Category Archives: Music Lists

Playing with an iPad

How many of you like change? If you’re like me, change is not my favorite. But a couple weeks ago, I took the “change” plunge…

Our music director started using his new iPad to direct the music for the services. From my place behind him in choir, I was fascinated that all he had to do was seemingly tap the screen to turn the pages.

I had originally wanted to get the iPad mini, but I was advised that the regular size had better resolution for music. So I saved up my money and got one. Fun stuff! Now I had to learn how to use it for church.

I bought the app forscore, which allowed me to put the songs in a playlist.

My music director sent me the hymns in PDF format, which I opened in forscore. Once I had the playlist (setlist) ready, all I had to do was swipe the screen and it would turn the page. Even if it was a new song, I just had to swipe the screen.

The first Sunday I used my iPad, I was instantly addicted. The benefits are awesome…

No more turning/handling/lugging around the ginormous hymn book. It is so heavy!

I can see now over the piano music stand! Before, the hymn book was taller than the stand and I had to strain my neck to see the music director. I’m on the shorter side, so I still have to strain a little.

Since I’m on a rotation schedule, I don’t play for every service. But I’m looking forward to trying more with my iPad, like choir songs and special music accompaniment. If I’m really brave, maybe I’ll use it for an offertory!

Do you have an iPad that you use for the music service? I would love to hear from you!


13 Reasons Why I Love Music at Christmas Time

To be completely honest, I am not the biggest fan of Christmas music. However, several aspects of Christmas music reflect this special time of year and endear the familiar songs to myself and others. Let me share these thoughts with you.

1. Children’s choirs

2. Music that comes around only once a year

3. The beautiful harmonies found in traditional carols

4. Trying to make old songs sound creative and fresh

5. Vibrant singing from joyful congregations

6. The delight of hearing a new, original Christmas song

7. Hearing some Christ-centered music in worldly, public places

8. The Nutcracker Suite

9. Knowing that cantata rehearsals won’t last forever

10. Caroling

11. Lots of jingle bells and tambourine sounds in orchestrations

12. The Messiah

13. The mind-blowing Incarnation: the theme that inspires composers and musicians over and over again

These are some of my reasons. What about you? Why do you like Christmas music?

10 Things a Church Accompanist Would Prefer Not to Hear

I recently read an article with a list of 10 things you should never say to a pianist. (James Koerts,

It gave me this idea for items that church accompanists might hear – I have heard most of these!

1.       “The special music just cancelled. Can you play for me if I sing a solo?” (as you’re playing the prelude)

2.       “Just watch me – I might change it up during the service.” (for a choir song)

3.       “Can you play this song in the key of E? It fits my range perfectly.”

4.       “My pianist just cancelled for my wedding. Can you play? The dress rehearsal is tomorrow night.” (true story)

5.       “The pedal doesn’t work. Will that be okay?”

6.       “I don’t like the way you played that verse. Can you do something different?” (on the day of the performance)

7.       “I heard this song on the radio and would like to sing it. Can you play it for me? I don’t have sheet music, though.”

8.       “We don’t have a piano, just a keyboard with five octaves. Will this work?”

9.        “I don’t feel ready for the song that we practiced. Can we get together in between Sunday school and church and practice a different song?”

10.   “The music stand/holder is broken on the piano. You don’t need music, right?”