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Johnnie's First Concert

or
The Master's Touch

Hear this read by Elizabeth:
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Once upon a time a small boy was taken to a concert by his mother.
I don't know the boy's name, but the person giving the concert was
the great Polish pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski.

The small boy - let's call him Johnnie - was learning to play the piano
and his mother thought it would be good idea for him to hear such a famous man playing.

Johnnie was excited by it all - the grand concert hall, the crowds of people,
the chattering voices and the noise and the bustle.

Their seats were near enough the front to see everything but not too near so that
they would be looking up at the stage (That can give you a dreadful crick in your neck!)

Johnnie's Mom bought a programme - and then she saw someone she knew
sitting a few rows further forward.
"Stay there, I won't be a moment", she said
- Johnnie knew what THAT meant -
she would be AGES !

He looked around him....there was a door over in the corner.
It said "No Admittance" on it so what was on the other side MUST be important.
Surely it wouldn't matter if he just took a little look.
So Johnnie slipped out of his seat - no-one noticed - turned the handle of the door -
it wasn't locked - and slipped through......................

At the very last moment before the curtain went up - he was right, she was ages -
Johnnie's Mom hurried back to her seat and, noticed that Johnnie wasn't there.

But it was too late for her to do anything about it - the concert was about to start
and the audience were already applauding as the lights on the stage came on.

Imagine her horror when there, right in the middle of the stage,
she saw her son sitting at the grand concert piano - playing -
"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"!

Strangely, the audience fell silent for there, at the side of the stage, stood Paderewski -
with his finger to his lips asking the people to be quiet.
He walked up behind Johnnie and whispered in his ear
- "Keep playing" was what he said -
and Johnnie did......."Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" over and over again.

Then Paderewski - that great pianist - reached round with his left hand and began playing
a bass line melody on the low notes in perfect time with Johnnie.
Then he reached round with his right hand and added a high counterpoint melody
with his right hand -
and all the time Johnnie just kept on playing and playing.

"Last time" whispered Paderewski.......and they finished together to thunderous applause.

And that was how Johnnie gave his first public performance on the piano with a little help
from a world famous concert pianist who remembered what it was like to be young -
and knew how embarrassing it would have been for everyone
if he had made a fuss about Johnnie sitting in his seat at his piano!

Which is rather how it is with us and God.
Whenever we think we are tackling something that is far too difficult,
He walks up behind us and whispers "Keep playing".
He puts His arms around us and always helps us through
and He turns our feeble efforts into a work of art.

So whatever you do in life and when things seem really tough just
"Keep playing!"

Original Author Unknown
© (This version) Elizabeth Tolson 1999


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