And Then I Quit


Or rather, I quit playing the piano when other people might be within earshot.

It was a Friday night. All of my friends were heading out to Uvalde for a girl’s retreat immediately after school. My wonderful parents said they would drive us out there after our recital that evening. Sara was singing something lovely and I was going to be performing a piece I played perfectly the night before for Guild judges. Anyways I think that’s what they were called. I can hardly remember.

The recital was held in a church and I was somewhere near the end of the program. Sara had already sung her piece. It was my turn. I was terrified. I placed my hands on the keys, looked to my teacher who gave me a nod, and started playing. Or did I?

My fingers were moving over the keys but I couldn’t hear a thing. I stopped, took a breath, and started again. Still nothing. Why couldn’t I hear the notes? Tears were streaming down my face. I was so embarrassed. I quickly got up and ran out of the back of the church, never recovering from my embarrassment. Oh yeah, I was a junior in high school.

And that’s the night I quit playing piano in front of people.

This story has a happy ending though. I went on to spend the weekend with my friends and our bible study leaders. It truly was the best weekend in high school. And as embarrassed as I am (still) for running out of the church crying, I loved playing the piano and enjoyed my lessons. However, you’ll never actually hear me playing.

pianovia LOPPISLIV

2 thoughts on “And Then I Quit

  1. A friend from Trinity who also grew up in Dallas got married several years ago in the church where we always had our piano recitals… literally the moment I walked in the door of the church for the wedding, I got this terrifying pit in my stomach. I will never forget the anxiety of piano recitals!

  2. Haley, I began piano lessons the age of 5. I was quite accomplished. At the age of 13 I began giving lessons in my mothers home….she also was quite accomplished and gave lessons for years. At th age of 20 or so,I began playing for a group (a sextet) from my church (we were call “The Joybells” )as their accompianist. We traveled all over the tri state area (Ill., Iowa, Missouri) for a few years playing for all sort of church venues. I was so Good at thetime! But, and this is a bug but, at some point I started having all sorts of troubles….rapid heart beats, shortness of breath, not being able to hear what I was playing (total ringing in my ears from blood pressure)…total panic when on the piano in front of people. So, I gave up the group. But I believe that we ALL have a God given talent and that we shouldn’t dismiss it. I’m sorry at this point that I gave up the piano and haven’t had one for manyyears now. Maybe….someday…I’ll take it up again. I enjoyed it so much. And when Gary and I first got together I had a piano and he LOVED when I played for him! If God has given you a talent….piano. art, whatever…use it!!! Love ya,Aunt Jody

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