What is the big deal about accompanying? You are just playing the piano, right? Actually, accompanying is playing the piano with a slight twist.
An accompanist is a pianist, but not just a pianist. The job of an accompanist is to support – whether that be a soloist, vocal ensemble, choir, orchestra, instrumentalist, etc. Making the other person look good is my goal when I accompany. The people should be able to relax and enjoy the music they are presenting, not worry that the speed will be right or the notes played incorrectly.
In the church setting, our job is even more important. We are to support the special music in such a way that all the attention and glory goes to the Lord, not to the person or group. We are the foundation that steadies the special music presentation. If we fall or waver, we risk crumbling the influence that one song might have to bring someone closer to Christ.
I will explore more thoughts on this topic as we go along, but remember that accompanying is a team effort!