Some of my earliest memories of playing the piano in public are at church. I attended a small, country church as a child. On Sundays when the pianist was not there, the music director would come to get me out of Sunday school. “Ok, Kelley girl, which hymns do you know how to play?”
We would go over the list, making sure I was comfortable with each selection. After our short practice, it was time for the service. I’m not sure my exact age, elementary school, but I remember barely being able to see over the piano.
Thinking back to those early memories of playing, I don’t remember being nervous or afraid. I only remember being excited about the opportunity to play. The place and people provided encouragement and support. And it was fun!
Those early experiences lead to many more years of playing in churches. Different types of churches, services, funerals, weddings. Actually, I’ve spent more years playing piano in church than not.
Currently, I’m in one of those “not playing” times. Services have changed, much more involved and complex. Not that it’s a bad thing, just different. One that I don’t feel lead to do at this time. Maybe that will change in the future, who knows?
The simplicity of my childhood experiences is long gone. And although I sometimes miss that playing, I realize the important part remains. The music is forever part of my heart and mind.
The following is a short list of some of those early hymns:
- Amazing Grace
- In the Garden
- Sweet Hour of Prayer
- What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Sitting here on my couch typing, I can hear them in my mind. I can feel them in my fingers. I can see the notes and words on the pages. Sometimes they flood my thoughts right when I need them. 🙂
I am grateful for the memories of these hymns. They are a powerful part of my musical and spiritual foundation.
“…speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:19