Posts Tagged ‘church pianists’

My Savior’s Love: FREE PIANO ARRANGEMENT

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

My-Saviors-Love-psa

I keep forgetting about sharing this advanced piano arrangement of My Savior’s Love.   Thought I’d better do so in time for some of you to  learn for Easter 🙂

I published this one in 2009…yeah…and forgot all about it until recently when one of my facebook friends mentioned liking the arrangement  and someone today asked if it was available. That put me on a search!

It took a while for me to locate the original file but came across it tonight.  So…hope it can be used by some of you church pianists out there! 🙂

My Savior’s Love (advanced sacred piano solo)

Nice CD for Church Pianists!

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

kenon

Just happened across a nice CD for church pianists while trying to find sheet music for Kenon Renfrow’s piano arrangement of “Fairest Lord Jesus”. The CD is called “I Will Praise Him“.

I’m not sure at this point if Kenon has sheet music for Fairest Lord Jesus but will find out asap. I heard this arrangement on Abiding Radio this morning while getting ready for church and just LOVED it!!  Ah…just found most of the arrangements to this CD on youtube!  Listen to Fairest Lord Jesus HERE 🙂

I bought Kenon’s CD entitled: “I Will Praise Him” which by the way is a beautiful sounding CD. I listened to sound samples HERE and discovered that Kenon’s site: Piano Music Now had the CD’s for a very reasonable price.

A great piano CD for any church pianist looking for fresh stylings to hymns.

Coming Soon! Last Minute Ideas for Simple Christmas Program!

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Green coming-soon

By now…most church pianists are busy practicing for their church’s Christmas program But…does anybody need some ideas for a last minute Christmas program…or maybe you just need one more poem or reading to complete your program?

I look forward to sharing a list of simple ideas this coming week on ways to enhance or create a last minute simple program.

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

 

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.

Helpful Resource for Church Pianists!

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

A Great Find for Church Pianists!

I just subscribed to Dorothy Taubman’s youtube channel. I’ve known of Dorothy’s work and have gleaned from several of her youtube lessons over the years.

I would love to attend piano clinics but distance is usually a factor so I bring learning to my living room via youtube and other internet resources.

If you want to play with ease, you will enjoy the following video.  I was encouraged to discover that I teach some of the same solutions for technical passages but enjoyed hearing Dorothy’s easy-to-understand solutions!

Helpful Resource for Church Pianists!

Free Prelude Transitions for Church Pianists!

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Just wanted to share a couple of spontaneous prelude transitions that I created today for one of my hymn playing students during their lesson.

She’s wanting more help in the area of prelude transitions…and needed to see examples for transition ideas.

Hope they’re a help to other church pianists too!

Prelude Transition tips:

When creating a prelude transition consider the following:

1.  The time signature you’re coming from and going to

2.  The key signature you’re coming from and going to

3.  Mood of approaching song

4.  Add a ritard toward end of first song before the transition to allow breathing space for the player and listeners.

Prelude-Transitions-NEW

Chord Substitutions

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

wavy staff with colored notes

Church pianists enjoying bringing hymns to life by adding different chords!  A recent question from one of my readers has created the perfect opportunity for me to share tips on chord substitutions….a topic I’ve been wanting to deal with for quite some time.  Chord substitutions can add such color to a song!  It’s a very B-R-O-A-D topic; meaning….there’s an endless supply of chord possibilities in any given key!

Reader’s Question:

“I have been using various resources trying to learn more about theory, but I haven’t found any that go beyond a basic level.

For example, I know what augmented and diminished chords are, but I don’t know how to use them or how they fit into functional harmony. In analyzing your arrangements, I have noticed you use a lot of different kinds of chords, such as chords with altered bass notes or a I-ii half diminished-I-etc. progression for introductions.

How did you learn how to use all these? Do you have any recommendations for resources that would teach me more? Any advice would be appreciated!”

