We have all had them—those teachers who really know how to teach. They are the ones who have mastered the art of getting into a student’s brain, learning how it works, and catering to his or her specific needs. They don’t burden you with excess knowledge and cumbersome expectations—they simply meet you where you are.

To receive training from such a teacher is an incredible privilege, and for four jam-packed days, all 81 of us students were granted that privilege.

Rollyn Betts—enthusiastic, fun-loving, and bursting with creative ways to teach difficult concepts—was our gifted instructor. He opened our eyes to the potential that each voice holds—a potential that goes far beyond the narrow confines of the belief that one cannot sing. We were reminded that God has lovingly gifted each one of us with a unique voice, and every voice, with the proper training, can be molded into a beautiful instrument.

During training we laughed until our stomachs hurt, held our jaws until they were sore, played until our arm and lip muscles were quivering, and sang until we were falling asleep standing up, but most importantly, we learned—learned until our brains were about to explode with new knowledge. And through it all, we praised.

The words of Psalm 139:14-15 were put into perspective for us that weekend: “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.” 

Skillfully—that is how the Savior created each one of us. He has gifted us so richly, and the gift of music is just one of those gifts that we can develop and give back to Him.

-Natalie F. Grade 12