Posts Tagged ‘church pianist’

Transposing Up a Whole Step: Lesson Two

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Transposing-Up-Whole-Step-Lesson-TwoThe skill of transposing is an extra plus for the church pianist if she or he is going to accompany someone to sing in their comfortable range…(another article) 😉

There is an art to finding just the right key for whomever you’re accompanying.

The following free pdf on Transposing Up a Whole Step will familiarize the church pianist on how to transpose up a whole step in a song of  3/4 time going into another song in 3/4 or the first song…different verse.

There are many factors to consider when creating a key change between two songs. For example, the first melody note of the second song determines the melodic direction of the key change.

Editor notes for Transposing Up a Whole Step: Lesson Two

  1. Play measures #1,2,3 and then start another verse of Amazing Grace on 3rd beat of measure #3
  2. Play measures #1, 2, and 4 and go right into Grace Greater Than Our Sin

Each line of this free pdf is identical to the first line except in different keys. Try finding hymns to use for the remaining lines of examples.

Special Note!

Variety tip: You can use this same transposition idea for a 3/4 hymn to a 4/4 hymn by holding the 3rd beat of the 3rd measure for 2 beats and then go into the 4/4 hymn IF the 4/4 hymn begins with a complete measure or at least the 4/4 hymn contains at least two beats at the beginning..in order for it to create a smooth sounding transition.

Clarification:  The above transposition isn’t appropriate for congregational playing because of the additional measures used to create the key change. A shorter version would be necessary for congregational singing.

However…this transposition idea works great for offertories, preludes and accompanying instrumental or vocal special.

Click on following title for free pdf download: (Let me know if you’re having printing issues with this PDF. I think it’s just my printer but note sure..it seems my margins are wacky when it prints)

Transposing Up a Whole Step Lesson Two

Transposing Up a Whole Step: Lesson One (see chord structure for the above free pdf.

Transposing Up a Whole Step: Chord Structure

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

small manuscript thumbnail pic

The following free pdf of transposing examples will aid the church pianist in changing from one song to the next during prelude or  for background invitationals.

Keep in mind, this free pdf only  showcases the chord structure for transposing up a whole step.  A more detailed visual sheet with moving notes will follow in the next article on transposing up a whole step to a different song or same song/different verse.

Editor notes for this free pdf of transposing examples:

  • Transposing up a whole steop
  • 3/4 time signature hymns only
  • Four examples shown in: E flat Major, F Major, G Major and A Major (each key signature is a whole step apart…one letter name higher than previous key)

Click on the title below to download the chord structure chart for transposing up a whole step for hymns in 3/4 time.

Transposing Up a Whole Step

 

Church Pianist Tip: Storing Music for Special Music

Monday, July 25th, 2016

At this point in time, I’m the only pianist at our church who plays for the special music.  Looking forward to other pianists getting involved in this area as they become more comfortable with playing in the service.

Music can pile up REALLY fast without a place to call home.  For the past several months, I’ve been using a six pocket binder that has proved VERY helpful and thought I’d share it with my readers.

I know this particular binder may not work for everyone but works great for my needs 🙂  (Binders with more than six pockets can be found on Walmart’s site)

Here’s a picture of my binder from Walmart.

BINDER-PIC

Before watching this video…when you hear me mention “floppy disk”…that’s what our digital piano uses to play recordings.

 

Please feel free to share your own organization ideas that work for you!

His Eye is on the Sparrow: Almost Ready!

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Sparrow-with-color

I have a friend test-driving “His Eye is on the Sparrow” vocal solo arrangement 🙂

Hope to publish this arrangement in the next week or two.

I know I’m slow but I try to focus on quality and not quantity as my husband kindly reminds me to do.

 

God Bless America: Advanced Piano Solo

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

god.bless.america.05

Just to let my readers know I have entered a contest with my advanced piano arrangement of God Bless America.

The contest is hosted by Sheet Music Plus.  The name of the contest is ArrangeMe which involves legally arranging copyrighted songs from a select list.

I normally don’t enter music writing competitions but I’ve always wanted to write a piano arrangement for God Bless America.

The contest rules are:  Whoever brings in the most money in sales between June 8th through July 12th 2016….wins $300

No pressure!  🙂  Available for sale at Sheet Music Plus  (Not for sale on our site due to copyright limitations).

Mina Oglesby: Music Book Sale

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Mina Oglesby, author of many songs such as “We Have a Saviour” and “Rest Will Come in the Morning” is selling her ten remaining song book titles for $1 each plus shipping while supplies last. (Special closeout sale!)

Mina’s songbooks make the perfect resource for church pianists who play for vocal specials.  The arrangements in the books are simplified and perfect for the church pianist who can improvise.

