Piano Update and Other Stuff – June 4

Recently I wrote a blog about piano.  Well, I officially auditioned 2 weeks ago.  The chaplain wants me to learn 15 songs by the beginning of July.  Then I will start playing for church services.  That is very exciting!  I am really enjoying getting back into playing piano.  I really, really enjoy it.  Especially playing praise music.  It really helps me to draw closer to God.  I am also going to be the guest resident speaker at the next Kairos reunion on June 9th.

I will be speaking about Jesus’ healing miracles and his love and compassion.  When I get finished writing the message, I will send it to you all.  I am almost finished with it.

Over the past few months I have taken a great interest in Jesus’ life.  A lot of people focus on his death and resurrection but don’t pay much attention to the details of his whole life! It is amazing!  I will let you all know how it goes!

I love you all!

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Piano – May 21, 2016

I was blessed to be raised in a musical family.  My grandma was/is an excellent piano player, my grandfather has an excellent Bass voice.  My Mom has a great voice as do my aunts, and family, my Dad.  My Dad has played guitar since he was 16, and he can play keyboard and bass.  He also owned the best recording studio in St. Louis for a long time.  He has been involved in music his whole life; live audio and in bands.  He got his inspiration from his Dad who, I didn’t have that much time with unfortunately.  But he was a great guitarist as well.  Then we can go further and talk about my step-mother’s beautiful voice and my sister, Sarah (not her real name).  So as you can tell, I have been surrounded by music my whole life, which has been wonderful.

Well, I sang my first solo when I was a lamb in a children’s play at church. I was like 5 or 6.  Then I sang a solo as Stan, Stan the Garbage Man in the first grade play.  Then I was given the opportunity to play violin in the second grade.  My name was picked out of a hat to start a year early.  In Pennsylvania, they have orchestra and band in Elementary School.  I don’t know if they still do, but they did back then.  The next year, my grandmother bought me a piano and lessons for my birthday.  I was so excited, and I started taking lessons.  I will come back to that in a bit.  Then in 5th grade, I started playing trumpet.

In Middle School, I joined Choir and by High School, I was mainly into singing.  I was in the Choir, the auditioned Concert Choir, Band and my baby, the High School Barbershop Club, which me and the other three guys, Ben, Joe and Jason (not their real names) in my High School Barbershop quartet started.  I dropped violin and piano.  Occasionally I would accompany the church choir on an anthem or two.  All I cared about really was barbershop singing.

That adventure could really be a couple of blogs.  My grandfather got me into that, and I love it.  It is definitely a passion of mine.  Okay.  So back to piano because that is the name of the blog.  Haha!

Now this blog isn’t meant to toot my own horn.  It is actually to present a moral message.  So hang in there.  I started piano in 3rd grade.  What I found out was that I was good at it.  Really good at it.  Honestly, I was good at all the instruments, but that’s just it.  I was just good. I wasn’t fantastic.  Excellent, a pro, mesmerizing or any other amazing word you can think of to glorify my talent.  I was just good, okay, and so on.  See I got to a point where I was playing college level classical songs in Middle School.  In fact, when I got to college, I heard piano performance students play some of the songs I played in Middle School.

Yea, so it’s not like I couldn’t do it.  Even when I got to college, I had to take a class piano course, “Basics of Piano”.  I was bored out of my mind.  So they gave me hard songs for me to do for my exam.  I started working with the piano teacher and he kept trying to get me to change my major to Piano Performance.

Here I was, 20 years old, still not getting the message.  Now I am 31 and a little more at peace in my life, and willing to listen to people.  Even as I am writing this, I am realizing something. I realized this past week that I could be an excellent, fantastic pianist.  I mean, I could be really good.  However, I have never listened to people.  I have never listened to God’s message.

My first piano teacher’s only complaint about me, was “He doesn’t practice.”  When I practiced, I put my mind to it and learned these songs.  I was her best pianist/Student.  For real, but I never really wanted to practice.  I wasn’t great, excellent, fantastic, because of my choice to be mediocre. I settled for mediocrity, and it was my downfall.  I never embraced my passion, and realized that it was my gift.  I was too busy saying, “I can’t be that good.” Or comparing myself to other people, like my best friend, who is amazing at piano.  I mean fantastic, professional, amazing.  He is incredible.

This week, I went up to the Chaplain’s Office and practiced for 2 hours straight and would have longer if he didn’t have to go home.  I learned 3 songs last week, and I am learning a different style of playing.  I believe that God has been telling me something my whole life:  To bless people with my gift of playing piano.

I am ready. I am listening.  Let’s do this!  I now see that I can be excellent, and that I love it.  I am now going to be the keyboard player for the Praise Band!  Yay! I am super excited.

What about you?  Is there anything in your life;  a dream, that you just gave upon or you settled for mediocrity, and never met your full potential?  Face it, and don’t settle for failure, lost dreams, or mediocrity.  Go after it!