11 Prayers for Children's Choir

11 Prayers for Children's Choir

Prayer is an important part of any church choir rehearsal, but maybe especially for children’s choirs.

Spiritual growth goes hand-in-hand with music education in this setting, and taking time to pray together is an important part of cultivating faith, learning how to trust, and developing a personal understanding of who God is.

Praying a short, simple prayer on the spot is always an option, but if you’re looking for something different, here are a few other ideas for prayers you can use in your children’s choir rehearsals:

What to Sing with Your Summer Choir

What to Sing with Your Summer Choir

So, you’ve decided to have a summer choir. 😊

You’ve invited your current choir members and put the word out to others in the congregation who might be interested. Now, it’s time to figure out what you’re going to sing each week.

Depending on how you structure your summer choir, you may have a general sense of how many people you’ll have each week (and how many parts you’ll have covered). But, if you’re leaving it more open and letting people show up without RSVPing ahead of time, choosing music can be a bit more complicated.

Related post: Three Ways to Have a Summer Choir (+ How to Make the Most of Your Time Together)

You need anthems that are:

  • singable and intuitive

  • written in an accessible way

  • easy to learn

Jumpstart Your Music Career with These Helpful Tips

Jumpstart Your Music Career with These Helpful Tips

The beginning of a new career is an exciting time, full of energy, motivation, and possibility.

Maybe you’re taking that first step from music student to music professional, newly-printed diploma in hand (or in the mail - sometimes these things take a while).

Or maybe you’ve been working for a few years and are ready to make a change and set off in a new direction.

Maybe you’re in between things: trying to figure out what you want to do and what kind of musician you want to become, or maybe you’re beginning a second career later in life.

Wherever you are today, and wherever you hope to be in the next few months, here are 5 helpful tips for getting started:

Three Ways to Have a Summer Choir (+ How to Make the Most of Your Time Together)

Three Ways to Have a Summer Choir (+ How to Make the Most of Your Time Together)

It’s that time of the year: The days are getting longer, the grass is growing taller, and we can (finally) leave the house without putting on a coat - summer is almost here!

As people are wrapping up their school-year commitments and making plans for those lazy, hazy days of summer, now is the perfect time to start organizing a summer choir at your church.

Now, I know what you’re thinking:

“That’s not in my contract!”
"We all deserve a little break, don’t you think?”
"No one would come if we had rehearsals in the summer.”

I get it. Summer choirs may work really well in some churches and not-so-well in others.

The good news is, there’s not a one-size-fits-all model.

Dear Creative: A Letter to Freelance Musicians

Dear Creative: A Letter to Freelance Musicians

Dear Creative,

Life as a musician is beautiful, messy, deeply fulfilling, and complex work.

It starts within—a desire to do work that matters, to make a difference; a yearning for beauty; a spark of creativity. It requires you to take risks, listen, adapt, and live with abandon.

It’s what all artists do, really. We dream, we try, we create, we innovate. 

There will be good days, times when you feel like you are making a difference, creating something beautiful, and truly serving people.

And, like anything in life, there will be hard days mixed in, as well.

7 More Theme Ideas for Your Next Choir Program

7 More Theme Ideas for Your Next Choir Program

A few years ago, I wrote a post called, 10 Theme Ideas for Your Next Choir Program. Today, I’m writing a follow-up post to share seven more ideas to add to your inspiration list.

Choir programs are a great way to keep your choir members engaged and committed to rehearsals (especially toward the end of the academic year, or over the summer) and explore some new music that you wouldn’t normally sing during the church year.

The music you choose will depend on your choir's interests and abilities, your church, and your goals for the music program. Plan a choir program as a fundraiser of some kind or to celebrate a special anniversary for your church. Consider collaborating with other church choirs in the area to create a special community event.

Six Things to Read, Watch, or Listen to This Week

Six Things to Read, Watch, or Listen to This Week

It’s that time of year: full schedules, full to-do lists; trying to keep up, show up, live up to expectations; rushing a little more, relaxing a little less. 

You know the feeling.

Often, they’re subtle changes—choices we don’t even realize we’re making until we find ourselves here: a little more anxious, a little less rested, a little more curt, a little less kind.

Maybe this is the week we give ourselves and those around us an extra measure of grace.

Maybe now is the time to step back, slow down, eliminate the nonessentials and simplify our schedules and hearts and minds.

Because teaching and leading and working from a place of stress doesn’t serve anyone.

Summer Conferences for Church Musicians (2019 Edition)

Summer Conferences for Church Musicians (2019 Edition)

For those of us who teach during the year, summer is the perfect time to learn and develop our own musicianship skills and catch up on some professional development.

Summer conferences are a great way to do this. They help us stay connected with others in the field; learn new things about playing, singing, directing, and teaching; find inspiration for creating meaningful and engaging worship services; and hear about all the latest music releases: choral, handbell, children's choir resources, curriculum, instrumental collections, etc.

Three New Habits I'm Cultivating This Year

Three New Habits I'm Cultivating This Year

This year, like many of you, I set out to create a few new habits in my life. You know what it's like: those things we do, the routines and structures that shape our days—our habits are patterns of learned behavior that are so second nature to us, we don’t even think about them.

“Out with the old and in with the new!” we say, as if it were that easy. But what does it really take to form a new habit?

According to Charles Duhigg, former New York Times reporter and author of the book, The Power of Habit, every habit has a cycle or loop:

  • The routine (the thing we find ourselves doing automatically)

  • The reward we get from that activity

  • The cue or trigger that starts the cycle

How We Structure Our Freelance Work Retreat (+ a Free Workbook!)

How We Structure Our Freelance Work Retreat (+ a Free Workbook!)

Every spring, my husband Steve and I set aside a few days for a work retreat.

We’re both music freelancers, so this is a time for us to take a step back from our businesses, reflect on the successes and challenges of the past year, evaluate what’s going well and what could be improved, and do some creative planning for the year ahead.

Often, we try to tie this in with a short getaway (because by March or April, we usually have a pretty bad case of cabin fever). In the past, we’ve found affordable rentals on Airbnb (a business expense!) within an hour’s drive and bring our dog Rory, our laptops, a few books, and food and snacks for a few days.