As a child, my instrument of choice was the piano. There happened to be one left in our apartment when we moved in. I was probably no more than six, but the idea of playing the piano occupied my dreams for many years. My parents couldn’t afford to have me take lessons, so most of my playing was self taught and done by ear – which is incredibly hard to do. I mean, have you ever tried playing any instrument with your ear – but I digress.
I developed a love for music at an early age. As I grew into a teenager, my tastes went from Twinkle, twinkle, little star to more advanced pieces like Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Without lessons, my music left much to be desired, but I did manage to sound out Clair de Lune just by rote. I listened and I learned. Still I wasn’t all that good.
My husband was on his own journey in the area of music at a young age. His parents possessed an old violin so this is what he would play – whether he liked it or not. He was fortunate (I guess) in that he did take lessons. His instructor was an elderly, strict, German fellow who insisted on perfection. A little extreme to expect from a six year old boy who would much rather be catching frogs or playing ball. Still his parents thought the discipline would be good for him. He would need to practice every day and follow directions, which always led to good things.
After a number of lessons, a sort of rebellion took place. After numerous reminders to keep his left arm from sagging – instituted by the poke of the professor’s bow – it was finally just too much. The stubborn little boy, quietly stood up, set his violin on the chair, raised his bow and took a very impressive fencing stance. A little sword fight with bows ensued, but after a few strikes, the instructor boldly stated, “I will not teach you anymore!” Paul responded, “I quit,” and thus ended his musical career.
The instrument became an heirloom, seldom played, except for a squeaky rendition of
“Barker Roll.” It collected dust for several years and was finally sold to someone who could actually play and enjoy it.
The idea of practicing, rehearsing, reciting, being disciplined, is never easy for most of us. It’s often easier to muddle through life, just getting by. In a way, that attitude can lead to all kinds of problems. We begin to feel sorry for ourselves because we aren’t as talented or smart as someone else. We think we’ve been cheated. We make excuses. We set ourselves up for disappointment.
God’s discipline comes with our well being in mind. Being told what to do, how to do it, rules that must be followed is always hard to digest, but as any parent knows, without it things often become impossible. God is our heavenly Father and wants only what’s best for us.
I still love most types of music and so does my husband. We are not the purveyors of it, but there must be an audience and we fit that much better. There was a point when I purchased a keyboard, complete with rhythm and genres built into it. I got so caught up in the background noise, I forgot to play the melody. Thus officially ended my music career. I’m sure God had better plans for my life.