The Catholic University of America

Feb. 25, 2013

Hearing God's Call and Appreciating His Gifts

  Esther Nyberg

Esther Nyberg is pursuing a bachelor of music in piano performance.

Esther Nyberg is a junior pursuing a bachelor of music in piano performance at the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music. The following is an essay she wrote for the school’s newsletter.

When I reflect upon my time as a music student at CUA, what comes to mind are a wealth of solo and collaborative performance opportunities, encouraging conversations with faculty and staff, and those glorious “aha” moments that occur in lessons, the practice room, and the classroom.

I know that all the knowledge, wisdom, and experience I continue to gain will serve me well, both musically and personally.

More importantly, however, my life day in and day out as a member of this musical family at CUA has challenged me to live out my faith in a more authentic way.

What I treasure about the School of Music is that my professors and fellow students care for me as a unique person. The struggles of maturing as a musician involve accepting your limitations and rate of growth, while returning to the isolated and often monotonous task of practice and study.

We strive toward perfection and often forget that we are only human, that we must humble ourselves before God and the score. We must accept that perfection may have to wait.

The understanding, patience, positivity, and humility of friends and faculty, especially my piano teacher Ivo Kaltchev, offer me a glimpse of the humanity and individuality endowed to each person.

Nobody is perfect. We all struggle and at times fall short of our expectations, but this does not mean that we should lose faith in ourselves and the work God calls us to do.

I am gradually learning that God does not require of me to be a perfect pianist, a brilliant sight-reader, or a straight-A student. Nor does he ask me to compare my progress in this learning process to the growth and talents of others, nor quite frankly, to take anything or anyone so seriously. Rather, with each moment He freely gives me an invitation to love who I am, where I am, and whatever lies in front of me.

With an attitude of surrender and trust, I am called to relax and breathe in the present moment, for it truly is all I have and the only thing that is real.

During stressful days that involve tackling the technical demands of Prokofiev’s “Third Piano Concerto,” composing a three-voice motet, rehearsing, writing papers, and preparing for exams, I must faithfully respond to this call with patience and persistence. Only then may my music and my efforts, great and small, reflect the perfection of the divine Creator Himself.

I am forever grateful to my CUA family for bearing witness to this call and for inspiring me to live and grow with the same spirit of trust and surrender. Their love and support allow me to confidently continue on the path that moves ever closer with each moment toward perfection and eternity.


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