I’m very much grateful to God for inspiring me to learn how to play the piano.
I’m already 15 when I started playing a few chords. Yes, based on my experience, one’s never too old to learn how to play an instrument.
In summer 1983, my father had just started his pastorate of Ajuy Baptist Church and we were barely a month living in Ajuy, Iloilo, Philippines.
The school was out and being a new kid in town, I stayed most of the time in the parsonage. To keep myself busy, I transposed the guitar chords to piano format and played them on the piano.
The following weekend, the choir leader requested me to play the piano because there would be power blackout on Sunday. The song was “Sapagkat ang Diyos ay Pag-ibig”.
Learning how to play better was a struggle for me because I never had a piano nor even a simple electronic keyboard.
I improved my skills through the church’s piano, in Ajuy Baptist Church and Sambag Baptist Church when I’m in Iloilo City.
During school days, I found myself going to Johnson Hall of Central Philippine University. Then I would ask permission from Manay Esther Teves to let me play the old piano at the chapel.
The two people who influenced my playing style are Rev. Jireh John Francia and Nelson del Castillo.
Pastor Francia was then our youth and choir director at Ajuy Baptist Church and I recalled observing and studying discreetly his use of the Dominant 9th.
Nelson is a popular singer-composer in our city and his ragtime honky-tonk style really amazes me ’til now.
Just like any young people, I was fascinated with rock music. The lure of joining a rock band and do gigs was very irresistible.
Two things hindered me from joining.
First, I don’t have an instrument to use. Second, the prospect of joining the band members in smoking, drinking and possibly drugs would be inevitable.
I can’t read notes. I play chords and by ear. Later, I learned how to improve and put embellishments on the music I’m playing.
Looking back, I observed that it was when I focused on playing church music, like hymns and contemporary Christian songs that my piano playing skill improved a lot. I submitted my musical ability to His ministry.
He inspired me to write songs. Composing “Mag-amba sang Pagdayaw” and many songs then, boosted my confidence and conviction to play for the glory of God.
What great joy and thanksgiving to God for His generosity in giving me the talent to play His music as long as I live.
If you’re struggling to be good at any skill you’re trying to learn, why don’t you ask God to enable you.
Give more attention to how the Lord God Almighty will use you to bless other people and not how you will be popular.
Pray for God’s inspiration. Surely, you will be surprised how you will be gaining much in your talent as God inspires you.