Ignacy Paderewski was one of the world’s most celebrated figures during the first half of the 10th century. He dedicated his life to his native Poland, where he served a term as Prime minister and represented Polish interests at the peace conference following WW I.
But his true passion was music. Paderewski was a brilliant pianist and composer. His wild shock of hair (a la Albert Einstein) made him instantly recognizable wherever he went.
During a visit to a town in Connecticut, Paderewski decided to take an afternoon walk. His stroll took him past an open window, where he heard someone playing the piano. Or, at least someone trying to play the piano. A certain Miss Jones was stumbling through a Chopin nocturne. It was an unnerving experience for Paderewski’s trained ears. He then noticed the sign on the front of the house: Miss Jones Piano lessons. Twenty-five cents an hour.
Paderewski couldn’t help himself. He knocked on the door. The piano teacher was floored when she realized who was standing on her front porch. “I couldn’t help hearing,“ said tactfully, “Your ardent efforts to play that piece by Chopin. It’s a marvelous one isn’t it? Would you be open to my making a few suggestions?” “Of course,” said Miss Jones. For the next hour the master played Chopin as only he could, and he did his best to encourage his new acquaintance in her efforts.
Months later, Paderewski revisited the town. This time when he walked past the same house, he noticed the sign had been repainted. It now read: Miss Jones. Pupil of Paderewski. Piano lessons–one dollar an hour.
Something happens to our sense of who we are, to our own sense of worth, when we start thinking of ourselves as apprentices of an acknowledged master.
Have you enrolled yourself as a student of the Master of all creation? It makes a difference when we realize we’re being coached every day by the very best.
Psalm 32:8 “I will counsel you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.”
Isaiah 30:21 “Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left.”
John 13:34 “ A new commandment I give unto you, Love one another, as I have loved you.”
-Rev Dr William A Lewis