Friday, July 6, 2012

My connection with piano music -- namely Jon Schmidt

I have tried typing out several blog posts all day long but I really haven't been eloquent with my words. It's been really hard for me to put any of my thoughts into words lately. My thoughts are jumbled and are only half formed. I have 3 blog posts planed and so I hope that this weekend I can type them out so I have something decent to post =) I want to keep up with the challenge so I will go ahead and do a post tonight!

I am going to follow the UBC prompt today and share one (or two?) of my favorite Youtube videos with you and just write about that. It's hard to pick one or two favorites... Every video I have on my "favorites" list is because I like it very much! But the one that I see myself going back to again, and again is this:

I have always been very connected with piano music. When I was young my mom used to play the piano all of the time. Yanni, David Lanz, Jim Brickman, etc etc. I used to sit down on the opposite side of the piano bench and just watch her fingers move and her hands glide across the keys as she played this beautiful music. When I went to college, my freshman year I was sitting down studying and I turned my piano music on. Of course I was always missing my mom, but when I turned out the piano music I got very emotional and missed her deeply. I related this feeling to my childhood and listening to her play the piano.

I now have a very, very strong emotional connection to piano music. I get very happy when it's played. It's very uplifting for me to hear and always puts me into a good mood. It brings emotions to surface when I desperately need to feel something. It touches me on a level that nothing else can. I connect with it so deeply.

When I discovered Jon Schmidt, it was like a whole new dimension of music was opened! This man has an unbelievable talent and passion for his music. You can just feel it when he plays. And you think it's great listening to it from a CD... even better seeing him play his music on youtube... but you haven't seen nothing if you haven't watched him play in person.

I had the amazing experience of catching the middle to end of Jon Schmidt's mini concert that he did in the University of Utah hospital for the CF patients. Spencer was in the hospital and it was shortly before he passed away.

Spence and I had just gotten into a major, quite hurtful, argument in his room, mostly leading from stress and just being tired of our situation. I was also having a pretty hard day. Something within me just knew that he wouldn't be around very much longer. Things were going downhill and there wasn't much I could do about it. I was just bummed. Hurt. Angry.

I went downstairs to get something to eat, to call my mom, and to just cool off. As I exited the IMCU I heard this absolutely beautiful piano music playing. Music that doesn't come from just anyone. My ears led me into the lobby. As I walked around the elevators I saw a crowd of people standing around the piano with cameras and phones out recording the man playing at the piano. I saw several of my CF friends as well. I decided to sit down and just listen for a little while when I saw two of my favorite RTs sitting and they welcomed me over to join them. I started getting quite teary eyed and knew that the music sounded very familiar, but I just couldn't place it. As I was sitting by Steve (an RT) he asked me if I knew who was playing. I told him that I wasn't sure but he sure did sound familiar. He then told me that it was Jon Schmidt! I was completely BLOWN AWAY at what I was experiencing at that moment. Steve then proceeded to tell me that he is the brother of one of Spencer's nurses on the CF unit that we know very well. Small world, huh? Your favorite pianist of all time is in the hospital playing a 'private' concert for the CF patients. You are lucky enough to hear some of it. It just happens to be around the time that you needed to hear this music the most. And he is the brother of a nurse that you know. Wow. Later I found out that he also holds a calling in my husband's old ward in Bountiful and sometimes plays and sings at church there. Wow times 10.

He played "All Of Me" (the video above) and the energy in the room was palpable. It was INCREDIBLE. He then played several other songs including the Charlie Brown Medley. (which you should REALLY watch this video if you can. It's so cute - they are in a nursing home. =)

But the very last song that he played was this: Can't Help Falling In Love --

I couldn't hold the tears back at that point. It was absolutely beautiful. I closed my eyes and just listened. I took it all in and let loose everything that I had bottled up. I felt so guilty for the fight that Spencer and I just had. I felt horrible for leaving him on such a sour note. I thought about how badly I wanted him there by my side to experience such beautiful music in a live setting. I just so badly wanted him better.
I pushed those thoughts aside and got completely lost in the moment.

I envisioned my husband and I dancing around the hospital lobby. From the check-in desk, to the pharmacy. From the middle of the floor to the gift shop. Dancing as if nothing could hold us back. Holding hands. Smiling. There were no other people around. The lights were dimmed and it was just us, sharing an intimate moment together. Enjoying life. The freedom of no oxygen tubing. Nothing holding us back. It was a beautiful moment in my minds eye. Absolutely Beautiful. Every time I hear this song I shed a small tear for the memories that it holds for me.

This is what piano music does for me. This is specifically what Jon Schmidt's music does....


  1. What amazing music...and an amazing musical talent....beautiful memories

  2. Yes, the music is amazing. I love piano music too. But to me your honest, intimate, emotional sharing is every bit as amazing. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself.

  3. Simply beautiful and empowering. My husband and I play piano and can appreciate your love for music. I'm going to share Jon Schmidt's music with him if he doesn't already know of him. Yes we face crisis in our lives and it's good to have a place of peace which for us is God, our family, music and more! Our daughter is currently in the hospital being weaned off the ventilator she is 31 and a very bubbly loving and giving person right now there is one song that I wrote "the blessing's on me" that encourages my spirit and even more so as I play there are other ones in our family also going through serious challenges. I pray God's peace as you travel this journey of life. Thanks for sharing.