Archive for the ‘Offertories’ Category

Published! Piano Invitation Collection

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Blue soft light on piano keys

I just published the piano invitation collection!  I thank the Lord for giving me the strength and clarity of thought through the editing process.

I originally planned twelve arrangements for this collection but added a bonus arrangement without extra cost :)   The bonus arrangement is  “Draw Me Nearer Medley”.

The entire invitation collection is on sale now through July 4th for $15!

Playing background music is my ultimate favorite way to play :)   I just play in  a more conversational style to enhance the message of the hymn.

The overall level of playing for this collection is late intermediate to early advanced. I always play more lightweight in nature during the invitation… to create a more appropriate atmosphere.

I will be posting youtube videos of each selection as time allows.  You can also hear a sampler of the collection above.

Please note: If you want to purchase additional items with this collection…go to “Advanced Piano Solos” in the music store to buy this collection.  The following “buy now” button doesn’t allow for purchasing additional items.

 

Piano Invitation Collection
Late intermediate to early advanced piano solos, 33 pages Song titles include: Draw Me Nearer Medley, Have Thine Own Way Lord, I Have Decided, I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go, I Must Tell Jesus, I Surrender All, Just As I Am, Lord I'm Coming Home, Only Trust Him, Softly and Tenderly, Take My Life and Let it Be, Take the World but Give Me Jesus, Throw Out the Lifeline. On sale now through July 4th! 15% coupon doesn't apply to this product since it's already on sale. Special note: Bonus piece included! "Draw Me Nearer" Price based on twelve arrangements. This collection contains a total of thirteen arrangements.

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Price: $16.00

Piano Invitation Collection Sampler!

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Blue soft light on piano keys

I know it has taken me a while on the piano invitation collection… but I’m VERY picky about my writing!  Sorry….but I want to do my best :)

The piano invitation collection (pdf format)  should be published by this Monday!  The level of the songs are late intermediate to early advanced.

While you’re waiting….listen to a sampler of the invitation collection…

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Piano Invitation Collection…Nearing Completition!

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

music manuscript icon

Just wanted to let my readers know I’m working on the 11th invitation song now…only one more to go!  My invitation collection will contain 12 arrangements designed as “background invitation” music.

One of my favorite pieces in the collection is “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”. I got a little carried away with this particular one but REALLY enjoyed creating it!

What’s neat about this collection is that the arrangements can also be used for offertories!

Experienced Church Pianist vs. Inexperienced Leader

Friday, April 4th, 2014

If you have been a church pianist for very long or played in different churches as church pianist…then you may have run across this scenario…”playing for an inexperienced leader”.

The intention of this article is not meant to minimize the willingness and faithfulness of the inexperienced leader but rather to give constructive pointers to church pianists on how to deal with such a situation.

My dad, who was my first leader to follow,  emphasized to me the importance of the pianist following the leader.  I’m thankful for his teaching and preparing me for my role as church pianist.  He was the best teacher!

Over time, through experience…I have learned there are exceptions to rules :)

I have had to play for at least several different leaders in various situations who  just didn’t know “how” to lead and were doing the best they could.  Not all of them were non-musical people either.  I’ve had the joy of helping some of those leaders along…ONLY because of having a trusting relationship with them; giving me the liberty to do so.

I’ve found it necessary to “lead” as a pianist in some cases IF it was the only way to keep everyone singing together at the same tempo.

On occasion, when a lay person in our church has had to  substitute  for our regular leader…he will ask me before the service… to help him during congregational singing by keeping things moving since he’s not comfortable with leading.

The following video (taken from the 2013 Wild’s Music Conference) contains more discussion about this topic of “The Experienced Church Pianist vs. The Inexperienced Leader.”

My favorite quotes from the video:

“Part of our role is… we’re support, we’re ministry, we’re behind-the-scenes…serving and helping someone else try to do their job effectively…part of the philosophy of being a good church pianist.”  

 ~   ~   Faye Lopez   ~   ~

“You can infuse the service with energy and vitality in the singing…from the keyboard.” 

~   ~   Duane Ream   ~   ~

Enjoy the following brief… yet informative video on:

“The Experienced Church Pianist vs. The Inexperienced Leader”

Just Published Piano Duet! Come Thou Fount

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

piano with shadow

Finally!  Just finished a sacred piano duet (early advanced) of “Come Thou Fount”.

Many people have requested that I write piano duets.  I had SO much fun writing this one that I plan to do more.

Below is an audio sample of this piano duet of “Come Thou Fount”.

Come Thou Fount (piano duet)
Early advanced sacred piano duet, 4 pgs. *Price covers two copies. Complete audio included with purchase.

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Price: $5.25

Training Others to be a Church Pianist…

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

 

Closeup  Piano Keys

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.

 

 

Hymnplaying Master Class: The Old Rugged Cross (Critique)

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

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-Old-Rugged-Cross-1-corrections-resized The-Old-Rugged-Cross-2-corrections-resized The-Old-Rugged-Cross-3-corrections-resizedClick here to print:  The Old Rugged Cross (revised)

 

 

Hymnplaying Master Class Critique

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

MVI_1458 (1)

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)

Wilds Music Conference: Hymnplaying Master Critique Class

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

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).

 

Wilds Music Conference (Piano Duet Previews)

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

This will be one of several videos I’ll share from my recent trip to the annual Wilds Music Conference. I had not planned on videoing the sessions…thinking they were being done by someone professionally.  So…you will have to put up with my amateur recordings :) The first part of Hymnplaying Master Class on Tuesday consisted of an open discussion on the benefits of piano duets…even with a few composer tips from Faye and Duane on writing quality piano duets. I’ll start with the benefits of playing piano duets: *Allows time to focus on basic techniques with easier playing passages…such as phrasing, pedaling, dynamic balance between two players, etc. *Prepares pianist to think and play like an accompanist.  For example, both pianists have to keep melody dominant throughout.  The pianist without melody part must remain in the background (so to speak)…allowing the melody to be heard. *Playing piano duets can improve the pianist’s sense of rhythm.  Teaches them to play different rhythms against the other player.  Such as: one pianist may play triplets while the other is playing straight eighths. (fun! fun!) The pianists are forced to play the correct rhythm if they are to stay together. *Encourages teamwork!

Now…on to several composer tips in writing piano duets:

*Stack duet parts on one page so both pianists are aware of the full picture. *Try the duet with another pianist to check for hand collisions (I speak from experience on this one)    ;) *Avoid writing in excessive extreme registers (real low or high).  Too high gives the primo a “tinty” or “empty” sound.  Writing primo section more near the middle of the piano gives the piece a more balanced, pleasing tone.  Playing too low will give the duet a “cloudy/muddled” tone.

Piano duets on this video:

O Come All Ye Faithful from: “O Come All Ye Faithful” by Nathan Arnold

I Need Thee Every Hour from: “Standing on the Promises” by Nathan Arnold

Saved! Saved! from:  “Like a River Glorious” by Rebecca Bonam

Dwelling Beulah Land from: ?  (I think it was a Rebecca Bonam duet…not sure)

Other Piano Duet Book List:

Immortal Invisible  by Dan Forest

Crown Him Lord of All by Dan Forest

Joy to the World by Rebecca Bonam (piano solo book with three duets!)

Tip:  Don’t forget those duets in the back of your piano solo books you may have :)

*The above book titles are clickable links that carry you to BJU Press.  However, these books are no longer available through BJU Press.  Go to Lorenz  to purchase them. (or try Ebay or Amazon)

 

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