Piano Students Say It Best: What Does Sacrifice Mean?




by McKenna Rammell, Assistant Director

At Utah Piano Conservatory, we are dedicated to helping our students develop both talent and testimony. By focusing each month on a different virtue from our list of Virtues for Virtuosos, students not only learn piano, they also learn valuable character traits. This month our virtue is SACRIFICE. I wanted to know what our students thought about sacrifice, so I interviewed a few as they finished their piano lessons and were waiting for their parents. Most of these students are pretty young, so you will enjoy their innocent responses!

When asked, “What does sacrifice mean?”, Joel looked at me with a confused face.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I think sacrifice means sacrifice of animals?” Based on his response, we spent a few minutes talking about what else sacrifice means before he left that day!img_5132

Lincoln said sacrifice means, “When they are dead they come back alive again!” He clearly got mixed up with another word.

“Actually sacrifice is a little different. Can I teach you what sacrifice means?” I asked.

“Umm, okay!” was Lincoln’s response.


Abraham, a new student, honestly responded, “I have heard it before, but I don’t know what it means.” After my explanation, and with another student’s input, Abraham said,”Oh! Okay, that’s what it means. Cool!”

I also asked Rowan and Gabby what they thought the word sacrifice means. Rowan said, “It means to give stuff away when you don’t want to.

img_5307“Have you had to give something away when you didn’t want to?” I inquired.

“Yes, I had to sacrifice big candy for little candies at Halloween,” he responded.

Gabby responded,”Sacrificing means to do something that is really hard for you.”

“Have you had to do something really hard before?”

“Yes. I have to share stuff with my little brother even when he doesn’t share with me.”

“Do you have to do something hard at piano lessons?” I asked. Gabby thought for a moment.

“No. Right now piano is easy. I don’t have to sacrifice.” What a response!

In all seriousness, our students DO know what it means to sacrifice, even if they don’t exactly know what the word itself means. Our students come once a week to piano lessons, for 90 minutes! This time is wisely spent on a solo piano piece, on piano technique and exercises, an LDS Hymn or primary song, piano method books, theory, sight-reading, and more! Our students sacrifice playing video games, watching TV, and spending time on social media to practice. Practicing earns them music bucks at their piano lesson, which they can spend each month at our music store. Practice has also led students to performing their own solo recitals, learning 40 piano pieces in a year, composing their own music, forming duos and trios, and sharing their talents with others. I have also observed students who sacrifice other interests to pursue the piano because they feel piano is important! I am so impressed by these students, and I hope you feel the same way!