The Keys to Success

He had a knack for knowing a good instrument–and a child in need–when he saw one.

By Bobby Simma, Perkins, Oklahoma

As appeared in

Lettie was in the third row, wearing her new glasses with the bright pink frames. She’d improved a lot in school since she got them. Listening to the kids sing I couldn’t help but think how much potential they had.

There were a lot of badly made pianos in the world but there was no such thing as a badly made child.

At dinner, I told my family about “the unveiling.” That’s when my son-in-law introduced me to Craigslist, a site where people put up ads for buying and selling. Right away I spotted some good model pianos, both nearby and in the neighboring states of Kansas and Texas. I’d struck gold!

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When I find a deal I drive to the piano to try it out myself. I make any small repairs the piano might need, clean it up the best I can, and Larry puts it in tune. Now Dayna calls me “The Piano Rescuer” for real.

You might say I got that job I’d imagined. Truth is, I’d had it all along. Bringing out the potential in a good piano isn’t so different from bringing out the potential in a child. And the angels are hard at work on their musical influences. I hear it in their voices every time I accompany them in the auditorium.


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Your Comments (11)

You where my principle almost 20 years ago at woodland elementary school. I now live in new
Jersey and have a son that's about to turn 7. He loves it when I sing to him and tell him stories,
And one day he asked me where I learned all the songs I know and my answer was Woodland wakeup
With my principal Mr. Simma. My sons teachers laugh when they talk to me about how my son
Son know songs like Let Me Call You Sweetheart, In the good old summertime, and songs about
Riding on the back of a crocodile. You instilled in me a deep love and passion for music. And while you may not
Remember me, every time I see a Judy garland film on tv or see Fred Astaire tap dancing on television,
I think fondly of you and how you enhanced and guided my young mind in a way that has lasted my entire life.
If you read this god bless you.
Melissa mobley mandall

Yes, yes, yes I remember you, Melissa! Your note made me tear up as I read it to my wife after seeing it. Thanks for making my day. Love that son with all you have, and I wish you all of God's best.
Bobby Simma

thank you Mr Simms for all the love you are sharing with these precious children. they will never ever forget you!
we all need to do alot more spreading the love of JESUS.
we all have different gifts and talents to share!

Beautiful! Thank you Bobby for sharing your lovely talents with the world and your love for all God's magnificent little children. You encourage us all to be all for God's glory.

Mr Simma has a great heart and his love for music and children definitely shine through in this great article! I wish everyone reading it could actually here hear how amazing he plays!

You and Mrs. Rice certainly had a great impact on me. Our morning songs with the door open between the two classrooms is a cherished memory. I'm welling up with tears as I type. I pray that my kids have such amazing Christian role models in their lives. You are one in a million, Mr. Simma!!! (Still can't bring myself to call you Bobby!)

I can't thank you enough for all you do for our kiddos. You truly are a blessing!!!

Your love for our children shines through! Blessed to have you in our lives!!

So blessed to have Mr. Simma in my children's lives! Thank you for everything you do!

This young man spreads joy wherever he goes! He is truly an inspiration! There are many happy people in this world because of having met and enjoyed his contagious joy in life. Blessings, Bobby...keep it up!

Thank you for sharing your heartwarming story. God bless you, it seems you're doing the wonderful things He made you to do.