Tag Archives: piano music

Cyber Monday – Digital Music on Sale

Christmas pianoWelcome to Cyber Monday! The one day of the year when we can spend money as easy as pushing a button! Anyone up for going shopping?

I’m not usually one to get all excited about Black Friday or Cyber Monday, nor do I like to push deals too much. But today I’m making an exception.

Over at my digital music store, Glorious Assurance Music, all music is 50% off! Now, the music is not overly expensive to begin with, so you can get choruses for $.75 and piano arrangements for $1.75. I’m just not sure how you can beat this price.

Unless it’s free, right?

Well, unfortunately, most of the music is not free (but still 50% off). But there are two piano arrangements that are free, all the time.

I Surrender All – free piano arrangement, intermediate level

Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus – free piano arrangement, late intermediate level

If nothing else, be sure to download these free arrangements today! (Note: the site will say these arrangements are out of stock, but you just need to click on the title link under Free Download to get the PDF download.)

Other titles for sale include:

O Little Town of Bethlehem (intermediate)

Silent Night, Holy Night (advanced)

He is Born, the Divine Christ Child (advanced)

Amazing Grace (intermediate)

Christ the Lord is Risen Today (advanced)

Be Thou My Vision (early advanced)

Praise Him! Praise Him! (late intermediate)

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (intermediate)

…and many more. Don’t wait too long, the sale ends soon!

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Final Thoughts

On-the-Go PianistSince this 31 Day Challenge really started the evening of September 30, I did my Day 31 yesterday.

But since today is October 31, I thought I should do a final post to recap the month.

Wow, thirty-one days of blogging. I really did it.

When my sister first suggested I do this with her, I wasn’t sure what I would blog about. Obviously music, but the specifics were a little harder to think of.

Now that’s it over and I look back on my experience, I had a really fun time. The challenge was just that, a challenge.

I loved communicating with all my readers about the different aspects of music.

I picked up some valuable resources along the way.

I made new friends.

I reconnected with old friends.

(I just said “I” a lot, sorry!)

I’m not planning on blogging every day from here on out, but I definitely will be blogging more often. I even have some ideas for some series!

Thanks to all of you who followed and read my posts and commented on them.

Thanks to my sis and hubby for encouraging me in this challenge.

Goodbye, October!

Hello, November and December – the busiest months for church musicians!

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

Pedaling for Hymns

pedals1Pedaling is very fascinating to me.

I remember being told by a teacher to change the pedal every time a chord changed. That was very good, basic advice.

When playing traditional gospel songs (ie: Power in the Blood), you will have your three basic/primary chords: I, IV, and V.

If you apply the basic principle of pedaling for every chord change, you won’t pedal overly much.

But if you add anything remotely extra, like any stepwise in either hand or even changing bass octaves within a measure (like moving from Bb to D on a Bb chord), you will want to lift the pedal more often.

I always try to listen for any “muddling” and negate that by lifting the pedal more frequently.

Any stepwise I usually “flutter” the pedal or “half-pedal”. Just a quick lift to clear the air.

Overall, I would rather have less pedal when playing hymns. If they are a little dry that’s ok. A heavy pedal just causes muddles and blurs everything together.

Oh, and while I’m on the subject, basic pedaling technique includes the following:

1. Heel on the floor (always, at all times)

2. Play then pedal (have the pedal up when playing the first note(s) of a new chord, then put the pedal down)

Anything you would add? I love hearing your comments!

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

Saturday…Best Laid Plans…

Very rarely do I have a Saturday with nothing planned that I have to go to (meeting, get-togethers, church functions, etc.). But today was one of those days.

I still gave piano lessons in the morning, but after that was open and free.

My plans: go to the grocery store, clean the house and watch college football (Roll Tide, btw).

Sounds fun, right?

Let me explain…the last two weeks have been pretty hectic, with work and lessons and church music. So, needless to say, the house had been pretty neglected.

So I cleaned. all. day. long.

Seriously, I just finished an hour ago.

But, I have this awesome open floor plan where I can pretty much see or hear the TV from anywhere.

So I also watched/listened to college football. all. day. long.

And, yes, the grocery store run happened during halftime. I had motivation to be quick!

After all that, I just sat down to do some lesson paperwork, plus make sure I’m ready for church music tomorrow. Good thing, since I was contacted to play for someone in the morning service. Plans were quickly made to meet and practice in the morning.

All is well here. My feet hurt. My house is clean. My football team won.

How was your Saturday?

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

Two months from today is Christmas

What!?! Really?!? Already!?!

Yep. It’s back. That time of year again when everybody goes crazy in the stores and we spend money on things that most people will never use more than once or twice.

I love Christmas, really, I do.

Why?

I love the lights, the decorations, the colors, the traditions.

But, mostly, I love the music.

It’s time, my friends. Time to break out the Christmas playlist, the Pandora channel, the sheet music.

And this year, I get to pick out Christmas songs for my piano students.

I’m so excited!!!

What about you? When do you start listening to Christmas music?

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

Thanksgiving Music – We Gather Together

treble clefIt’s Thursday and Thanksgiving is five weeks away.

Does your church do a Thanksgiving service? We do a special service on Tuesday night of Thanksgiving week, complete with a chili supper afterwards. Yum.

Anyway, if you’re like me, you might be scrambling to find a piano arrangement to use at the last minute. Let me suggest this arrangement of “We Gather Together.”

No, I can’t take credit for this arrangement. But I can give all the credit to my sister, Christie.

Now, I did have the privilege of editing this arrangement, and I absolutely love it!

The arrangement is just advanced enough to keep you on your toes (and you will need to practice it at least once), but there is no reason why you couldn’t have it ready in 4-5 weeks.

Plus, Christie incorporates fresh chords and fun rhythms to make this traditional Thanksgiving hymn more interesting.

You can view sample pages, plus listen to sample audio of the arrangement. If you want to purchase the song, you will need to create an account at Glorious Assurance Music. Then you will have three attempts to download the song as a PDF.

Let me know what you think!

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

Benefits from Classical Music

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.