Recently I was asked to play the piano in another Ward (congregation) as accompaniment to a vocal trio.
I was happy and excited to do it. I play organ in my Ward twice a month, but other than that, I have not had opportunity to use my talent at church much for the last several years.
But I was also nervous because the lady who asked me, Susan, intimidates me a little. About 9 years ago we were in the same Ward together and I was pianist for the choir while she was choir director. She is a very nice person but she also "knows her stuff" when it comes to music and takes it seriously. At the time I never practiced outside of choir as much as I should have and I always wondered if I was disappointing her.
As the ladies and I were practicing one night, she suggested a place where we were forgetting to crescendo and another where we needed to ritard. After the next run through one of the ladies commented that I did really well with remembering the corrections even though the singers didn't. Susan's quick response, with a smile, was that, "Shirley's good at taking corrections" or something like that.
It didn't come off as condescending or anything. I took it as a huge compliment! I was on cloud 9 for the rest of the practice! Her opinion of my musical abilities carries a lot of weight with me. Thank you, Susan, for lifting me up!
The final presentation of the musical number went really well. I could point out a few parts where it wasn't perfect, but overall it was wonderful. The words contained a powerful message and the music was beautiful and invited the Spirit to be there. I had prayed really hard beforehand, as always, that Heavenly Father would help me to be calm, feel the music, remember all that I had practiced, and to please fill in the gaps where I might fall short.
I am so thankful to my parents for all the money they spent on my books and lessons, for the time spent driving me to and from, and for all the encouragement and support. I'm also thankful to my Heavenly Father for blessing me with my talents and the opportunities to share and bless others with them.