Ashley

 

Hi Ashley,

How did I learn to use different chords from the written music?  You won’t like my answer 😉    I play them by ear…basically whatever sounds right. I do know chord theory but don’t think about theory application when playing….I just….play 😉  (Music writer’s confession: I don’t claim to be an expert theorist.)

For everyone’s benefit…the “different” chords we’re discussing are called chord substitutions. A chord substitution occurs when replacing a chord with a different chord.

Easiest Chord Substitution for Starters…

To replace a major chord within a key…use the chord a 3rd above or below the root note of a major chord.  (The major chords within any key is the I, IV and V).

The I chord in the key of C Major is the C chord (CEG).  Now, what note is a 3rd above CE…so the e minor chord (EGB) within the C scale can be used as a substitution as long as it “sounds” good within the occurring chord path (progression) of the song.  Count a 3rd below C and you find A.  The A minor chord (ACE)  is the second choice for a C major chord substitution.

Two observations about these two chord substitution choices:

1. They’re both minor

2.  They each have two notes in common with the chord being replaced

There are other types of chord substitutions but wanted to start with the easiest kind.

Extra Information:

1.The chord substitution just described above  (3rd above or 3rd below) is called the Diatonic Substitution. A diatonic chord substitution occurs when using different notes within a scale. It’s the most natural form of chord substitution because no note alterations take place; just using what ingredients are already available within that key 😉

2. The key signature and melody of any song dictates what chord(s) can be used.

 ~~Next article will show examples of the Diatonic chord substitution~~

Special Note!

Special Note!

Great theory reference book:  “The Complete Idiot’s Guide toMusic Theory”

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

 

Related article on Chord Substitutions

 

 

 

Hymnprovising Tip for Church Pianists

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Here’s a quick tip that would make any church pianist sound much fuller when playing from the hymnal.

When improvising from the hymnal, the pianist can make the hymn sound fuller by playing 4 note chords in the right hand….allowing more space for the left hand to improvise.

“Like a River Glorious” is a great hymn to apply this idea…since the rhythm isn’t real busy…making it easier to maneuver.

The first two measures in the example below demonstrates the standard five-part style hymnplaying (3 notes in the right hand and 2 notes in the left hand).

The final two measures show the right hand playing an octave higher to allow room for the 4-note style in the right hand.  One of my teachers from years back taught me the idea of playing a phrase in one general area and then gradually climbing back down or up (whichever the case may be) for variety.

Next time, I’ll show you a fun way the right hand can climb back down to the middle of the piano for the next phrase of “Like a River Glorious”.

Like-a-River-line-one

 

 

Free Arrangement for Church Pianists! Amazing Grace

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Amazing-Grace

Introducing…a free piano arrangement of Amazing Grace for unison choir or congregation.  It’s nice to be able to sing parts but most congregations of small churches seem to sing unison.

Church pianists can enliven hymns such as Amazing Grace by playing with mucho enthusiasm!  I understand not every church pianist knows how to improvise from the hymnal.  It took a lot of practice for me to feel comfortable adding unseen notes while playing from the hymnal.

Improvising tip:  Grab an improvising idea from someone else’s arrangement and try applying to a similar congregational hymn with same time signature.

Stick with that one idea for a while until it becomes natural to use…then on to the next improvising idea!

Hope you enjoy this arrangement.  Since most people are very familiar with this hymn, I took more liberty with the piano accompaniment.

Warning:  This arrangement does not support the four-part style in the hymnal.

Question from a reader:

I love these ideas but at my church both piano and organ play. I find it hard to take any liberties since I am not playing alone. Any suggestions for those of us who would love to add flare to hymns but still have to keep the organist in mind?

Answer: (at least for this arrangement)  I will soon provide a free organ arrangement of this particular version of Amazing Grace.

Free PDF for Piano: Amazing Grace

Free PDF for Organ: Amazing Grace

Audio:

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.

Extra tip:  This arrangement could also be used as an offertory using the following suggestion:  Allow a flute or violin to play the vocal score since the piano accompaniment doesn’t contain enough melody.

 

 

 

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