The Piano Man

My BFF is an accomplished pianist and vocalist. When my kids were young, she took each of them to the piano over a period of time to see if they had any innate musical ability. My youngest son took to it like a duck to water. At her advice, we found a teacher and he started regular lessons at age 7, in the 2nd grade. (I looked for a picture of my son at the beginning of his piano career, but alas, I couldn’t find one, not even his school picture from that year! Yes, I’m a bad picture-taking mom.)

I loved that we had found a man to teach him. A Christian man. I loved that other boys in his class at school took lessons and that at recitals we watched middle school and high school boys (and girls) play amazing pieces. My son had real talent, or so his teacher told us, neither my husband nor I being able to judge such things. He continued on, keeping this same teacher for all 11 years.

In middle school, he wanted to learn to play from chord charts so that he could participate in the praise team at his school. He seemed to have a knack for it. Not only did he join the school’s praise tem in 9th grade, but he also began playing at youth services at church, something he has continued through today and which has afforded him amazing mentorship by some awesome musicians who are also godly men.

Thursday morning, we watched him play for the last time with his high school praise team. Thursday night, he performed his final piano recital. I love both aspects of his playing. I love that he wants to use his talents to glorify the Lord, to lead others into a place of worship. But I also love that he can do this:

Concerto Romantique, Mvmt. 1 by Rollin. Enjoy!

(There are two pianos playing at once, Nathan and his teacher. Their timing is impeccable and Nathan does the entire piece without music. Oh, and did I mention that in the prime learning and practice weeks for this piece, his thumb was immobilized in a splint? He scored a superior + at his competition with this piece.)

 

7 comments on “The Piano Man

  1. Just going through some older things on FB and listened to this again. Still have tears running down my cheeks. I am so in awe of his talent.

  2. Just now had time to view this video. I truly am all choked up after watching this. Though you and your children never got to meet her, Grandma Stapleton would have been beaming if she had seen and heard him play. I am also so sorry that Mom didn’t get to see this as she was so proud of his concert at the Calvin UM Church. I too am so very proud of him and could listen to his music all day long. The Lord gives many talents and it is His voice in Nathan’s ear that lead to his involvement in school and church praise teams. For after He gives you talent, He leads you to venues to utilize those talents for the glory of Him. I know that you and Jeff are proud of all your children (as you should be) but I am glad that it’s Nathan’s turn to shine. He deserves the credit for all that he has accomplished in his youth. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for the man he will soon become. I wish we could have had a close relationship so that I could know him so much better. Distance made that impossible but it doesn’t take away from the love I feel for Nathan as well as Aaron and Elizabeth. Nathan, enjoy this time of your life – Prom, Senior Events, Graduation, etc.
    I love you. Aunt Sheri

    • Thank you, Aunt Sheri. It has been amazing to watch his gift grow and to know how much it meant to Grandma Sheeder. We are so very proud of Nathan and look forward to celebrating his accomplishments this weekend. Your words are so kind and so appreciated!

    • Yes, so proud of all his hard work–because it has been all his. This mama didn’t stand over him forcing practice time. I figured if it was really in him to do, he would do it. And he did! So blessed to get to watch it!

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