I did something a little crazy. I bought an electric piano. I didn’t even know that I wanted a piano until I saw a listing for one on a facebook for sale group. This is the piano that I ended up buying (used and reasonably priced.)
I enjoy plucking out hymn melodies when trying to find songs for the bulletin, but I’m self-conscious about practicing the piano at church, where people can actually hear me play.
So I talked it over with Steve and did some research on different models of pianos and keyboards. This one isn’t super flashy– no bells, whistles, or drums. But it has weighted keys and sounds like an actual piano. It also is portable, which will come in handy next time we have a community ecumenical church service at the old school, where there’s not a piano we can use.
I’ve played the piano every day this week. I can’t help but picture my childhood piano teacher Mrs. Gatrost smiling and I hear her counting in my head. The seller threw in some piano lesson books and I’ve enjoyed figuring out what level I’m at. I’m certainly practicing more and trying harder than I did all through elementary and middle school. The muscle memory is slow to come back but it will, in time. Steve says he doesn’t mind the extra noise. This is the face the orange cat makes when I practice, so I suspect the cats might have a different opinion.
I knew being a pastor would be stressful. I had heard pastors describe the weight of the call and the difficulty in finding a way to unwind. Music helps. It helps me to listen and sing along. It helps me to play and practice. I’m not sure I’ll ever be awesome at piano, but I would love to be able to sight read a few hymns. I’d love to not have a panic attack when I’m heading to a worship service without a piano player, and am told I’ll have to lead singing acapella. Pitch is irrelevant when I sing– something I’ve learned my niece does not particularly enjoy. This is how she listened to us sing happy birthday to her other aunt.
I’m thankful for the chance to unwind a little and I’m especially grateful for my mom who paid for piano lessons all of those years, even when I sort of just gave up on playing. Coincidentally, I think she’s excited, too. When I told her I bought a piano, she said she would dig out some of her sheet music and bring it over so she could play again, too.