Friday, March 30, 2012

Pigeon Holed Pianist

I think pianists have it tough. Once you let it slip that you can play and are blessed to have a calling as a pianist, you may always have a calling as a pianist.

I noticed this on Sunday when I watched our seventy year old pianist scamper out of sacrament meeting after fulfilling her duty as organist and run into the primary room ready to relieve the absent primary pianist. Then she returned after the three hour block to play for the ward choir. Poor love must have been exhausted by the end of her day. As I chatted with her, I learned that she’d had a music calling for the past twenty years. 20 YEARS? She started playing piano in her ward while I was learning to say ‘piano’.

If you are in the one calling for twenty years, then either you’ve got a lot to learn, or dare I say it, you’ve found your pigeon hole. .. only to emerge for brief, special occasions.

Why is it so easy to pigeon hole our darling pianists? Is it because that’s all they want to do? Perhaps. Is it that hardly anyone can play? We all know that’s not it.

I’m pretty sure I’ve nailed it. So I’ll tell you why. Share my lifetime of knowledge. It’s because of that sneaky group who has managed to keep their piano ability under wraps. You know the ones? This sly group cackles quietly to themselves when they see the new girl in the ward sit at the piano for the first time. They push the ‘still learning’ twelve year old onto the piano to show off her stuff. They tickle the ivories in their own time, but not in public. They hide their little secret, and hide it well. No one knows they play, and they like it that way. And thus, they go about their varied-calling lives.

It’s time, sneaky hiders. Relieve the burden on seventy year olds everywhere who ignore their osteoporosis to sit at the piano and use their arthritic fingers to play the piano for three hours each Sunday. Won’t somebody think of the children elderly!?


  1. haha - So true. I had my first piano calling when I was 10 as the primary pianist! I've had them ever since... That pic will be me one day!

  2. i wish i was good enough to be the pianist! (own fault, should actually practice)

  3. I'm with Stacey - Once people know you can play the piano... I was called as a Branch Organist when I was 14, and I've been in and out of music callings ever since. Not to mention the last minute rush jobs when the Bishopric member comes up to you and says "Our organist hasn't arrived today, can you help out..."