Tag Archives: music

Why I Teach Piano

These pics sum it up best (received last week from a student):



Missions Conference Music

Next week is our annual Missions Conference at church. The music for these services is obviously missions-oriented.

I love the music for Missions Conference. The choir songs are outstanding – “Be the One,” “Somebody Cares,” “I Will Go,” and others.

The traditional hymns for missions are also great songs, but they are not my best to play. Probably because I don’t play them all that often. However, sometimes we don’t sing the “traditional” missions songs.

We will see what hymns are picked this time.

Regardless of the hymns or choir songs or special music, our Missions Conference is just a special time of preaching and sharing from all the missionaries who attend.

We have a very sweet spirit in our church and that is evidenced by the love we show our missionaries.

I’m looking forward to another great Missions Conference.

This post is part of a series I’m doing this month called “On-the-Go Pianist.” Click here to see all the posts!

31 Days: On-the-Go Pianist

On-the-Go Pianist

Welcome to On-the-Go Pianist! This will be my page where I list/link my posts for the next 31 days.

I’ll be updating this page each day with the titles and links once they are posted.

Day 1: Intro to On-the-Go Pianist

Day 2: Let the Fun Begin (again)

Day 3: Musical Pop-ups

Day 4: On This Day…25 Years Ago…

Day 5: Friday Fun Fact: Piano Parts

Day 6: Saturdays: Catch Up and Prep Up

Day 7: Sunday Lyrics: Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Day 8: Monday Music Quote: Tolstoy

Day 9: Chinese Food and Piano

Day 10: Piano and Cowboy Boots

Day 11: Musical Pop-ups: Practice Schedules

Day 12: Keeping Piano Lessons Fun

Day 13: Saturday Cartoons

Day 14: Piano and Cowboy Boots: Follow Up

Day 15: Reflections of an Aunt

Day 16: Lesson Preparation: Assignment Sheets

Day 17: Patience and Persistence

Day 18: Sightreading Tips for Rehearsals

Day 19: Friday Fun Fact: Piano Keys

Day 20: Pic of the Day

Day 21: Falling Asleep at the Piano

Day 22: Monday Madness

Day 23: Video: Piano Duet – I Will Sing of the Mercies of the Lord

Day 24: Payoff of Prepwork

Day 25: Thanksgiving Music – We Gather Together

Day 26: Two Months from Today is Christmas

Day 27: Saturday…Best Laid Plans…

Day 28: Pedaling for Hymns

Day 29: Pic of the Day

Day 30: Piano Teacher Resources: Susan Paradis

Day 31: Missions Conference Music

Day 32: Final Thoughts

Huge thanks to The Nester for hosting this exciting link up party! I’ve never done one before, so I’m even more excited!

Be sure to check out the other 31 Days Bloggers, too!

Using Transitions in the Worship Service

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned on Facebook that I was working on transitions for the upcoming Sunday worship service. I received many questions and comments about how I use transitions and what exactly did I mean by them.

I will attempt to explain here…

First of all, I should let you know that our church likes to have music playing almost at all times. Meaning, there is no empty or quiet space between songs. A typical order of service will have 2-3 worship songs, then a Guest Welcome, then the choir special, then 2 more songs. The piano does not play during the Guest Welcome. That’s it.

(Thankfully, I have the songs loaded on my handy-dandy iPad with the songs in order. See more about that topic here.)

Ok, so, this particular Sunday, the first two songs were “Majesty” (in Bb)  and “All Hail the Power” (in G). when I received the order of service the Tuesday before the Sunday, I immediately began to think about how to transition between these two songs. Going from Bb to G is…well…weird. Plus, both songs are such powerful and big songs that I was hesitant to do my usual play-the-minor-ii-chord-to-the-V-chord.

Yawn. Boring.

I figured the music director would be speaking a little bit between songs, so I needed to fill that time with something interesting enough that it wouldn’t bring down the energy that was built from the first song.

I couldn’t think of anything. Friday night I sat down at the piano and tried to figure something out. All I could come up with was a 4-bar interlude that used the ii chord to the V, without it being a “basic” introduction. I didn’t think that would give the music director enough time to speak between songs. I wanted at least 8 measures.

Grr…this shouldn’t be this difficult, right?

I didn’t know what to do. Nothing was coming to me.

Then, that Sunday morning while I was getting ready, it hit me. I could use a common note to go from Bb to G.

Here’s what I did…after the end of “Majesty,” I repeated the first line (Majesty, worship His majesty) in Bb. That put me on an Eb chord with G as the melody note. Then I played the same line again in the key of G, starting with a G chord (using the note G as the common note).

Ok…that took up 8 measures of time, and put me in the key of G for “All Hail the Power.” Now I was in the key of G on the IV chord – C. I just walked my bass down to B and walked my RH up to D and played the last three measures of “All Hail the Power” for the introduction.

All in all, 12 measures of interlude. Just enough time for the music director to say his “say.” Seriously, it was just enough time. No more. No less. God is good.

Now, I still did a “basic” introduction, when I really wanted to lead up to the V. But it worked better with the basic introduction, because the people at least had some time to recognize the song.

Also, Bb to G would normally be going down in the modulation, but since I used the line in “Majesty” that went up in the melody and then kept the common note, the modulation actually sounded like I went up instead of down.

I know this was a little tedious, but I wanted to really be specific in explaining this transition.

I will try to address more transitions and modulations in days to come. Until then, let me know your thoughts, questions, etc.

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?