I’m currently at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA, with 1600 men for “The Quest: A Journey Through Biblical Masculinity.” It’s a conference being hosted by Sovereign Grace Ministries, but we have a significant number of guests. I have the privilege of leading corporate worship three times along with my good friend Joseph Stigora. I’ve also been asked to teach a seminar on “The Pursuit: A Fresh Look at Courtship for Fathers and Sons.” I’m happy to encourage young men to give more thought to pursuing a woman in a way that pleases God, and challenging dads to serve their sons in the process. One of the highlights for me yesterday was meeting Shai Lynn, an African-American Christian rapper from Philadelphia who told me how much he enjoys Worship Matters. I thought, maybe I’m not so old after all.
In any case, Aaron sent this question in a few weeks ago.
I met this new piano teacher in early December and that’s when the idea first hit me: maybe I should start taking piano lessons again? Over the past year, I have found a little time here and there to learn some classical songs that I always wanted to learn, but never did when I was younger (Moonlight Sonata, some Debussy, etc.).To be honest, my initial reaction to the idea of taking piano lessons again is that it just seems silly. I keep asking myself questions like “Why invest all the time and money into learning new pieces?” … “To what end do I take piano lessons?” … “do I really have a goal in mind? Or do I just want to learn how to play really hard-to-play songs (like Rachmaninoff)?”
Anyway, I am curious what thoughts you have regarding adult music education, especially for someone like me–I’m not learning a new instrument; I would merely be advancing my piano by learning more and more difficult pieces (and honing my technical skills as well).
Here’s what I wrote.
Thanks for asking. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer. The benefits are that your technique would improve, sounds like you’d enjoy the process of practicing, and you’d be able to play some songs you’ve always wanted to play. I think God makes us in certain ways that we truly do derive enjoyment from certain things and not others. When we do them for his glory, it pleases him. It also might open up other areas for serving, like at receptions or special events, maybe?
The downsides are the investment of time and money that precludes your doing other things. If studying piano wouldn’t negatively affect other areas you think the Lord is calling you to faithfulness in (Family? Work? Church?), then I’d pursue it. I imagine after a season you’d realize you’ve learned as much as you need, and move on.
Hope that’s helpful. So appreciate your desire to grow in your musical gifts!