The last couple of weeks were the holidays weeks. The end of the year is always the time when most of us reunite with our families and loved ones, and have time for little celebration. We realize music is a big part of our lives not only if we do it professionally, but for joy as well: participating in musical events and celebrations for joy. This time of year musicians are playing music for joy.

Playing music for joy was something I experienced for the past couple of weeks as people reunited with their families through music.  I was fortune enough to have time to visit my sister who lives in Europe and who is a professional musician, just like me.

Nikoleta is a classical pianist and professionally trained organist as well.  She has lived in Switzerland for the past nine years, where she graduated with two masters degrees in piano performance and organ music. Most people might think playing the organ is almost the same as playing the piano, since there is a keyboard, but it is a completely different instrument requiring knowledge about manuals, stoos, as well as pedaling (playing a 4th keyboard with the feet!), and all of that must to be done in the same time.

Over the holidays, at the church where she is the head organist, Nikoleta participated in a couple of concerts. There were held in this little town, just couple of miles away from Zurich, and musicians of all levels got together to celebrate and sing or play music for joy.

The church choir of Buchs as well as some members of ProVo Canti choir performed a very interesting story by Max Drischner. The choir, accompanied by the organ, and soloist Christa Pfenninger, soprano, told us a story about hope, love and faith.  The were singing from their hearts and souls, celebrating the beginning of the new year with music, something which made me feel joy.

As a professional pianist that is something which I want to see and feel all the time. The occasion could be for any reason, but concerts like the one I am describing above make you realize what a powerful thing music really is. It reminded me that always when we play, teach, sing, or collaborate with other people we have to keep this in mind: Playing music for joy is something that we are expected to do!