“You’ve got to be kidding!”
“That’s never going to happen!”
That’s what Andrea, Erick, Kristofer, Suzett, and Yuridia of Provo, Utah, might have said if you had told them they would play the piano for their next Primary sacrament meeting presentation. After all, only one of them had ever played the piano before!
But their Primary pianist, Sister Perry, gave them the challenge—and they were willing to accept it.
Once a week, each child had a piano lesson with Sister Perry, except for one child who already had a teacher. At home they practiced on electric keyboards. Soon they were learning simplified versions of the songs for the sacrament meeting presentation. They also practiced in Primary as other children sang along.
Finally, the big day came. Each child played one or two songs. Were they nervous to play in front of the whole ward? Definitely! But that didn’t stop them.
“I felt really nervous,” Kristofer said, “but I kept having faith.”
Thanks to their faith and hard work, everyone did well that day. And the best thing about it?
“It feels good to be able to help in church,” Andrea said. “It’s a great blessing for me.”
Now the children can play during family home evening, at baptisms, and when their families sing in sacrament meeting. Awesome!
“When you practice, it’s not a test. If you mess up, it’s fine because you’re learning. Have confidence, and keep believing.”
Andrea C., age 11
“I practice before school and again after school. Keep practicing until you get it. Playing the piano is a great experience. You can help lots of people.”
Erick V., age 10
“Go slowly at first. When you know the song better, you can play it faster.”
Yuridia M., age 11
“Play the song you like best first. I practice an hour after school and also after dinner.”
Kristofer P., age 8
“Remember to keep your fingers curved. When you get frustrated, don’t give up. Keep trying!”
Suzett M., age 10
You Can Learn Too!
The children learned to play from a book called the Keyboard Course. You can read it online or print it from the Internet at lds.org/churchmusic (in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish). Click on Learning Materials, Accompanying Others, and Keyboard Course Book and Audio. In the United States and Canada, you can order it with your parent’s permission and help from ldscatalog.com.
Keyboards like the ones the children used are also available from the Church Distribution Center.
But what if you don’t have a piano teacher? Your Primary president or your bishop or branch president might know someone who could help you learn. If you are determined, you can find a way. Think how happy you’ll feel when you can serve others with the gift of music.
You might want to start by learning “He Sent His Son” on the next page of this issue. It’s one of the songs your Primary may sing for the sacrament meeting presentation this year.
A Special Teacher
The children’s teacher, Sister Janice Kapp Perry, is a composer. She wrote “I Love to See the Temple” and other songs in the Children’s Songbook. “Children are the future of music,” Sister Perry says.
Photographs by Christina Smith