Posts Tagged ‘improvising’

The Church Pianist: Part Two—Video Demo of My First Hymn Improvising Piano Lesson

Monday, September 28th, 2009

As promised in part one of this lesson…I’m sharing a video demonstration of my very first hymn improvising piano lesson.

The only change…I used the hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” instead of “Like a River Glorious”.  Either hymn is fine but I decided on the second one for the video.

Youtube video link:

Click here to download free pdf arrangement:   When_ I_ Survey_ the_ Wondrous_ Cross_ five_ part_ style_


The Church Pianist: Improvising Hymns (Using the IV/V)

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

My last article dealt with using the IV/V chord fill-in for 4/4 time.

This fill-in can also take place in other time signatures….as long as

there are at least three beats…allowing time for complete development.

Original article on this subject:

I will share several more examples in time signatures other than 4/4.

Remember…this fill-in works great when the I chord lasts for three or more beats.

Click here for pdf:   Improvising_Hymns_Using_the_ IV_and_ V

The Church Pianist: Improvising Hymns (Part 2)

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

Here’s example #2 of an improvising idea.

Click here for pdf example: Improvising_ Hymns_Day _by_ Day 

This idea can be used anywhere in a hymn

where a one chord last for at least three to

four beats in addition to the following measure

starting on a one (I) chord.

 It  adds a nice flowing movement from

one measure to the next.

The Church Pianist: Classical Music Benefits Church Pianists?

Thursday, February 19th, 2009


Classical Music….a help or hindrance to the  church pianist?

A good question!

The answer is “Yes”…..classical music greatly benefits the church pianist!


Advantages of being exposed to classical music:

*Conditions the ear for well-structured melodies and rhythm.

*Strengthens the fingers

*Demands a need for structured fingering which carries over into proper fingering for hymn arrangements.

*Introduces the pianist to scales and other rhythmic patterns in music that can be incorporated into the
  hymns as well.

*Last but not least….classical music demands disciplinein the areas of technique and interpretation for the
  best results.

Although classical music is vital to all pianists, the church pianist needs a balance of both: classical and hymn training.

I’m thankful for the teachers God provided for me in my early years of training.

I learned alot of improvising by just listening to the different teachers over the years. They also taught me ‘one on one’ how
to add runs and fill-ins. Most importantly, they taught me the theory to back up their training.

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