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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Music in Africa!

How can you blog music?  We  imagined a very musical people when we thought of Africa.  The radio music is different from what we imagined.  Not many drums....kind of high pitched melodies our part of Africa anyway.  Sometimes the Church across the street from our house turns on their speakers and belts out some repetitive organ music to garden by.  We went to a restaurant in Malawi that had live music and they played American oldies!  We have seen some traditional dancers and traditional music that was awesome.

When we first went to church, our branch had no one to play the keyboard.   There is only one keyboard in the chapel.  No keyboard for Primary or the other rooms.  Some branches have no keyboard at all.  As my family knows, I am not an accomplished musician, but I have taken piano lessons for the past few years before the mission.  I felt I had to volunteer to play for our branch.  They have been very tolerant of my mistakes and yesterday, even though I am still making mistakes, I had someone tell me the music in Sacrament meeting has been an answer to their prayers.  Zambians are so tolerant and kind.   Makes me want to try harder.

The other wonderful thing is that after my first week of playing for Sacrament meeting, there were several young adults who asked for lessons.  It has been my pleasure to hold open lessons every Saturday morning (when we are in town) at the Church.  There are more than 20 students now.  Usually only 11-14 show up on a given Saturday.  We have been able to supply 9 practice keyboards through the Harmon Music Foundation....and several Keyboard Course Kits.  Some of my students have surpassed my ability in the 6 months that we have been doing this and one now plays in the Lusaka Branch for Sacrament Meeting.  Yes there is some awesome musical talent in Africa!  And yes there are miracles here.   My association with these students, has been one of the great joys of the mission!   Love the piano students! 

Returned missionary, university student, seminary teacher, piano student....awesome!
This young man had been taught  by a previous missionary, and he quickly finished the course and earned a keyboard to keep.  He now has students of his own in an outlying branch.  Here he is with mother and sisters.

This young man started in January and is now playing for Sacrament Meeting in his branch.  He practices several hours a day but is also has lots of  musical talent.  He teaches the lessons now when we are out of town.
This student even got her grandmother interested, now they are both students!

She teaches me a little Portuguese, I teach her a little piano.  Did I mention all of my students speak at least two languages?  This student speaks three.

A new member and talented pianist, a University of Zambia student!
Playing some postlude at church!

The first one to ask for lessons, wants to be able to play on his mission.


  1. This is so fantastic! You're awesome grandma! It's great to see how the Lord uses your specific talents to bless the lives of other. Keep it up! :)

  2. This is beautiful! I remember years ago you sharing your desire to learn to play the piano and your subsequent diligence in practicing. I have no doubt that there were gentle nudges from the Lord encouraging you to develop this talent so you could in turn share it with others. I love this post! I LOVE YOU!!