Archive for the ‘Music Book or CD Reviews’ Category

FJH Sacred Piano Library Sale!

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

Piano-2-with-viginette

Attention: Piano Teachers and Church Pianists! Now’s the time to shop for sacred piano books with this GREAT deal!

I’ve been teaching from The FJH Music Company’s piano method books for at least fifteen years. FJH also has a great collection of sacred piano books by composers such as Melody Bober, Marilynn Ham and Cindy Berry…to name a few.

For a limited time, the FJH Music Company is making an excellent offer to piano teachers and church musicians!  Click the link below to go to their special promo page which contains the order form with a list of all the books on sale for a limited time only.

ORDER HERE:  The FJH Sacred Piano Library Sale!(40-45% discount with FREE SHIPPING!

A big thanks to Kyle Hackinson, of FJH Music Company Inc., for allowing me to share this excellent sale with my church pianist readers.

Resource for Church Pianists

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Id-Rather-Have-Jesus-CD

*CD Giveaway!  Enter below to get a chance to win this CD!

I love finding resources for church pianists!  One of my music composer friends, Mary Lynn Van Gelderen, recently published a  CD of  devotional piano music entitled “I’d Rather Have Jesus“.  Several of the selections are beautifully orchestrated by composer Samuel Joshua.

Hear samples of “I’d Rather Have Jesus CD” HERE

See Mary Lynn Van Gelderen play “Life Again!, ” featured on the CD…written by Mary Lynn and her husband John R. Van Gelderen. Click HERE

Here is a list of each piano solo arrangement (Special note:  Three of the selections are available as choral arrangements only) *All of the printed piano arrangements can be purchased through Gentle Praise.

Life Again!  (choral or free pdf of hymnal version)

I’d Rather Have Jesus (pdf instant download)

No Not One (pdf instant download)

Were You There? (pdf instant download)

Jesus Paid it All (available in the future)

Help Me Win the Lost (choral)

It Is Well (pdf instant download)

The Old Fashioned Way/Whiter Than Snow Medley (coming soon as a free download)

Pentecostal Power (available in the book  “Have Thine Own Way” by Mary Lynn Van Gelderen)

Great is Thy Faithfulness (not available at this time)

Little is Much (pdf instant download)

Have Thine Own Way (available in the book “Have Thine Own Way” by Mary Lynn Van Gelderen)

Knowing Christ (choral)

My Country Tis of Thee (available soon in a new collection by Mary Lynn Van Gelderen and Samuel Joshua)

How to enter contest drawing for FREE CD of I’d Rather Have Jesus:

Copy and paste the link to this article to facebook, twitter (or other social media)… and copy and paste your link with your comment here to validate your posting.

Your name will then be automatically entered in the drawing for a FREE copy of I’d Rather Have Jesus CD. (Please note: comments are moderated but will be posted as soon as I see them throughout the day)

This CD giveaway contest will expire on November 28, 2014 at 8pm EST.  The winner will be contacted via email that same evening and announced in this article.

 **Only available for residents within the continental US

Gentle Praise is an excellent resource for the church pianist!

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.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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…

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Sacred Piano Duo Book Sale!

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

 

Wonderful-Grace-BTM-Sale

I REALLY like this particular sacred piano duo arrangement book entitled “Wonderful Grace of Jesus”!

The book contains eleven arrangements. The “Children’s Medley” is one of my favorites!   “Softly and Tenderly” is one of the easier ones but yet SO pretty!

I always buy two copies of piano duet books or piano duo (two pianos) books to prevent illegal copying of music.  Buying multiple copies can be rather expensive so I try to buy when on sale.

Just found out this book is on sale right now…an “ongoing” sale 🙂

You can purchase two copies of this book plus a CD containing all the arrangements for only $24.95 from Bible Truth Music’s website.  Head over and get your copies before the sale expires!  You can also hear audio samples of each arrangement on the sale page!

Date of article:   May 20,2014

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)

 

Introducing an Excellent Theory Book!

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

Now don’t get offended with the title of this music theory book…I use it as a reference book for my piano teaching and composing. The title…“The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Theory”.

