The legend goes like this:
After we came home from a December church service in 1977, I sat at the old upright piano my parents had purchased and, by ear, played “Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plains.”
Piano lessons followed soon after, despite my young age. The piano teacher my parents found said, “We’ll give it a try.”*
I’ve been playing piano ever since. Even when I didn’t have a teacher, I still played.
So when the usual organist texted me this morning, asking if I’d play for church since she was ill, it wasn’t a big deal. Though I usually like singing on Christmas, not playing, so I was a little bummed. I grabbed my hymnal and a book of Christmas songs I could play for prelude and postlude, and headed to church 30 minutes earlier than planned.
I’m not an organist; I’m a pianist, and learning the stops and organ fingering hasn’t been easy. But I figured out something that would work, and as I played Christmas song after Christmas song (we sang 9 in all), I was just so happy that I could help. So happy that my parents put me in piano lessons at such a young age. So happy that music is such an important part of my life.
And with that, I’m off to watch the St. Olaf Choir Christmas special on PBS, listen to a little of The Messiah, and play a few carols at the spinet.**
*For me, this is code for “Sure, sure, your kid is a prodigy, but I give her a month before she hates it.
**That was for you, Deanne.