Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I just found out that my college piano professor died last Thanksgiving Day. This picture is of us the night of my senior recital. John Rosfeld was probably the most influential professor I had. It got me to thinking. Last week I got a survey from my college and one of the questions it asked was why I picked a Christian university and if it was worth the cost. People like Professor Rosfeld made it worth it. I sat a lot of hours with him during my four years in college. And while I was just supposed to learn how to better play the piano, you learn a lot more than that when you spend 200+ hours with a person. He was a good man. When bad things happened to him, he rose above them and responded in a quintessentially Christian manner. During lessons, he would often speak about his faith and how church was done. He thought a lot about what it meant to be a Christian church musician (and it didn't mean playing a lot of music!). He was a quiet unassuming man. So many musicians are performers. He wasn't. He was a teacher, a composer, a philosopher. It was a blessing in my life to sit under him. He inspired and taught me to be a better Christian, not just a better pianist. Rest in peace, John Rosfeld.


Beth said...

You don't know me, but I felt that I should repsond to your post. In doing a search for John Rosfeld, I came across you blog.

I graduated from Bethany Nazarene College in 1983 with a degree in piano performance. I, like you, took piano from John Roseld and was forever changed.

I didn't know about Prof. Rosfeld's death until I got a letter from SNU asking for donations to his memorial scholarship. There had been no mention of it in their alumni paper or on their site. I was deeply hurt.

I did contact his son Ken and got a nice reply from him.

Prof. Rosfeld was my friend. He not deepened my love for music and the piano, he also listened to me as a friend.

I pray that there are other professors who will carry on his love for students and dedication to teaching more than technique and interpretation.

Thanks for your blog!

Beth Larpenter-Shurbutt

Anonymous said...

I too thank you for posting your blog. John Rosfeld was my childhood piano teacher, and I will forever have wonderful memories of him. I was fortunate to have him as my teacher from the young age of six and throughout my high-school years. I was shocked and deeply saddened to see that he has passed away. I was in my home sorting through old piano books and noticed his encouraging words throughout the pages, when I decided to google his name. We lost touch after my high-school years when I moved away to Florida. I am deeply saddened of his death as he was such a generous and wonderful Christian man with such a kind and tender spirit. He truly changed my life, and I will always remember how he believed in my abilities even when at times, I didn't. I am also blessed to have known him as a teacher and as a dear friend. Thank you again for your blog and kind words of someone who apparently touched so many lives in such a profound way.
God Bless.

Katie Bass