Music & the Spoken Word: The music of faith and hope

Piano Guys join the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square for ‘Music & the Spoken Word’

Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This will be given on Sunday, Aug. 28, with Jon Schmidt and Steven Sharp Nelson of the Piano Guys.

Over a decade ago, some friends got together to make music. They called it “an experiment in a new way to produce music visually” (see Steven Sharp Nelson, in Esther Basha, “The Piano Guys — from YouTube to World Tour,” Piano Performer Magazine, June 22, 2018,

It started out small but has now grown in unexpected ways as these friends have performed all over the world together, and their YouTube videos have over two billion views and millions of subscribers. These friends are known as the Piano Guys, and their music, also in unexpected ways, mixes modern and classical music in what could be described as a beautiful conversation between a piano and a cello.

Steven Sharp Nelson: Those first few video shoots we had no idea what we were doing. It was like lights, camera, act like you know what you’re doing. But that is the miracle in finding yourself in the work that God has for you to do. We’ve learned he can do so much more with it than we ever can.

Lloyd D. Newell: But these friends want to do more than just entertain and have fun. They want to help people — to inspire and encourage them.

Jon Schmidt: We read these comments that come in and people say the music comforts them or it inspires them or it gives them hope. And at that point you think, ‘What does God want us to do with this?’ And it takes on an aspect of calling.

Lloyd D. Newell: It’s not that different, in fact, from the mission of the Tabernacle Choir. The styles may be somewhat different, but the inspiration — the “spiritual calling” — is the same: a desire to bless and lift people with the power of beautiful music.

Jon Schmidt: We pray before our shows, we pray before we write, we pray when we come up against problems. And we just pray that God can use us and that He can work through our talents. And it is the best feeling to feel like that prayer gets answered.

Lloyd D. Newell: The composer Oscar Hammerstein once said, “It is a modern tragedy that despair has so many spokesmen, and hope [has] so few” (In Edward R. Murrow’s “This I Believe” radio program, Jan. 1, 1951, The Piano Guys want to be spokesmen for hope.

Steven Sharp Nelson: Hope is powerful. I have been so deep in self-doubt at times that nothing could help me out, except for the power of the One who descended below all things in order to lift us up. Jesus is my hope. I hope that is the feeling people experience the most as they listen or watch the music He has given us.

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160AM/102.7FM,, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirectTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143), the, and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at

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