Virtues for Virtuosos: CHARITY
With Valentine’s day just around the corner… we figured it’s a perfect time to celebrate LOVE! And while the romantic love that Valentine’s day centers on is all well and good, there’s an even more important kind of love, and it’s called charity.
From the scriptures, we learn that charity is the “pure love of Christ;” that it “suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things” (Moroni 7). Charity is the perfect love that our Savior has for each one of us and that He hopes we all will learn to have for each other.
But what does charity have to do with playing the piano? Well, I’d say a LOT. As I was working with a student on a Bach prelude last week, I asked him why he thought it mattered that we played with good dynamics and beautiful phrasing. His answer was spot-on: he told me that we can use music to communicate emotions and feelings to our audience. When we’re connecting with someone on a deep emotional level, aren’t we developing the type of charity that helps us to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees?” (D&C 81:5) As Hans Christian Andersen is famously quoted as saying, “Where words fail, music speaks.” I believe that playing music – and playing it well – gives us opportunities to be the instrument by which healing, happiness, and help can come to those who need it, and can open our eyes to the needs of others.
I also love this quote from President Thomas S. Monson: “Along your pathway of life you will observe that you are not the only traveler. There are others who need your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save.” Last week at our Piano Academy Community Outreach recital, one student in particular impressed us by making a point to talk to several of the residents at the nursing home we were visiting. I’m so grateful for her example of showing charity both by sharing her music and by connecting with those sweet listeners.
So…. when has music helped you feel charity for others or helped you feel Heavenly Father’s love for you? We would love to hear YOUR stories in the comments!
For some great LDS resources on helping your family learn about charity, check out this blog article or click here to learn about the 14-day “Love One Another” challenge!