I’ve been part of the Classical Piano world for the majority of my life, and there are several aspects of that world that make me proud. For example, we are collectively cultured, refined, disciplined, and appreciative of quality. We also perpetuate and maintain excellence by continually studying works composed by our faithful predecessors, such as Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven.
However, there are a few aspects of our world that do not make me proud. One of them is our collective dislike for a certain Jon Schmidt, fellow pianist and exemplary individual.
He recently came with a few other youtube folks to judge a competition here at BYUH, and they all gave us a nice fireside while they were at it. Over the course of the fireside, I had the thought more than once, “Man! Jon Schmidt is so cool!” and I want to share my thoughts, because I’m sick and tired of hearing pianists talk smack about him. #pianosnobs #hatersgonnahate #youwishyouhadapersonalcellist
1. He makes really awesome youtube videos. A few of my favorites are Me and My Cello, Beethoven’s Five Secrets, Let It Go, and Story of My Life
2. His music is accessible, and has opened the Classical Piano world to many who wouldn’t otherwise have found the door.
3. He is a man of incredible faith. Everyone at the fireside said good stuff, but man, whenever Jon spoke, I thought the building was going to explore because the Spirit was so powerful. He was testifying like crazy and just making me want to be a better person.
4. He has a cellist. Do you have a cellist? I didn’t think so.
5. He’s a family man. I’ve heard him talk about his family on several occasions, and you can tell that he does what he does for them.
6. He can play upside down. #legit
7. He knows how to give a fireside. Sometimes people have awesome skills, but they just don’t know how to talk about it. #MichaelPhelps. Not so with Jon Schmidt. He is a dynamic, engaging speaker, and just really fun.
8. He writes funny comments in his music. One of my favorite’s is a rhythmic cue for a particularly difficult rhythm: Strawberry, ice cold lemonade.
9. He’s made piano cool. The High School jock could be seen playing the piano in the school talent show because of Jon Schmidt. #takeabow
10. He’s humble. You know how you can kind of tell when a person is full of himself? I’ve never gotten that vibe from Jon. He just seems down to earth and ready to give all the glory to God. I really admire that. He also made everyone around him look good by complimenting them and adding to what they said. I love it when people do that!
Say what you will about his music or his playing style, I think he’s done for the music world what J.K. Rowling has done for the literate world.