Posts Tagged ‘funeral’

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 🙂

 

 

 

Church Pianist Tip: Rock of Ages with “Weighty Chords”

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Recently, I’ve been working on an arrangement of “Rock of Ages”.  The introduction contains what I call “weighty chords”…chords with three or more notes.  Thus, the following tip…

Scenario: A pianist sees a chord with three or more notes…(brain computes)…HEAVY touch!  Your brain thinks….I can’t possibly mash all those notes down at once without attacking them 😉   Word of caution:  Relax and apply gentle even pressure as though you’re lightly kneading dough… to avoid a “chunky” or “weighted” sound…especially when the full chords occur on the weak beats.

For example, in 4/4 time, the 1st and 3rd beats are naturally accented. Therefore the 2nd and 4th beats are weaker. In 3/4 time…only the first beat of each measure receives the accent. Why? To produce a more shapely rhythm and to avoid a mechanical/laboured sound.

The following excerpt is from an arrangement that will be included in a “Funeral Collection” which I hope to finish within the next several months. Notice the full chords in the left hand. I will give a brief demonstration of a suggested way to interpret these chords…fighting against the natural tendency of “heavy hand” treatment.

Click here for: video clip of following example

Rock-of-Ages-full-chord-treatment

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