While some church pianists have been trained classically, many church pianists simply play hymns. Sometimes it might seem that there is not much common ground between the two, but there are great benefits from both. Here are a few benefits for church pianists to brush up on their classical music.
1. Sight reading! Classical material is great for strengthening your sight reading skills; your ears can learn to enjoy and relax in the different sounds and styles.
2. Articulation! Many times classical pieces are marked more specifically for dynamics, touch, and tempo. These qualities will make you aware of how to polish your church pieces and enhance the musicality of your sound.
3. Variety! Styles abound in the classical world, and most of them are beneficial for added creativity in the church music realm.
If you have classical music, pull them out and play a few times a week. For those who have never dabbled in classical literature, buy a book that is at or a little below your comfort level. Try one that surveys Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern, or start with one specific to your favorite period or composer. As you play, listen and watch for ideas to use in your church music. A new perspective from some old classics can benefit everyone.