I know other church pianists would agree that it’s so important to be training other pianists in the church to become church pianists or simply to fill in while other pianists are out of town.
At our church, we have a couple college male students who commute to our church..one of which helps us out on the piano, among many other areas. There are actually a total of three pianists available: Sunshine, Hunter (college student) and myself. We rotate on a monthly basis to allow each one of us ample opportunity to serve.
I’m usually out of town at least 6 times during the school year calendar. To provide extra experience for Hunter, I’m having him play second piano along with me when I accompany instrumental specials for offertory. This opportunity allows him to learn the art of accompanying with an “on hands” approach. (A lot of “give and take” in rhythm occurs when accompanying someone to sing or play their instrument.)
Hunter also plays second piano for congregational singing on Sunday nights and main piano on Wednesday nights giving him a chance to play introductions on his own. He has also used the congregational notebook I’m creating (which was destroyed in our church flood)..another story. He says the congregational notebook was a great help to him.
I can’t wait to start creating the congregational notebook again! I do have some of the songs in the computer…but most were not in the computer due to me accidentally deleting the original files on my computer about a year ago…(which was also a about a year’s worth of music…ugh)
Hunter has progressed by leaps and bounds! I’m so excited to see how the Lord is preparing him for future ministries. I’m also honored that the Lord has allowed me to be a part of his training. Unfortunately, we only have him one more year since he’ll be graduating.
It seems God has allowed our church to be a training post for young male college students training in the area of music ministry and children’s ministries over the past (at least six years). We’ve been SO blessed to be a part of this important training process.
I am VERY excited about this arrangement! This particular arrangement has been in the making since December but took plenty of time to refine it before sharing the finished product.
It is Well takes on a whole new meaning to those who have heard the story behind the writing of this hymn.
Click on the following link to read about the heart-rending events that led to the writing of “It is Well”. Only by God’s grace…this song was born.
It is Well (the story behind the song)
Enjoyed tweeking this free unison choir arrangement of “‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”.I wrote it sometime ago for one of our pianists to play for choir while I was out of town.
One improvising tip to take note of (no pun intended)…is when I left out the melody here and there in the piano score.
Most of the time this occurred was when the melody note was an eighth note…making for a smoother form of playing for the church pianist. Skipping a quick melody note in the piano accompaniment is similar to the “understood you” in a sentence. You know what’s implied even though you don’t hear it.
I just played it straight through without repeats. (two verses and choruses)
Click on audio below to hear the entire free unison choir arrangement of “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”
Click here to download: “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”
Tip: This choir arrangement can also be used as a vocal solo.
I’m re-organizing my music at home and came across a simple unison choir arrangement of “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”.
I wrote it for one of our pianists to play for choir while I was out of town a good while ago. This particular pianist was probably an early intermediate at the time and needed something basic to accompany the choir for this particular hymn.
I hope to share this free arrangement with you tomorrow..IF we still have power…in the middle of a snowstorm! (You can also use this free choir arrangement as a vocal solo too).
Here’s the video of me playing my (free) piano hymn arrangement of “The Old Rugged Cross” for the recent Hymnplaying Master Class held at The Wilds Music Conference. (December 2013)
I received helpful critique! Thanks to Faye Lopez and Duane Ream for their constructive advice. I look forward to improving my hymn arranging through any learning opportunities I can find! (The harmonic structure tips were things I knew to do but just hadn’t noticed them in the piece.)
I couldn’t believe I left a melody note out in the original arrangement on measure #18 (meas. #16 in revised version)…I”m a stickler for following the words as I play but my mind must have been on another verse….so embarrassing to have such an error Duane made SURE I saw that error Seriously, I appreciated the emphasis he made on keeping the melody CLEAR..after all….it’s the message we try to convey as church pianists…right?
I’m posting the (graded/corrected) copy of the arrangement below the video for ease of reference. The red squares throughout the arrangement notate the changes. Most of the changes were from the suggestions made on the video. (My personal note changes are in measures: 20, 24, 38, 40 and 48.)
You can download the new pdf of “The Old Rugged Cross” (minus the grading marks)…at the bottom of this article.
The next post will be a video of me being critiqued in Hymn Playing Master Class at the recent Wild’s Music Conference.
Just don’t feel sorry for me We all need a work over at times!
I played my free piano arrangement of “The Old Rugged Cross” for this class. So…you may want to have a copy of it handy during the video for reference.
Before you click to download your free copy of The Old Rugged Cross, you may want to wait until I provide the edited version based on the critique I received in this Hymn Playing Master Class. It’s all up to you.
Click here to print your free copy of “The Old Rugged Cross”. (original version)
♫ Chord Substitution ♫
Replacing the V7 with a ii7
Chord substitutions work best when enough time is allowed. For example, when a V7 chord lasts for two or more beats…there’s time to replace it with a different chord. The ii7 can replace the V7 and still resolve back to the original (V7) chord.
For example, in the key of C Major…the V7 is GBDF and the ii7 is DFAC
In the following examples, the hymnal version is displayed along with the improvised version showing the substituted chord.
I did not label the V7 chord in the hymnal version of each example that lines up with the substituted chord in each improvised version. I will tell where they occur:
It is Well…on the syllables “tend-eth my” and for Just As I Am…”-out one” (before “plea”)
*Keep in mind…I’m using the same sheet as I did in the previous lesson on chord substitutions for the I chord.
The ii chord substitution is hand-written in red under the measures with a red square around them. I also labeled the V7 chord under the red square examples so you could see where the ii7 resolved back to the V7.
Please pray for my son and daughter-in-law as they just had their second miscarriage in the past three months.
The picture above was taken of them this past Christmas with their precious son… whom I’m watching this week.
My next article will probably be next week.
Appreciate the prayers.
I wasn’t brave enough to play the first day of Hymn playing Critique Class but…thanks to Mike Haynes, a sophomore in high school, who played his arrangement of “Count Your Blessings” for critique…providing a platform of learning for all of us!
I thought Faye Lopez and Duane Ream gave some excellent suggestions to Mike.
Enjoy the video below. (I apologize for my amateur recording but felt the content worthy of sharing regardless of the quality).