Posts Tagged ‘congregational singing’

Just Published! Congregational Piano Hymn Arrangements: Booklet Two

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

So glad to have finally finished this collection of Congregational Piano Hymn Arrangements! I always enjoy writing in an accompaniment fashion…much more can be played than the melody 🙂

I may have strayed more from melody in this second collection but not enough to lose your congregation 😉

Hope you enjoy this collection!  A special thanks to the John W. Peterson company for working with me to include “Heaven Came Down” which I REALLY had fun writing!

 

Congregational Piano Hymn Arrangements (Booklet Two)
10 Late intermediate to early advanced piano congregational arrangements. 37 pages Songs include: And Can it Be, At the Cross, Come Thou Fount, Heaven Came Down, Higher Ground, I Shall Know Him (My Saviour First of All), It's Just Like His Great Love, My Faith Has Found a Resting Place, Near the Cross, What a Friend We Have in Jesus)

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*Special note: The arrangements in this booklet do not support the four-part singing found in most hymnals. *Other suggested uses: vocal solos, violin specials, unison choir specials. **Another special note: These arrangements can not stand alone as piano solos since some of the melody is absent during the piano accompaniment.
Price: $14.00

Just Published! Congregational Piano Hymn Arrangements…

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Done! Finally!  I was extra picky with this collection and hope it’s useful to many church pianists.

I tried to create exciting accompaniments to enhance the congregational singing. Each arrangement contains an introduction as well as a couple verses/choruses worth of accompaniment.  Three of the arrangements even have key changes!

But relax 🙂  The arrangements are written in a lower key than the hymnal (at least two to three half steps lower). We have discovered that the congregation sings out even more when they can  sing in a reasonable key 😉

Congregational Piano Hymn Arrangements (Booklet One)
Congregational Piano Hymn Arrangements (Booklet One)
AUDIO SAMPLER: (product description below)

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*Downloadable product only
Price: 14.00

 

10 Late intermediate to early advanced piano congregational arrangements. (All Hail the Power, Are you Washed, Blessed Assurance, Does Jesus Care, Dwelling in Beulah Land, I Love to Tell the Story, Praise Him! Praise Him!, Rock of Ages, Sweet By and By, Sweet Hour of Prayer) 34 pages

The arrangements in this booklet are in lower keys; making it easier for the average congregation to sing. *Three of the arrangements have key changes!

Each arrangement contains an introduction and at least two verses & choruses…several of the hymns contain three verses worth of accompaniment.

*Special note: The arrangements in this booklet do not support the four-part singing found in most hymnals. *Other suggested uses: vocal solos, violin specials, unison choir specials. **Another special note: These arrangements can not stand alone as piano solos since some of the melody is absent during the piano accompaniment. *Complete audios not included with collections.

Congregational Booklet One Complete!

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Piano-2-with-viginette

Just to let my readers know…

I just finished the first congregational pdf booklet this morning!  The collection contains ten piano congregational arrangements. Each arrangement has an introduction and at least two verses/choruses of accompaniment…some hymns contain three verses worth of accompaniment.

The arrangements do contain chord substitutions for extra zest so the piano accompaniment will not be suitable for four-part hymnal style singing.  (Just trying to target the small churches that generally sing unison).

Suggested uses of this collection other than congregational singing:  vocal solo specials, unison choir specials, violin solo specials. (lyrics in the score are included with each arrangement)

The playing level of the collection is late intermediate to early advanced. Can’t wait to get it online!

 

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.

 

 

Chord Substitution Application for the I (Major) Chord

Friday, December 27th, 2013

music_icon

Answers from previous quiz questions for Chord Substitutions:

Minor chords for IV are  ii and vi

Minor chords for V are  iii and vii

Key of C Major:  F chord is the IV chord….so…d minor is the ii chord and a minor is the vi chord.  The V chord is G….so….e minor is the iii chord and b minor is the vii chord.

Review from last lesson:  A Major chord lasting two or more beats can be substituted with a minor chord. Go up or down two chords from the Major chord to find its minor chord substitutions.

For example:  The  C Major chord can be substituted with an e minor or a minor chord.  (The melody note dictates which substitution will sound right).

This is only the beginning…there are SO many chord substitutions!  I’m just covering the basic choices.

New Lesson

Warning label to the church pianist:  Chord substitutions cannot be used for congregational singing IF the congregation is singing parts from hymnal.

Chord substitutions can be used for solo instrumentals or when accompanying vocalists or instrumentalists singing or playing the melody.

Reason for selective use:  chord substitutions do not support the written voice parts in a hymnal.

Our church has a small congregation that mainly sings melody with occasional tenor….giving me more freedom in congregational accompaniment.  Adding chord substitutions just brings what would be a plain hymn…to life!

If you’re a church pianist wanting a warmer sound to your playing…chord substitutions are the answer!  I use a lot of chord substitutions during invitation..creating a more reflective mood.  Our pastor likes background music during the entire invitation…allowing me more freedom to alter the melody and chords.

