of sounds almost unimaginable to our current, simple minds.   Left to our own devices, we can sound pretty good.  We can draw a bit of applause from the world now and then.  But that is nothing compared to the brilliance that we are actually meant for.

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