Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Well Is Deep

Jesus' encounters with women never really fascinated me until adulthood. The sordid pasts of his mother and great-great-grandmothers gave me hope when I first came to understand them: Tamar, the trickster; Rahab, the harlot; Ruth, the foreigner; Bathsheba, the adulteress; and Mary, who became pregnant out of wedlock. If he chose them, then maybe he could choose me: Suzanne, the sinner, the desirer of her own way.

Jesus & the woman at the well

Today through a domino series of link clicks, I found myself connecting with the Samaritan woman Jesus encounters at the well. Jesus approaches her in a manner that she can understand and is deliberate in his questions of her. She is honest in her responses, though it means sheer vulnerability of her own imperfect heart. Thirsty and in need of well water for her own and her family's well-being, she is confused and unsure of the ability (maybe even sanity) of the man talking to her when Jesus offers her "living water." "Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep" (John 4:11). 

Today I can relate to this woman. Jesus, I can't see your bucket, and the well looks so deep. Help my unbelief in your desire and ability to fill me until I overflow. 
 "My misgivings arise from the fact that I search within to find how He will do what He says. My doubts spring from the depths of my own inferiority. If I detect these misgivings in myself, I should bring them into the light and confess them openly— 'Lord, I have had misgivings about You. I have not believed in Your abilities, but only my own. And I have not believed in Your almighty power apart from my finite understanding of it.'" ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest
Lord, through this season of Lent, help me to trust you in your mighty power, your infinite resources and your very great love for me.  Bring me into the light. Amen.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Piano Classes

Group piano classes are not a common offering at the high school level, but it is exciting to watch them thrive as a good use of our personnel and facility resources. Not to mention, they're just fun. :) Things I love about group piano:
  • Positive peer pressure: it is healthy and motivating for students to learn music in a peer group. As a teacher, I work hard to help each class build camaraderie and a spirit of encouragement. I must admit, that's pretty easy to do with the students at BFA. It is so much fun to watch them challenge each other.
  • Varied literature: students are learning two to three times the amount of music that they would be learning in private lessons as they listen to their classmates perfect performance pieces alongside their own.
  • Ensemble playing: The first time I really played in an ensemble was in college. The experience was transforming to my playing and in helping me realize how God had put me together. I am energized by people, and when given an opportunity to play with others it is really incredible. For introverts and extraverts alike, the experience of playing with a group emphasizes skills like steady tempo, playing through mistakes and sight-reading. These skills are essential for a budding musician.

The picture below is of one of my Piano 1 classes last fall on a performance day. They're a mix of day and boarding students. All but one of them are in a Piano 2 class this spring. I have especially enjoyed watching them grow over two semesters this year. What a privilege it is to teach!