Saturday, September 21, 2013

Budding Church Musicians

Sunset from outside Our Lady of the Mountains Parish

When I arrived at All Saints Catholic School three years ago, the pastor asked for a children's choir for the school Masses. I am not a pianist nor a musician but I know how to find the people to get the project done. I found two musicians from our parish-Our Lady of the Mountains, to take turns playing for the choir.

 I advertised the children's choir and built it up to the students and I got a great group of students, around 17 from Grs. 2-7th for the choir. Being at other schools, I was able to gather some children's songs for Mass and we were off and singing.

Before you knew it, we were also singing at the 9:30am parish Mass the 3rd Sunday of every month. We even sang at our neighboring parish-St. Andrew's for one of their Sunday Masses. We got great reviews from all parishioners and the people at OLM always ask, when are the children singing? We love to hear them.

A real blessing now, is that three of our choir members are taking piano lessons so they can play for the choir and two of them already have played a song at one of the Masses.

I had lunch with these three budding church musicians so I could ask them a few questions about their desire to play the piano and in church.

May I introduce to you, three of my 5th grade students-Jade, Natalie and Bailey.

Why did you decide to take piano lessons?
Jade, who was the first to take piano lessons said: " I watched Ms. Amy play for our school Masses. I loved the sound of the piano. I talked to her and she gave me a name and phone number of a piano teacher."

Bailey-" I wanted to be a part of the church choir and I wanted to help the church."
Natalie-" I saw Jade playing the piano at church and my grandmother plays the piano too."

How did you feel before you took your 1st piano lesson? Jade responded, " Excited and scared, I didn't know if the piano teacher would be fun or mean."
Bailey said she was happy but concerned whether her piano teacher would like her.
Natalie said she was excited and not nervous. Her mom told her the piano teacher was very nice and she wouldn't let me down. My piano teacher on the first lesson told me not to worry that I could do it.

My next question I asked was-What is the hardest part about playing the piano in church for the choir?  They all agreed they are very nervous doing it. Natalie said, " If I mess up, I just can hear them saying-" Why is she up there playing?" Jade also said, "Some of the new songs are hard to learn. It might take me three weeks to learn how to play it."

Ah, so the girls do practice at home. I know that because often the parents will send me a video of them practicing a church song at home. I can tell they have improved greatly since they all have started.

I asked the girls then-"Do you think you would like to play in church for a choir when you are adults?"
Natalie quickly responded YES! because she gets a special feeling when she plays for God. "I see God when I play," Natalie said with a bright smile.
Jade responded, " I want to play in church when I am an adult but not fulltime. I would also like to learn how to play a band instrument and play that in church also. "
These hands are playing for God.

I asked the girls what are some of their favorite church songs to play and here is their list of favorites:
I Have Redeemed You, I Am A C, Gather to be Sent, The Summons and On Eagle Wings.

The final question I asked at our lunch interview was the following:
"Have you ever thought about being a Sister and being a Sister Musician. "
Jade responded quickly, "Yes, I have been thinking about whether I should be a Sister for a long, long, long time. I want to serve God and meet other Sisters. I wasn't sure though what kind of job I wanted to do so I went on the internet and checked out all kinds of jobs. I asked myself, should I be a Sister or an actress -I am not sure yet. "

Bailey also said she has thought about being a Sister because then she could serve God, meet the Pope, be a musical Sister and play in church.

Natalie also said she wanted to be a Sister because then you could be a mom to a lot of children  but not your own kids and as a Sister you are like a mom to them. ( To myself I thought, ohhh so this is what they think of me - as a mother), Natalie continued to say that as a Sister she could play the piano in church, have kids but not as a mom and she could be closer to God.

There went the bell and we were all back to class for the afternoon!


  1. Great interview! we are very proud of our Jade and are so grateful to God for giving her the talent.

    1. She improves all the time because she really loves playing the piano. She will be leading a choir some day.