Church Music

How to Pursue a Career in Music Ministry

How to Pursue a Career in Music Ministry

Music ministry can be fulfilling, demanding, meaningful, challenging, and deeply rewarding work - sometimes, all at the same time! It’s an opportunity to use your musical skills and experience in service to others; inspire and encourage others in their musical development; help people and nurture them in their faith; and participate in something greater than yourself.

It’s an opportunity to teach, create, inspire, dream, give, grow, and serve.

29 Multicultural Anthems for Church Choirs

29 Multicultural Anthems for Church Choirs

Multiculturalism isn't something we often talk about in church settings, right? Let's be honest:

Most congregations tend to sing the hymns they know from their hymnal.

And most choirs tend to sing music they are comfortable with, in a language they speak, and in a musical style that is familiar and accessible to them.

We're drawn to what we know and what's familiar to us, and that's completely natural.

The problem? We may miss opportunities to learn about people from other cultures, races, and ethnicities.

How to Use the Metrical Index in Your Hymnal

How to Use the Metrical Index in Your Hymnal

Have you ever flipped through your hymnal and come across all those indexes in the back? 

The one we probably use most often is the Index of First Lines and Common Titles - a quick way to find the page number for a particular hymn you want to sing or play. Another index that sometimes proves helpful is the Index of Hymn Tunes, where you can look up a hymn by its tune name (for instance, NEW BRITAIN for “Amazing Grace” or HYMN TO JOY for “Joyful, Joyful”).

Creative and Practical Hymn Harmonization Resources for Church Musicians

Creative and Practical Hymn Harmonization Resources for Church Musicians

Hymn harmonizations are a great way to add musical interest to your hymn-playing and congregational singing. Use them to highlight particular verses, create a certain mood or expression, or heighten an important point in the worship service.

The trouble is, where do you find these hymn harmonizations?

Your denomination may have a few hymnal supplements available, offering some re-harmonizations, but these can be expensive and sometimes, not all that exciting.

5 Effective Leadership Approaches for Church Music Directors

5 Effective Leadership Approaches for Church Music Directors

You have all the credentials. You have a newly-minted music degree in one hand and a polished résumé in the other, but you wonder if you really have what it takes to be a great leader.

What does it take, exactly?

Some of us may have heard the words, "You're a born leader" in our lifetimes. Others of us may not. We may have been the kids that organized the game on the playground, assigning roles and explaining all the rules; or we may have been the kids who were perfectly content just being followers. We may have sought out opportunities to lead and make decisions, or been most comfortable in the middle of the crowd, safely out of the spotlight, and happy to not have all the responsibility.

13 Ways to Continue Developing Your Keyboard Skills This Year

13 Ways to Continue Developing Your Keyboard Skills This Year

I wasn’t really familiar with the term keyboard skills until I was in grad school, flipping through the course catalog one semester. The course description piqued my interest:

"Practical experience in score reading, figured bass realization, transposition, melody harmonization, and pop symbols.”

Needless to say, I signed up.

How to Read Lead Sheets and Chord Charts

How to Read Lead Sheets and Chord Charts

You want me to play that? Where is the left hand part? Where is the time signature? Why aren't there any barlines?

If you haven't guessed it by now, I'm talking about lead sheets and chord charts.

Last year, I put together a free online workshop on this topic (watch it here). Today, I want to share the transcript, for those of you that may prefer to read it. I’ll talk about chord types, chord symbols, lead sheets and chord charts, accompaniment styles, and variation techniques you can start using right away.

How to Recruit New Choir Members This Fall

How to Recruit New Choir Members This Fall

The beginning of a new choir year is a perfect time to invite and recruit a few new members. 

There are a few reasons for this:

  • People are often eager to sign up for new things at the beginning of a new church/school year

  • There’s energy and enthusiasm around new music, routines, and schedules

  • It’s a great way to engage new families that may have started visiting over the summer

2018 Reading Session Picks: Adult Choir

2018 Reading Session Picks: Adult Choir

It's that time of the year: time for my annual reading session picks!

Every year, I round up my top anthem picks from the latest publisher's catalogs, playlists, and reading sessions (plus, sometimes a few that aren't new that I've recently discovered and haven't shared here before) to give you a shortcut in your anthem-planning for next year.

First up, the Adult Choir edition. Here are my adult choir reading session picks from the last few years:

A Quick Tip for Transposing at Sight (for Piano Accompanists Everywhere)

A Quick Tip for Transposing at Sight (for Piano Accompanists Everywhere)

Have you ever been rehearsing an anthem with your choir and thought, "If only this were a half-step lower,"or practicing a song for Sunday and thought, "This feels a little low. I wish I had it in a higher key.”?

Chances are, if you’ve been in ministry long enough, you’ve had moments like these.

Transposing, or playing/singing something in another key (e.g. moving the notes of a piece up or down by a certain interval) is a practical and at times, very useful skill for all church musicians, teachers, and accompanists to have.