Hymn #31: Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee (Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring)

It was ironic that Ken spoke of sloth today, as I was embarrassed that I have not posted for a couple of days–working on this hymn. This is derived from the famous Bach Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, and like all classical pieces, and especially Bach, was difficult to learn and took more than one day. I worked on it pretty hard for the last two days, but felt bad I wasn’t keeping up. The great thing about this Hymn-A-Day project is how it drives me to be a better pianist–I listen to what I did, don’t like it, and try again, never really being satisfied.

I teach piano, and all my students come in thinking playing piano is relatively simple, hit the right keys at the right time, how hard can that be. Every single student comes away from my lessons realizing piano is really, really hard to do well and takes a ridiculous amount of practice and work.

I think of our church musicians and think how much work is behind the scenes and hidden from everyone. I thought of that when I heard Chris and Ron this morning, same thing right? Chris makes singing sound like something she was born with. I am a little ashamed to admit that I am taking vocal lessons, and have been for several years, so I immediately recognized a well-trained voice. Everybody sings, right? It’s pretty trivial, right? No. I’ve taken enough lessons to know it is really, really hard to do well, and I will never in my lifetime sing like that.

So, next time you listen to our church musicians, realize there is a truly enormous amount of work and dedication behind the scenes you will never see, and marvel at the example they set (no sloth there!). Thank you, musicians!