church music

Planning the Choir Year: 4 Creative Theme Ideas for Your Children's Choir

Planning the Choir Year: 4 Creative Theme Ideas for Your Children's Choir

How do you plan your choir year?

Maybe you spend some time over the summer mapping out what dates your choir will sing, what hymns you’d like to teach them, listening to new releases from the publishers to get ideas for anthems, and searching Pinterest for games and other creative ideas.

Maybe you plan the first few weeks of rehearsals and then get burnt out and start winging it.

Maybe you’re somewhere in between.

As Winston Churchill once said, “Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.”

We need to plan ahead in order to teach effectively. We need to think about the musical growth and learning we’d like to see and make a plan for how to get there.

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 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.

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.

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”).

2018 Reading Session Picks: Children's Choir

2018 Reading Session Picks: Children's Choir

This summer, I’ve been sharing my reading session picks for choirs - twelve anthems for Adult Choir, and eleven anthems for Youth Choir, so far.

The final post in the series this year is anthems you can use with your children's choir. Most of these are brand new this year and feature opportunities to develop part-singing within your choir and include other instruments: organ, flute, and handbells or handchimes. This is a great way to develop musical independence in your singers, help develop their listening skills, and create a memorable and meaningful worship experience for them.

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

The Choir Year in Review: 16 Questions to Help You Evaluate Your Year

The Choir Year in Review: 16 Questions to Help You Evaluate Your Year

Have you ever done a year-in-review for your choir year? Have you taken time recently to evaluate yourself and your teaching? Do you set goals for your choir at the beginning of the year, or make a mental list of things you'd like to accomplish?

Taking time for reflection and evaluation is a healthy and productive way to check in and stay engaged in your work.

The Value of Teaching Vowels to Your Children's Choir

The Value of Teaching Vowels to Your Children's Choir

For most choir directors, singing with pure, rounded vowels is one of the primary things you teach to your choirs. It's especially important to teach this to children's choirs and instill good vowel-singing in your singers from a young age.

There are numerous benefits to focusing on this with your children's choirs throughout the year; here are a few worth noting:

What We Can Learn From Others: Six Things to Listen to, Watch, or Read This Week

What We Can Learn From Others: Six Things to Listen to, Watch, or Read This Week

There's a message that bears endless repeating and living out in our world today: we need each other. 

We live in a world where we are taught to live in fear of those who are different, to question those with differing beliefs, to be defensive and respond to violence with more violence; but the truth is, we need each other.

We need diversity - different perspectives and ways of seeing the world, different skills and approaches, different opinions. Each one of us is unique, in the way we approach the world, the things we create, the skills and talents we cultivate, and the way we use those gifts in service to others. This is a gift, and an opportunity to learn.