Max is finally getting to the point where he likes piano.

That point, to me, is when a kid will go play the piano on their own accord without being asked, and will work on songs because they want them to get better.

That is Max right now and it makes my heart smile.

I attribute this switch in attitude whole-heartedly to Jon Schmidt. Max got assigned to play a song he composed a while back and he’s been spellbound by him ever since.

Plus Max found this song and we all love that song around here. It makes me tear up every time I hear how beautiful it is.

I have a special place in my heart for Jon Schmidt because he played at our wedding reception back in 1995 too. They somehow brought a big grand piano into the garden where we held it and he played away all evening.(See us behind him back there?)

Anyway, our piano teacher told us there was a Jon Schmidt concert coming up locally so we jumped on some tickets.It was a little date with our big kids.

Can you believe he can do that upside down? Seriously. Wow.

We got really excited when they played this:

And I wish I had a picture of Max’s lit-up face when he played this:

…because that is what Max was playing for his Christmas piano recital:

They pretty much sound the exact same, right? πŸ™‚

As much as Max loves Jon Schmidt, I had to make him stand in line with me for a picture at the end. And I was pretty huffy about that little fact at first but then realized the picture was more for me than for him. Sure, he loves Jon, but he is a teenager after all. A teenager who’s mom takes way too many pictures to begin with.
Thanks for doing that, Max.

And thanks, Jon, for inspiring my son. I’ll thank you forever for that.

p.s. the guy who plays the cello was amazing as well…click this link to be inspired by him.
Oh, and check out this link too. They played that song as well…I especially love the end.

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  1. When I saw the title of this post, i about died. I LOVE him. i was married in England, and had to do a civil ceremony before we went to the temple ( by law).. i know you know that, but anyways, i walked down the isle to 'Bells of freedom' & Out of the church to 'Waterfalls', he will always hold a special spot in our hearts, i would LOVE to see him in concert.. yeah for max too, he sounded amanzing!

  2. We are completely hooked on Jon Schmidt around here! My 14-year old daughter is currently learning 'Game Day' and I just ordered more music for her. All of my kids love the Piano Guys and we frequently entertain ourselves in the evening with their YouTube videos. They have inspired my kids to take their music playing up a notch. I am SO thankful for Jon Schmidt!!

  3. This was my exact story when I was about 12. Jon Schmidt's music gave me the extra boost I needed to practice on my own and start really excelling in piano. I ended up majoring in piano at BYU and have been teaching for the past 12 years. He's such a nice guy, too.

  4. That's awesome that he inspired your son to love the piano. Hopefully my boys find someone they look up to to inspire them to love and become better on the piano. I love the piano guys…esp. Cello Wars! It totally makes me wish I would've stuck with the cello when I was young. Maybe that's why I want my boys to stick with the piano. πŸ™‚

  5. Love Jon Schmidt! I listen to one of his cd's with each c-section I've had (4!). It calms me and keeps me distracted from what is actually going on. πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Shawni – you don't know me but I have enjoyed your blog for a couple of years. We work closely with Jon Schmidt Productions and I would love to send Max a personally autographed piano book or CD from Jon. Is there one that he doesn't have or particularly wants? Email me at and let me know what you would like.

  7. That is SO cool that John played the piano at your wedding reception, Shawni! He grew up around the corner from where we live now in Sugarhouse in SLC in the Edgehill ward, where his parents still live as well as Jim and Connie Cannon, who are some of your parent's closest friends as you know. I love all the connections in a town like this! We just need to get the Pothiers to move here, and life would be sooo cool. πŸ˜‰ Love you and your delightful posts lady! Keep 'em coming…

  8. As a piano teacher, just wanted to highlight how important it can be to a kid that they love what they are playing! While I generally teach from our tried and true Royal Conservatory music books, I always have my kids working on a song they love. And if ever I feel a student losing interest because of the songs they are playing, I let them play what they want. A piano teacher can teach the skills of the instrument with any type of sheet music, so don't let your kids get tied to something that might be pushing them away.

  9. I know you do a q and a post often. My question for you is how do you make your photos larger on your blog. I also use blogger and have tried a couple different ways to do the same. All have been quite tedious though and I'm looking for an easier way. Curious if you've got it.

  10. i was just bragging to the kids the other day that jon played at our wedding too!! we have been hooked on all the videos here not just because of jon though, but because jack has picked up the cello. that steven shearp nelson is amazing. aren't good music role models great?!

  11. After I read this post I saw a photo you had taken of Tim, Gracie and Me so I clicked on it and then saw some other photos you took of my family from 2007 and it is bring tears to my eyes because you captured a very special time in my life and today was a great to be reminded of it. Thank you for capturing those moments for me.

  12. I love Jon Schmidt and Steven Nelson Sharp! Steve and his family live in our neighborhood and ward. I got the privileged of listening to him and his lovely wife Julie on Christmas day. Such talented musicians and great men.

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