The following chord substitutions would be better understood if the church pianist had a basic understanding of being able to analyze chords within a hymn…hence….another lesson in the works 🙂

Until then…enjoy learning a couple chord substitutions for the following hymns.  

Layout explanation:  Three different hymn examples; each hymn is represented by an original line from the hymnal followed by an improvised version of that line. The I (CEG) chords are labeled as well as the substituted chord numbers. Each example is in C Major.  *Measures marked with a red square require future post to explain.

Chord-Substitutions-page-one

 

Chord-Substitutions-page-two-cropped

*Click on the following pages to download:

Page one: Chord Substitution Application

Page two: Chord Substitution Application

 

 

How to Enrich Your Congregational Singing

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

I love to sing “Amazing Grace”! It reminds me of when I accepted Christ as my Saviour at the age of 29.

A quick tip for church pianists on how to enrich congregational singing…

1. Start in a lower key. The congregation sings out better in lower keys…especially if you have a congregation like ours that mainly sings melody.

2.  Modulate up a half or whole step higher on the final verse.

In the following video…we started in E flat major and ended in F Major.

The church pianist CAN add zest to congregational singing! Learn to play a hymn in different keys for added enrichment.

I will attempt to write out Amazing Grace  in a user-friendly version for congregational piano accompaniment within the next two weeks and share for FREE! (transposed verse will be included)

Click here for this FREE arrangement of Amazing Grace 🙂

Free Piano Arrangement: I Love to Tell the Story (page two)

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Here is the remainder of the free congregational piano arrangement… “I Love to Tell the Story”.

I enjoy playing for congregational singing because that’s when I can “go outside the box” and play more than just melody.

Having a knowledge of chord theory opens the door for so much creativity!  For example…in measure #12…I knew the chord for the measure was a B Major chord…so I just added moving  3rds in the right hand for a fill-in. I used the same idea again in measure #18.

I’ll point out one more neat idea in measure #22.  Notice the half note octave “A” in the left hand.   An “a” minor chord can replace  a C Major chord because they both have two notes in common….”C and E”.

A “G” from a “C” chord also fits in an “a” minor 7th chord. Now if you know your theory….that will make sense.  Note members for the “a” minor 7th = ACEG

I challenge all church pianists to brush up on their scales and chord theory.  I found an excellent, practical music theory book that has been so helpful to me.  Stay tuned…for my next article on this VERY easy-to-understand book!

I Love to Tell the Story page two

I Love to Tell the Story page one

Free Piano Arrangement: I Love to Tell the Story (page one)

Friday, June 8th, 2012

“I Love to Tell the Story” has always been a favorite of mine.  The story to this wonderful hymn can be found at cyberhymnal.org. This particular hymn came from a rather long poem.  The first part of the poem contained at least fifty stanzas!

I’m sharing a free congregational piano arrangement of “I Love to Tell the Story” for the advanced church pianist.  This free arrangement contains a lot of full chords which is necessary for supporting congregational singing.

I apologize for not posting as often but circumstances haven’t allowed me to do so.  I always hearing from my readers. Thanks so much for your encouragement!  I love to hear how the site has been a help to you.  That’s what keeps me going 🙂

Click here to download free piano arrangement of “I Love to Tell the Story” page one

I will post the remainder of this arrangement as soon as possible.

I Love to Tell the Story page two

Congregational Singing Tip for Church Pianists

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Since believing on Jesus Christ at the age of 29…I can truly say: “Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine”.  This became one of my favorite hymns after becoming a Christian.

Shortly after being saved I arranged an offertory that included: “Blessed Assurance, Saved by the Blood and Since Jesus Came Into My Heart”.  I will have to write it out in my (ha ha) spare time.

This free sacred piano arrangement of “Blessed Assurance”  is a result of preparing several of our own soon-to-be church pianists to play for congregational singing.  We now have a rotational schedule for our intermediate to advanced pianists to allow them to play for our congregational singing.  It’s exciting to see them gain experience to better equip them for serving the Lord.

Click here for the free sacred piano arrangment of “Blessed Assurance” page one.

I’ll share the rest of this free arrangement in the next article.

 

Audio for Free Piano Arrangement: All Hail the Power

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Click here for audio of “All Hail the Power”

As I’ve mentioned before…the church pianist can deviate from the melody as long as the congregation knows the song real well.  You’ll notice the “missing melody” here and there in the free congregational piano arrangement of “All Hail the Power”.  The audio contains the piano accompaniment and the melody line.

We like to change keys to add extra life to the congregational singing 🙂  The key change in this arrangement does add an extra measure so it would require a quick practice with pianist and song leader before trying it with the congregation.

Most of the key changes we use in congregational singing move right into the last verse without hesitation.

Church Pianist Tip:

*This free congregational piano arrangement may also be used to accompany a trumpet solo.

 Click here to download “All Hail the Power” congregational accompaniment

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