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The world famous Polish piano maestro, Ignace Paderewski, had been invited to appear at one of the great music centers of New York. It was a very formal evening with everyone wearing tuxedos and evening gowns. In the audience was a lady who brought her little boy along for the concert. She thought that if he could hear Paderewski play the piano, the experience might spur him on to practice piano a little more each day after school.


As they were waiting for the performance to begin, the mother turned to talk to some friends, and the little boy managed to wiggle out of his seat and headed down the aisle. He quietly made his way up the steps and across the stage to the piano stool. He climbed up on the bench and began to play "chopsticks."


The well-starched audience was horrified. As they heard the simple tune, the crowd responded first with stone-cold silence, then murmuring, and finally a few shouts.


"Whose kid is that?" "What’s the meaning of this?" "I didn’t buy a ticket to hear this noise!" "Doesn’t that child have parents?"


The tinkling notes and the commotion reached the ears of Paderewski backstage. When he figured out what was happening, he made his way onto the stage. Paying no mind to the crowd, he moved behind the boy, reached around him and placed his own two hands onto the keys together with the child’s.


While the boy continued to play, the master built a rich, accompanying melody to embellish the simple tune. All the while, he stooped down to whisper, "Don’t stop now son. Keep it up. That’s it. Keep playing. You can do it."


Today in the Word, Moody Bible Institute, Jan., 1992, p. 8.

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