we did a good thing


You’re probably familiar with the idea cycle: it begins with elation and excitement, inevitably roadblocks and frustrations crop up and then the self-questioning– was this really a good idea? Sometimes it’s not, and you drop it, other ideas spark just enough light along the way to guide you to the end.

Our plan to create a Senior Recital Night had more than it’s share of roadblocks, but everything changed when the mother of this sweet girl died two weeks ago in her sleep. We weren’t sure whether to go backward or forward, but Sienna spoke up, “I’m playing; my mother would want me to.”


The rest of us moved forward with renewed vigor, anxious to make the evening a fitting tribute to Sienna’s mother, Julie, and a satisfying performance for each of the musicians.


Since we did most of the planning by email, many of the parents didn’t meet each other until the night of the performance. It was amazing to see all our efforts come together: the food, the photos, the talented accompanist, the gorgeous programs, this beautiful tree hung with photos and crystals, and the people in attendance. Oh the people!


The room filled with the usual parents and grandparents but also dozens and dozens of teenagers attending to support their friends. Our concert was conceived to complement, not compete with, Concerto Night, and we were especially happy to see several performers from last week’s concert come to support their fellow musicians.

As I introduced the program, I spoke a bit about Sienna’s mother and told some of what Stefan shared with me about Sienna, “She doesn’t just play the violin, music is in her soul, it’s who she is.” He also told me of her kindness, her friendly nature and her lofty goals for the future (she’s going to Utah State on a music scholarship and will double major in music and pre-med). I acknowledged Sienna probably has no idea Stefan tells me these things, just as many of the kids there don’t know the admiring words spoken in their favor. None of us, especially teenagers, understand how many people care about us. But I hope that nights like this, with a room full of loving support, help them comprehend how many people wish the best for them and are cheering them on to a prosperous future.

I love teenagers. If you’ve read my blog very long you’ll know I reject the media disparagement of this generation and believe they are the best and the brightest souls to walk this earth. Watch them, talk to them, get to know them– you’ll be amazed.

And how was the concert? Gorgeous, beautiful, inspiring. We saved Sienna for the end and I knew in the first bow strokes her performance would be unforgettable. As for Stefan? Well, here’s his last two minutes:

two minutes of Kreisler from Michelle Lehnardt on Vimeo.

p.s. I’ll add two more videos as I finish them. Sienna’s performance and a “best of” from the evening. But Erik is out of town and wanted me to get Stefan’s video up asap.

p.p.s. I’m actually amazed at the sound quality on my camera. Pretty nice, huh?

March 9, 2012
March 13, 2012



  1. Selwyn

    March 11, 2012

    You did a very good thing.

  2. ellen

    March 12, 2012

    I love teenagers too. They are in short supply in our ward right now and just today we had a meeting to discuss that topic. I shared a story from when I worked with the youth years ago and how recently I let one of them know how inspiring he was as a 12 year old boy (he shared his testimony at the Hill Cumorah visitors center on a Temple trip to Toronto and I’ve never forgotten it). I think it’s so important to let kids know how that they inspire us). The end.

  3. Jan Russell

    March 12, 2012

    You my friend, are a good thing.

  4. Jeanelle

    March 12, 2012

    Oh my goodness, Michelle. That video of Stefan playing was amazing. What a gift and a talent (and a whole lot of practice time!) I love teenagers too. They are such a blessing and a huge source of light in my life. I will never ever regret saying yes to my callings serving the youth. Working with them brings me pure joy every day.

  5. Lizzy

    March 12, 2012

    Simply beautiful! Also, I didn’t comment on your post about the queen. That was inspiring! You are inspiring.

  6. k. novella

    March 12, 2012

    oh. my.

    look at those fingers FLY!

    he did amazing.

  7. Lisa

    March 12, 2012

    You know how I feel about teenagers…they are some of my favorite people in the whole world.

    Stefan is stunning as always! And yes you did do a wonderful thing. Congratulation are in order for him and all the other performers.

  8. Judi

    March 12, 2012

    A very good thing! And Stefan is amazing. What time and dedication.

    Teenagers are one of the best things in this world! I love them!!!

  9. Kate

    March 12, 2012

    I agree what you say about teenagers. I have a pre-teen and I he is so wonderful!! I love him and love to talk to him. I use to fear for the future, but now I am so excited to see what is in store.

  10. Tasha

    March 12, 2012

    This reminds me of my mom, who is constantly finding a way around limitations.

    When I was in 5th grade, the school was doing a mural but would only let Gifted and Talented kids participate. My mom thought that was unfair, so she organized a bigger and better mural that everyone could be a part of. That’s the kind of mom you are, and the kind of mom I hope to be.

    And btw, Stephan’s gorgeous music made my day. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. Claudia

    March 12, 2012

    I was so proud of every single performer. As a parent of musicians you know I KNOW what it takes to get those pieces to the level they were. The emotion behind it all left me wanting to stand up and wrap my arms around each and every one of them. It was a good thing indeed and I’m so grateful to associate with everyone involved.

  12. Cath

    March 12, 2012

    Oh… I wish you’d let me know!!! I wanted to be there. The evening looks absolutely wonderful. And I loved all that you said, especially about how loved these young people are. Tears for Sienna , but awe at her courage. You are always doing good things. And Stefan? He amazes me.

  13. Tracy

    March 13, 2012

    Oh my. Tears my friend.

    I cannot wait until I have teenagers in my life. How beautiful. xo

  14. Kerri

    March 13, 2012

    You inspire me. I’m determined to help implement something like this at our high school. What a gift you gave those seniors…I am so moved by it. I’ll have to ask you details sometime. And do you know if Sienna performed in Jack Ashton’s chamber orchestra Sunday night?

  15. cristie

    March 13, 2012

    wow! xox

  16. Mitchell Family

    March 14, 2012

    I’m glad you blog because apparently even though we talk every day you fail to tell me some of the best stuff.

    By the way happy pi day. Lizzy texted me a reminder that I need to make a pie which I will do but it will notbe the same without Stefan’s playing and the Lehnardts to share it with.

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