Archive for the ‘Programs’ Category

Easy Christmas Program Ideas!

Monday, November 14th, 2016

music christmas ornament icon

Many church pianists have already been practicing for their church’s Christmas program.

In many cases, the church pianist IS the choir leader and has the task of deciding what to do for a Christmas program.

My son is our choir director. He works at least 50 hours a week and the father of three small children. Needless to say,  I help out by coming up with a simple program to fit our 40 minutes per week choir practice time. (this accounts for starting roughly two months in advance; which may vary from church to church depending on your choir’s ability)

My son and I have about a 40 minute commute to church so we’re very time conscious!

Our most-involved Christmas program back in 2011 was entitled “Christmas at Home” by Ron Hamilton. We used the “readers theatre” version due to limited time. The main actors were acting their first play ever. (Part Two sampler of our Christmas at Home)

In recent years, we have experienced a much more pleasant, relaxing time through having easier Christmas programs.

I have written two VERY easy Christmas programs…one of which is FREE HERE.  I’m still editing the second FREE Christmas program.

Now…ideas for enhancing your Christmas Program

  • Lyrics taken from cantata books make for great narration when coordinating a chronological list of songs together for a short choir concert. (That’s what we’re doing this year)

  • Include congregation by having them sing a song in the program. ( the choir could sing a descant taken from a hymnal while the congregation sings the melody) Another neat idea…have Pastor lead congregation in  reciting Luke 2:14 at the appropriate time during the program. Very effective! (Tip: Include Luke 2:14 in the Christmas program bulletin)

  • The congregation could also stand and sing a song following their verse (Luke 2:14) Song suggestions: Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World (include lyrics in the program bulletin)

Easy Christmas Program Suggestion:

  1. Several different adults recite the Christmas story(Luke 2:1-19) in microphone off stage while children in appropriate costume act out the narration.

  2. Stage setup:  Only two scenes: Manger scene center stage, shepherd scene on left or right of manger scene. (props for shepherd scene not necessary).

  3. Songs can be inserted appropriately throughout the narration.

  4. Extra tip:Remind children that they must listen to what’s being read so they can act accordingly…to avoid appearing mechanical

Also a good idea to remind narrators to read with conviction! It brings the story to life!!

Hopefully this will help church pianists or choir leaders trying to find last-minute ideas for an easy Christmas program.

Please feel free to leave comments or ideas below.

A reminder: I do have over a dozen FREE piano and vocal Christmas arrangements available HERE.

Sharing a few links that may give you an idea as well (don’t fully endorse all the ideas at these links… but you can sift out what you like)

Possible lyrics for poems

Creative Church Idea Attic

 

 

Christmas Music for Sale!

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Giving-My-Best Tell-Me-the-Story-of-Jesus Through-the-Eyes-of-a-ChildPiano-Christmas-Book

I’m re-organizing my growing collection of music and am parting with some Christmas books I used when I worked with the children’s music ministry at various churches.

So…am posting the following Christmas music for sale on our “Used Music for Sale” page.

Also posting an intermediate piano solo Christmas book 🙂

Christmas at Home (Highlights) Part One

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Our church choir thoroughly enjoyed putting on this production of Christmas at Home by Majesty Music.  

Majesty Music has granted us special permission to post these highlights on youtube.

About two-thirds of our choir do not read music.  Also, several of us have about a 40 minute commute to church making for shorter rehearsals. Therefore, we simplified the music to two parts or unison.  Initially, I was to coach the speaking cast… but our other pianist’s husband had to have serious surgery…making it necessary for me to play piano in the beginning rehearsals.  I thought the speaking cast did a superb job in spite of the circumstances.

I’ll share one of our stage secrets…one of our playcast members wrote their lines on a card and stuck them to a stage prop for security.  It worked great 🙂

Enjoy watching part one of Christmas at Home (highlights)…

 

Christmas Program Tips

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

It’s so important to have a recap/planning session after performing a Christmas program or any program for that matter. What better time then while it’s still fresh on your mind…to take notes on ways to improve or solve other issues, making for an even better program for next year.

I’ve been taking notes while editing the video of our Christmas program. I’ll share these tips/ideas with you in hopes of helping other church pianists like myself, who help coordinate the plays/programs for their church.

Christmas Program Recap Notes

*Start Early! (start early enough to compensate for missed practices due to revivals or other already scheduled meetings that require extra preparedness for the choir.)

*Did everyone have their cues in order for things to run smoothly? (Sound crew & videographer needs a script to operate efficiently.)

*Have Pastor make necessary announcements before the program to alleviate unecessary distractions during the cantata.

*Video camera should be in a place WELL ABOVE the congregation…such as the balcony…to avoid people getting in way of camera…which can block the view of the performance.  Our whole purpose for videoing is to capture memories and to give the choir a chance to truly experience the program as a whole.  The video also gives us something to view after the fact to see how to improve.

*Final rehearsal should be scheduled the last Saturday before the Sunday performance.  The final Sunday’s rehearsal (the day of the program) should be a brief walk-through of the entire program…allowing ample time before the service begins for choir/cast members to refresh themselves.  *Suggestion: Maybe the church could provide some drinks and light snack food for the choir during this short  time of refreshment 🙂

We all need to strive to do our very best to effectively communicate God’s message of salvation whether it be through music or drama.

Colossians 3:23 “And whatsoever ye do, do it HEARTILY, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”  …Then everything falls into place 🙂

I do plan to post highlights of our entire Christmas program once the editing process is complete.

 

 

 

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