The-Complete-Idiots-Guide-to-Music-Theory

The description on the front cover of this book gives an excellent overview:

“Essential information on reading and writing—including basic notes, rhythms and scales”

“Helpful hints on creating your own melodies, chords and harmonies”

“Audio exercises (CD included) to develop your ear training skills”

My favorite chapter in the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Theory deals with chords…(chapter 9). This chapter gives the reader an overview of the basic types of chords used in today’s music.

For example…the basic types of chords mentioned in this chapter include the following: Major, minor, diminished and augmented.  The chapter then goes into “chord extensions”…my favorite section! Oh, and the “power” chords are interesting too 🙂

There is a complete chord appendix in the back of the book that covers every kind of chord–in every key!  The writer of this book says to use this appendix when you want to write a chord but don’t know how.

List of the Appendixes

A. The Complete Idiot’s Music Glossary

B. The Complete Idiot’s Chord Reference

C. Answers to Chapter Exercises

D. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Theory, Second Edition, Ear Training Course CD

Click on following link to view a sample chapter of this book:

Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Theory

You may purchase the book at the above link or try to find on Ebay or Amazon for a more reasonable price. (make sure the CD is included)

Christmas Piano Book Giveaway!

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Christmas Inspirations

An upcoming young musician, Joshua Harrison, contacted me a while back  about previewing his piano arrangement book entitled: “Christmas Inspirations”. Joshua’s desire is that the Lord be glorified through his playing which is refreshing to hear…especially from a young gentleman 🙂

The book consists of nine  Christmas carols as follows:

Joy To The World!
Silent Night
Hark! the Herald Angels Sing!
The First Noel
Away In A Manger
O Little Town Of Bethlehem
Angels We Have Heard On High
O Come All Ye Faithful
I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day

Most of the arrangements are a page and a half and a couple are longer  in length…making for a nice collection of short offertories or recital pieces for students.

After clicking on following link…you must click on individual song titles  to hear sample of each song…not the book cover picture.

Click here to listen to audios of Joshua’s book entitled: Christmas Inspirations

Joshua has generously offered to give away one copy of his Christmas book (pdf format).  Simply leave a comment below to enter the drawing.  Leave a separate comment if you share the link to this article on facebook or your personal blog…allowing your name to be entered twice!

The drawing will be held on December 19th, 2011 at 10pm EST

The winner will receive his or her free downloadable pdf copy of “Christmas Inspirations” by email from the author of the book: Joshua Harrsion

How to Play Hymns & Gospel Songs in an Evangelistic Style

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

How to Play Hymns & Gospel Songs Instructional Book

Just discovered a practical instructional book on  improvising hymns found on Alfred Publishing’s site.

This book is a great starter for the intermediate pianist who wants to improvise from the church hymnal.  The pianist will learn how to do the following:

*Add tenor to the right hand

*Double the bass note

*A couple of easy-to-learn  left hand fill-in ideas

*PLUS…a collection of hymns already arranged for the intermediate church pianist using the improvising ideas that are taught in the book.

Click on the following book title to view the book and sample pages!

“How to Play Hymns & Gospel Songs in an Evangelistic Style”

Bless the Lord arranged by Gina Sprunger (Book Giveaway)

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

A book  giveaway…compliments of Soundforth (BJU Press).

*This book drawing applies to residents within the US

  “Bless the Lord”, contains ten early intermediate piano arrangements by Gina Sprunger…an excellent addition to any church pianist’s repertoire!

Gina’s  introductions,  interludes and endings are a perfect fit to each arrangement.  I’ll share some of my favorite picks through audio excerpts below. Just click on a song title to hear a sample.

Come, Christians Join to Sing

Take Time to be Holy

Meditations on Praise (Bless the Lord, Holy is the Lord, Thank You Lord)

Meditation on When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

A Shelter in the Time of Storm

The remaining arrangements are:

Open My Eyes That I May See, Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus, We Three Kings, I Wonder as I Wander, Showers of Blessing (piano duet)

Book Drawing Guidelines:

1. Simply leave a comment to enter your name once in the drawing

2. To enter your name a second time…share this specific link for book giveaway on your blog, facebook or twitter and leave a separate comment saying you have done so.

*Winner will be chosen on May 2nd, 2011 Monday at 9pm EST

When Ordering Music From Soundforth:

*Special Note: If you order by phone and your order  is under $30…you can request US Mail to receive a cheaper shipping rate.

(Just realize there’s no tracking available with the US Mail rate)

Call toll free:      1-800-258-7288

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