About 17 years ago I asked my two young children if they would like to learn how to play the piano. They enthusiastically agreed. There was just one problem- we did not own a piano. As a stay-at-home mom, our household income had an extremely tight budget. But I was undaunted, for I was acquainted with the God of the universe and I had found this God to be loving and generous to those whose eyes are upon Him. So I simply said to my children, “lets pray and ask God for a piano.” The three of us knelt down and made our petition known. Almost a year passed before a piano became available for $115. It was an old, black, student piano- but it worked and was in tune and that was all we really needed.
Shane and his sister getting ready for a piano recital. Teacher is on the left.
Now, lessons can be quite expensive. I started my daughter out first, because she was already at the recommended age of eight and I told my son he could start lessons as soon as he was eight too. Being a mere 18 months behind his sister was not too long of a wait. Lessons started in summers only, every other week. This was affordable for our income. I was able to procure a young teacher for a fraction of the standard cost. My kids were eager to learn and were soon performing songs both independently and together to the delight of all our friends and family. The lessons increased when the Charter school they were enrolled with was willing to provide for the classes. They were then able to take them all year long on a weekly basis.
As a toddler, Shane would tap his foot to musical performances, and loved to listen to a variety of music and his love for learning more was insatiable.
Shane at around 8-years, filling glasses with water to create a perfect pitched musical scale
When Shane was in his teens, the church we attended lost their student organist and petitioned us to see if Shane would be willing to learn. Every week I would drive him the 15 miles both to and from the church where he learned from a renowned teacher both how to play the organ and advance in his piano skills. He also attended a local Jr. college and passed all their Music Theory classes with A’s.
Soon, his talent was in high demand. I quietly sat on the side-lines and watched my son give so unselfishly of his time and his talent to practicing and performing musical pieces for church, for vocalists, for instrument accompaniments, for plays, and even for elderly assistant facilities.
Shane playing for Christmas Singers at Elderly Care Centers
There have been very few instances where he has actually earned a little cash in performing for a wedding or other event. But for the most part, Shane has unceremoniously offered his talent as a gift of love. In between his work as a volunteer fire-fighter, his full-time position as an EMT, and his side jobs of yard maintenance for the elderly, Shane utilizes his spare time patiently working on music projects as an offering at the church he attends.
In the past few years, many people have asked him for a CD of hymns. Shane invested his own money, time and talent into producing a collection of his most requested hymns. He came to me and asked if I would read his web introduction for his CD’s debut and suggest any changes that should be made. My heart swelled with love and pride as I read the words he wrote, for his utmost concern was to make sure his audience understood that the $12 cost of the CD was not to make a profit, but rather to cover the cost of bringing this work to fruition.
I urged him not to worry about justifying the cost. Money is just an exchange- a tool. When we work at something and we put our best effort into it, we should expect a return. That is how life is sustained. The price of the CD is so very minimal- but the love and sacrifice he puts into his music and sharing it with others has been phenomenal.
I couldn’t have ever asked for a more humble, wonderful. awesome son; I feel especially blessed to be the recipient of live concerts while he continues to play and perfect his talent on that old, black, student piano we prayed for so many years ago, and to offer his talent back to the the great Giver of all life!
To listen to samples and/or order one of Shane’s CD’s please click on the following link:
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