Posts Tagged ‘piano’

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 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.



The Church Pianist: The Sounds of Christmas

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Bell sounds add life to Christmas carols.

Here are several examples of different
bell ingredients I used in my arrangements
on the “Simply Christmas” CD… mentioned
in a previous article.

Click here for free Sounds of Christmas  for piano

Explanation for the Examples:

1. Joy to the World (right hand bell tones)
Notice the intervals of the bell tones and try
in several different keys for reinforced learn-
ing and versatile application.

2. Joy to the World (right hand bell clusters)
I simply add a ‘D’ to a C chord to create
a dissonant sound for the bell effect.

3. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
This is one of my favorite chime sounds.
Notice how all the notes in the right hand
chords are a 4th apart. This is how to create
the chime sound!

4. O Little Town of Bethlehem (bell echo)
Bell echos add a sweet; dreamy texture to
lullaby-type melodies.
The bell echo occurs in the right hand (last measure).
It’s just a broken octave ending with a nice harmony note
occuring a 3rd under the broken octave.
Remember: 3rd and 6ths create beautiful touches of
I just used the ‘Alberti bass’ pattern in the left hand.

Alberti bass means a broken chord in this order:

Hopefully, you can incorporate these Sounds of Christmas

into your own Christmas carols this year.



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