After several months of playing the guitar, I finally had the opportunity to play my first concert. My featured song was “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and the audience was my son’s Sunday School class.
My wife and I were teaching the kids about the importance of following instructions. To demonstrate, I pulled out my guitar and played the song without the instructions. I purposefully played bad notes and randomly strummed chords as I sang out of tune.
“That doesn’t sound anything like ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,’” yelled one of the kids.
“It doesn’t?” I asked feigning ignorance. My question received a chorus of “Nos.”
“Well, I have some sheet music here,” I said as placed it on the music stand. “Do you think it will sound better if used the instructions?”
“YESSSSSSSSSSSS!” responded the students.
“Okay,” I said. “But I need you to sing along as I play.”
I counted off and began playing. The kids sang beautifully as I strummed the notes on the guitar. At the end of the song, the kids gave me a round of applause and it felt nice.
Later that day, as I was leaving church with my guitar case slung across my back, I saw one of the children from class with his mother.
“Hey Mr. Fred,” he said. “You played that guitar terribly.”
His mother’s eyes grew wide and her jaw nearly hit the floor. “That is a horrible thing to say. I want you to apologize right now, young man!”
I chuckled and explained to the mother that I had played terribly on purpose. She breathed a sigh of relief and we parted ways.
My son who had overhead the conversation, decided to give me a little encouragement.
“I think you did a great job, Dad,” he said. His words filled me with joy. A room of kids can be a tough crowd. It was nice to know that I had won over my toughest critic.