When we begin to reflect on the beautiful gifts that God has given to us in the form of people he has placed in our life as mentors, teachers, parents, grandparents, spouse, children and friends, the wells of gratitude begin to spring up in our hearts. We find that we would not be the person we are today, were it not for them.
One such person who made an impact on my life that I will not ever forget is one of my piano teachers, Anna Jean Price. It was unanimously agreed that she was elegant, poised, classy, stylish and —oh so anointed. I could not be in a service in which she was playing piano without being greatly moved by the inspiration and power that flowed from her fingertips. She had an amazing gift.
At that time, I had heard Miss Anna Jeanne play at the services of Christ For the Nations Institute and was taken in by the contagious strength and grandeur of her music. It was so heavenly, so precise, and excellent and praiseworthy. Not in the way as we think of praising humans for their great accomplishments, although she was very accomplished, but rather, in the way her spirit dictated to her fingers what the Holy Spirit wanted to DO in the room!! All eyes were at attention, watching and listening, waiting on the Lord as He spoke through the prophetic, and substantial anointing of the Holy Spirit in her music. It was, in fact, the example of praiseworthy given in the scripture in Philippians 4, where Paul admonishes us to think on things that are noble, true, honest, of good report and praiseworthy.
This is how she became my teacher. One morning I was laying in bed. I was twelve years old. On that particular morning, everyone was asleep except for me. I was in my bed meditating on the sounds that were echoing in my head; a song played by the hands of Anna Jeanne Price at one of the previous services. The tune was “Down From His Glory” This is another song in Italian “O Sole Mio” but the words had been changed to say:
“Down from His glory,
Ever living story,
My God and Savior came,
And Jesus was His name.
Born in a manger,
To His own a stranger,
A man of sorrows, tears and agony
O how I love Him! How I adore Him!
My breath, my sunshine, my all in all.
The great Creator became my Savior,
And all God’s fullness dwelleth in Him.”
That morning I was struck with the thought. “If I can hear it….I can play it.” And as I envisioned myself playing what I was hearing, I promptly, excitedly, made my way through the hallway to the little living room of our upstairs apartment and to my piano. With the tiniest possible sound that I could make, I barely pressured the keys enough to tickle the ivory but giddily, I immediately began to play everything I heard from from the chorus: “Oh How I love Him! How I adore Him! My breath, my sunshine, my all in all..” As the sun began to come ever slightly through the window of our living room, the volume began to raise until finally the song reached full volume! The neighbor below us was less than thrilled. (I’m sorry neighbor!) My mother, however, came into the room and said. “Laura, what happened?” Quickly and with wonder and amazement myself at what had happened, I told her what had taken place just in my thoughts prior to the apparent miracle of playing well beyond my years of study; that in a few moments of contemplative, quiet mental lessons that were inspired by the Holy Spirit. I suddenly had a supernatural crash course where in one morning God took my piano playing to a whole new level.
My mom was my biggest fan and the first time she had the opportunity, she showed me off to Miss Anna Jeanne. The opportunity came when Anna Jeanne asked my mother to do a solo for the CFNI Sunday service where she accompanied her. What a powerful team they made! But she took me to her apartment and before the practice session was over she said, “Laura, play that little piece for Anna Jeanne” Sheepishly, I sat down at the bench and from there came that same song that I had been playing; “O Sole Mio”.. or “Down form His Glory”. Anna Jeanne sat in her contemplative manner and studied me, giving me her undivided attention. At the end of the song, she exclaimed “You, are the biggest copycat!….Give her to me, Charlotte. I no longer teach children but I’ll take her. She has something special.” After that, I began my lessons with Anna Jeanne Price at her peaceful little apartment on Fawn Ridge Drive in Dallas, Texas. More than just a piano teacher, she was a mentor, and a spiritual influence and an example of Jesus to me. One day, she extended an invitation to another lady and I to attend a play. It was a passion play about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. When she came to pick me up it was one of my first times to get to go out feeling like a young lady instead of a child because I wasn’t with my parents. When she arrived I noticed she was wearing the most gorgeous, elegant shawl draped around her that I had ever seen. It was black with golden threads woven into it. I will never forget how she noticed during that play that I was cold. Then, she said not a word but draped her lovely woven shawl with the golden design around my shoulders. For a moment, I felt so humbled because I did not want her to give up something for me. I did not want her to feel cold. But I questioned and she just said, “No, I’m not cold.” I felt so touched and loved like she was a living example of Jesus in this life. I sat up a little straighter and felt a bit like royalty at that moment, because of the beautiful garment, that was fit for a queen was placed on me. It may have been how Joseph might have felt in his coat of many colors.
Years later, when I came to Bastrop to lead praise and worship, the ladies all went to a conference at Lakewood Church in Houston where at the time, John Osteen was the pastor. Between, hearing all of the speakers. I recognized that in the program they had announced Anna Jeanne Price as one of the special music gifts of the conference. When I realized she was there, I waited until the end as the building was clearing out between sessions, so I made my way to the front where I introduced myself to her again. It had only been about six years but to me it seemed like a really long time because I was now in my young adult phase instead of adolescence. But in just a moment, she had me up on stage to play for her again and see how I had improved. That was the beginning of a prayer time that she spent praying over me for at least thirty minutes with her hands pouring into my back and imparting everything that was coming through them as I played! Wow! What an experience! This lady knew the value of the laying on of hands.
For many years following, we kept in touch on a personal level by phone, and by mail. She sent sweet notes of encouragement that meant so much to me. We visited again at her same little apartment one last time. But in January 2017, I began to feel the desire to write about her as now I have done. Just a few days later, I received word that she had gone to heaven that very week. Oh, praises be to the Lover of our Soul! She fulfilled her destiny! Anna Jeanne was a precious lady who left a beautiful legacy for her family and served the Lord faithfully for all of her days, influencing so many musicians and worshippers in her lifetime. And now, she is still playing that heavenly grand!
To view her own website click here: http://annajeanneprice.homestead.com/Biography.html