Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Piano Lesson and the Music of Our Lives ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Piano Lesson and the Music of Our Lives ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and our son will be playing and singing in a number of concerts this year. I'm looking forward to this festive season, but that wasn't always so. I had to learn to listen for the right notes and not to criticize the wrong ones.

A number of years ago, I cringed as I listened from the parents' adjacent waiting room to our young son playing his piano lesson for his teacher, Miss Miller. He was missing notes right and left. He hadn't prepared very well. I had gone to the lesson upset and feeling badly that I hadn't seen to it that he had practiced more.

After he completed the piece, the teacher said something like, "Joshua, your rhythm was wonderful in the first two measures, and I loved the way you softened your touch in measures six and seven, and what a strong ending that was. Now let's work a bit more on this note, and here we can make that staccato a little sharper." They worked on the piece together for a few minutes, and there was so much joy in that lesson.

Then she played the piece, and it sounded beautiful. She left Josh wanting to go home and practice it until he could do the same and without any guilt for his poorly prepared lesson.

Little did she know, or maybe she did know, that I also was learning a lesson - about love. And I have been endeavoring to practice it since that day.

I had been feeling pressure and had been quite critical both of Josh and myself. Because I knew what he was capable of doing, I felt it was my responsibility to see to it that he rose to his ability.

Our mornings at the piano had not been fun. Tears rather than fingers often danced on the keys. Although he had been able to pull it off and had learned some beautiful pieces in spite of me, I felt stressed during most performances and didn't look forward to them.

Miss Miller's tender, loving attitude awakened a desire in me to see Josh's talent through more loving eyes. And to remember that it was God, not human will, that would bring his talents to fruition. I needed to love more.

The ability to love is from God, the source of all love. The Bible defines God as Love itself. …

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