Mina’s songbooks can be purchased on her website at www.minao.com

 

Exciting Congregational Playing

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

large baby-grand-piano

Congregational playing if done properly, takes ALOT of energy!

Ever feel totally wiped out after congregational playing? If so, you’re doing something right!  🙂

I’ve heard a couple of approaches to teaching exciting congregational playing…first is to play VERY loud the whole time with no room for emotion vs. play with a big sound but leave room for emotion.  Shelly Hamilton refers to this second method as “kneading” into the keys for music quality…you can “dig” into the keys for a big sound-just not banging…to allow room for emotion.  Shelly mentions playing with “back” weight.  After trying the above methods…I prefer the latter way….much more enjoyable; adds warmth…more meaningful way of playing and the congregation responds well to this method!

The church pianist is to provide support to the congregational singing. Play with gusto!  Give solid sounding introductions. Make it sound like you know what you’re doing! 🙂  *It may help to bracket off the section(s) you play for intros in your hymnal or other songbook… so you won’t get lost.

Energetic playing is contagious!  Your congregation will catch on real quick!

Video Example:

 

 

 

 

Church Pianist Experience: Playing for a Funeral

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Piano-2-with-viginette

My heart is full…had to share an experience that just happened today…

Just returned from playing for a funeral. It was the funeral of a former piano student’s grandmother.

The Lord’s presence was unmistakable! I played about a half hour prelude and it was as  though God was moving my hands…you could have heard a pin drop….everyone else must have sensed God’s presence too.  Nothing to do with me.

God’s presence was felt upon meeting Nathan’s warm and caring grandfather sitting  by his wife’s casket prior to the service. You could tell he walked with God and God’s peace surrounded him and his sweet family.  I would love to have known his wife. How he will miss her…married for 67 years. What a testimony!

I taught Nathan years ago when he was first learning piano. He took so well to the old hymns… which he enjoyed playing for his now deceased grandmother.  He’s now in his second year of college.  At the beginning of the service, Nathan came up and played one of my arrangements I taught him many years ago….”It is Well”.  What I didn’t know until the end of the service..was that he played this very arrangement for his grandmother as she entered heaven’s gates.

Sorry…getting a little emotional as tears run down my face while typing.

All I can say is, “God…thank you for allowing me to have a small part in your training of young people for your service and for using my music as a balm for dying saints.”  God is good!

I discreetly videoed Nathan while he played “It is Well”.   You can tell he was giving all he could for his grandmother. But now…she was hearing Nathan from heaven above 🙂

 

 

 

The Old Rugged Cross (fill-in ideas with hymnal version)

Monday, April 4th, 2016

I recently published fill-in ideas for The Old Rugged Cross.

One of my readers asked me today if I could include the fill-ins on the printed hymnal version for ease of use.

I had to cut and paste and resize the fill-ins to fit the printed copy of the hymnal version so it’s kind of rough looking but it’s the best I could do with time allowed in my schedule.

Thanks for the suggestion Becky!  🙂

Click on following titles to download your free copies of the following:

The Old Rugged Cross (verse fill-ins)

The Old Rugged Cross (chorus fill-ins)

Old Hymn Revived! “Ready”

Friday, April 1st, 2016

How many church pianists have ever heard of the hymn “Ready”?  One of my readers recently  requested an offertory arrangement for this hymn.(actually just yesterday) Thanks Nancy!

I googled the hymn because I didn’t recognize the title right away.  Once I saw the music score, I realized it was one I grew up with… but rarely heard.

One main idea comes to my mind after skimming through the words of each verse…Total Commitment to Christ No Matter What. How convicting when I insert the words “Am I…” before each phrase.

After reading the words to each verse I thought, “This is a hymn worth reviving!”   The writer of this hymn, Charles Tillman, was the son of an evangelist. He painted houses and was also a traveling salesman for a music company out of Raleigha, NC in the late 1800’s.  Charles began his career as a singing evangelist in 1887. He died at the age of 82 in 1943.

Lyrics to “Ready”

Ready to suffer grief or pain,
Ready to stand the test,
Ready to stay at home and send
Others if He sees best.

Ready to go, ready to bear,
Ready to watch and pray,
Ready to stand aside and give,
Till He shall clear the way.

Ready to speak, ready to think,
Ready with heart and mind,
Ready to stand where He sees fit,
Ready His will to find.

Ready to speak, ready to warn,
Ready o’er souls to yearn,
Ready in life or ready in death,
Ready for His return.

Refrain:

Ready to go, ready to stay,
Ready my place to fill,
Ready for service, lowly or great,
Ready to do His will.

I hope other church pianists can use this old but wonderful hymn to enrich their music ministry at church.

Ready
Sacred early advanced piano solo, 2 & 1/2 pgs. Approx. length: 1:16

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.

Complete audio below (youtube link)
Price: $2.95

 

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