Monday, December 2, 2013

Playing piano for my first church service (yikes)

Yesterday I played congregational for both the Sunday school service and evening service. Yikes! You can imagine the amount of stress I was under! Our lead pianist just had a heart procedure done so my husband saw this as an opportunity for me to get my feet wet and see what happens. I've been learning to play for about a year now and I suppose he thought it was time to push me off of the cliff! Haha, no really, playing for the whole church really feels super intense. I've played songs and sang them alone for church, but I've never had to follow someone else singing other than at home! It was definitely a weird experience. 
Sunday school was easy, as we did Oh How I Love Jesus in C. (I'm still so much a beginner that I only know how to play in C and G. One day at a time, yall.) I started out a little fast, but was able to slow down and keep the pace with everyone. I totally cut out all of my little add ins and runs because I was so nervous and didn't want to mess up, but overall it went okay!
We started out with Nothing But the Blood in G and I was practicing it MUCH faster than they actually sing it. So when my husband started singing, I had to just completely stop and jump back in because I couldn't slow down! ::::panic mode:::: Hey, I survived. I jumped back in. I made it through the song. It might have been some hideous piano playing, but I didn't run away and cry. 
Then there was Sweet Hour of Prayer in C. Okay, easy song, right? I mean, I've been playing it a few months. Well, I hadn't played it in a few weeks and so when I went to practice the other day, I noticed I kept getting my fingering wrong, thus throwing off the whole song. A more experienced pianist probably knows a good save for this, but I just determined I wasn't going to do it. And guess what? As I am playing, my fingers get slightly off and I start playing the wrong notes. Again I had to jump in and find my place. Ah! But as I said before, I was just happy to finish the song.
By the time we made it to the offertory, Where Could I Go in G, I felt like I had been on a roller coaster. I don't know how it sounded or if it was played super fast, I just know I was ready to be done! 
Thankfully, we had guest musicians in lastnight and I didn't have to play the invitational. I was so nervous about having to play the invitational and messing up because my nerves were shot. Phew! I guess The Lord knew I couldn't handle any more than I had done.
Would I ever like to play for a church service again? Ah, I think I will stick to playing for Sunday School when they need me and continue to work on my timing with others. (I like to find congregational singing on YouTube and play along.) There was a time, though, that I was just as nervous and flustered about singing (even had a few embarassing mess ups there too) and over time I've learned to deal with my nerves and go with the flow. So I think I could. I just definitely need more practice! Ultimately, piano is just a hobby for me, something I do because I enjoy it. I don't plan on making a career out of it and it is most certainly not my calling in life. I just like playing! :) 
With that said, piano playing is so similar to the Christian walk. It takes work and practice to really see results. It's also a work in progress and there is always more to be learned. I know I'm definitely not the best pianist out there, but there is always room for growth and knowledge! Plus, I just enjoy serving The Lord, so if my shaky hands make Him happy, I guess I'm okay.

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Thanks for reading my post! & God bless! :)