The 5 Best Books I Read in 2018

The 5 Best Books I Read in 2018

I never used to consider myself much of a reader, but it’s something I’ve been cultivating in my personal (and business) life for the past several years.

I started by setting a goal of 10 books in a year, then 12. This year, I read 15 books! Little by little, I’m learning to love reading and am exploring new authors and a variety of book categories with the hope of broadening my perspective, developing new skills, learning about myself and others, and becoming a better person in the process.

On Becoming a Better Listener

On Becoming a Better Listener

“Become a better listener.”

It was one of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of this year, but it’s one I think I’ll have a hard time checking off and calling “done.” Because, when it comes to listening well, there isn’t a point of arrival or mastery; instead, I’m learning it’s something we can always be working on and trying to improve.

  • Being more intentional with our words and not jumping in too quickly.

  • Giving our full attention to the person speaking instead of letting our mind wander.

  • Not assuming that every point of disagreement will (or should) turn into an argument.

58 Children's Choir Anthems with Instrumental Parts

58 Children's Choir Anthems with Instrumental Parts

Did you know that singing with another instrumentalist (in addition to piano or organ) can help develop musicianship skills?

There are numerous benefits to inviting another instrumentalist to come play with your choir. Here are a few worth noting:

  1. It fosters musical independence.

    Focusing on your own part while listening to two other instrumentalists helps you develop listening and awareness skills and become a more independent and capable musician.

A Holiday Sale!

A Holiday Sale!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year:

Christmas music on repeat (currently listening to Brooklyn Duo Christmas), Thanksgiving dinner with all our favorites (pass the cranberry sauce, please!), and a cozy weekend in, snagging all the best online deals.

I’m thrilled to be hosting my first-ever holiday sale this week - starting now! I put together three exclusive holiday bundles for you, available for a limited time only.

Four Pieces for Epiphany: A New Handbell Collection

Four Pieces for Epiphany: A New Handbell Collection

Epiphany, the season after Christmas, is a season of light and joy: the manifestation of Christ as the Messiah.

To celebrate, I created Four Pieces for Epiphany - a digital collection of four pieces for 2-3 octave handbells (12-16 bells). These pieces are designed to add a creative element into your services.

The collection includes two versions of a solo arrangement of “We Three Kings,” a processional for 12 bells (six players), a hymn descant for “Christ Is The World’s Light,” and an original prayer and accompanying underscore.

A Quick Latin Pronunciation Guide for Church Choirs

A Quick Latin Pronunciation Guide for Church Choirs

Does your choir know how to sing in Latin?

There’s something sacred about singing an anthem in Latin, I think; it connects us back to our ancient roots, the development of church music centuries before us, and those that gathered to worship in those times and places.

The best part about singing in Latin? It’s made up of pure vowels. It’s great for singing!

There are two basic pronunciation guides for Latin: Italianate and Germanic.

A Creative Service Outline for Hanging of the Greens

A Creative Service Outline for Hanging of the Greens

Hanging of the Greens is a traditional Christian ceremony of decorating the church for the Advent and Christmas season, often celebrated on the first Sunday of Advent or during a separate evening service.

Some churches have a Hanging of the Greens service on a Sunday afternoon, the week before the first Sunday of Advent. Others have a workshop-style event the day before the first Sunday of Advent, where families come and learn about the significance of our Christmas decorations and help prepare the church for the new season.

38 Ways to Sing it Again: Silly Ideas for Your Children's Choir

38 Ways to Sing it Again: Silly Ideas for Your Children's Choir

“Good! Now, sing it again.”

How many times do you hear yourself saying these words in rehearsal? We all know the importance of repetition. This is how we learn - by trying, experiencing, and doing it again and again.

The problem is, often, this becomes something we do mindlessly. When we hear someone say, “Good! Now, sing it again,”we go into auto-pilot mode and repeat whatever we just did without really thinking about it.

Did you catch that last part?

Four Pieces for Christmas: A New Handbell Collection

Four Pieces for Christmas: A New Handbell Collection

Introducing my newest handbell collection - Christmas!

Four Pieces for Christmas is a digital collection of four pieces for the Christmas season. These pieces are designed to add a creative element into your services - thoughtful ways to incorporate handbells in new and unique ways.

The music in this collection is written for 2-3 octave handbells (12-17 bells), so they’re easy to learn and accessible for smaller (and younger) groups.

How to Teach a Preschool Choir

How to Teach a Preschool Choir

What does it take to direct a preschool choir? How is working with preschoolers different from working with elementary-age children? What do you need to know?

If you’re new to working with preschoolers or it’s been a while since you’ve been around this particular age group, here’s a quick guide to what it looks like to teach and direct a preschool choir. 

I’m tailoring this to preschool choirs in church settings, but much of what I will describe here is applicable to choirs in school and community settings, as well.