“Essentials for the Worship Team Pianist” Webinar

88 Creative Keys is putting on the Essentials For The Worship Team Pianist Webinar on Monday, January 16th from 11am-1pm Eastern Standard Time.

The cost is $49 for this two-part, three hour online class taught by Leila Viss, Drew Collins and Bradley Sowash.

I have not taken their classes, but heard of this through James Koerts. 88 Creative Keys offer several webinars throughout the year on all sort of musical subjects such as chords, rhythm, teaching, improvising, etc.

  • In the first portion of the webinar, Drew and Leila will discuss:
    Leila Viss
    Leila Viss
    • The three roles of a worship team pianist.
    • The latest tech tools used by most worship teams.
    • Tips on how to build required skills.
    • What worship leaders expect of a pianist.
    • Common mistakes pianists make when playing with a band.
    • Five characteristics of a strong worship team pianist.
    • Some tricks of the trade.

    In the next portion, Bradley will cover:

    Bradley Sowash
    Bradley Sowash
    • What to play when unrehearsed background music is needed.
    • Heighten your awareness of thinking and playing in musical layers.
    • More tips for pianists on feeling a groove.
    • Improvising and/or arranging a traditional hymn for contemporary worship.

     

    For more details, and to sign up for this class go here.

Will I see you there?

Some more thoughts on Worship vs. Entertainment…

Mike Livingstone, on his appropriately named blog, mikelivingstone.com, wrote an article titled, “The Heresy of Worshiptainment”, which caused quite a furor among the church today, and inspired the last article I linked to in my previous post. If you did not click the link to read Livingstone’s piece, I highly recommend you do now!

I wish I had read this one before posting the last one, because even though I don’t appreciate people throwing around the accusation, “heresy” (because most of the time they have no business doing so), I think that Livingstone nailed the church to the wall in this post, as evidenced in part by both the furor and the angry comments received!

It was convicting.

As a minister of music, I have to constantly guard against the pride that I struggle with day after day-especially when the Holy Spirit is moving freely through me and the music coming out is good. I constantly struggle in the desire to please men though, and to “tickle their ears”, by entertaining them. But, while there is, I believe, an appropriate time and place for entertainment, while assisting the congregation in worshipping God, that isn’t my calling. And it’s certainly not the time and place! My calling is to praise the Lord whose name is Holy and Righteous, to bring Him honor in body and in Spirit-in essence, to tickle His ears! It is to assist others in doing so while playing piano accompaniment or even while playing a special or offertory. In fact, my desire is that all men should worship the Lord, rather than me, and sometimes that means I need to stop what I’ve been doing, and be still. I can’t tell you how many times I had prepared something to share as a special or offertory, only to be led by the Spirit at the last minute, to change it. I had prepared all sorts of grand ideas and fancy playing under the guise of it being for the Lord, when it really wasn’t what would’ve brought Him the most glory. Instead, he had me play something totally different, but every time I’ve listed to this still, small, voice saying, “This is the way…” I have had people come up afterward and tell me how blessed they were!

And you know, I am blessed when they are blessed! That means it’s  double the blessing it would’ve been!

All I can say is, Praise the Lord: Give God the glory due unto His name!

 

 

Worship-tainment…wait, what??

I just read this interesting article, chronicling some of the church’s history as an entertainment venue. I’d never really considered it as such before, but I think the author is correct. I suggest reading it with an open mind.

It’s some interesting food for thought: Our houses of Worship (that are supposed to be reserved for worshiping the LORD GOD), have become places of entertainment, many of which hardly differ from a night club or a fancy concert hall. Really, what IS the difference? Concert halls have sacred music in them sometimes. And though I’ve never been in one, I’m quite sure that you can hear about God in a night-club too, albeit, probably in a derogatory manner. But maybe God isn’t all impressed with our huge buildings, light shows, overhead displays, fancy chairs, theater lights, sound systems and so on and so forth. Have we ever really stopped to think about this? What really brings Him praise?

Psalm 50 tells us that He doesn’t despise the broken and contrite in heart;

Psalm 66 tells us to make His praise glorious;

John 4:24 says, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

Jeremiah 29 reminds Israel that if they obeyed the LORD, “…then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.” (vs 12)

Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Brothers and sisters, there are hundreds more like this. None of these verses have anything to do with bands, and fancy lights and smoke machines, or orchestras and pianos and pipe organs either. They have everything to do with the heart. In fact, all of that stuff that is designed for entertainment, is really a distraction most of the time, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be used as ONE channel of blessing and honor to the LORD. It can also become a stench to Him. Can I encourage us all to make sure our hearts are right, so God will will accept our praise? And if you are in a position of leadership, to encourage the congregation to do the same?

 

Exciting Announcements for 2016!

Exciting Announcements for 2016!

Just wanted to write a quick post about some of the exciting things planned for 2016 on Hymnprovisation.com!

First, and I can hardly wait…

I want to let you know about an upcoming workshop on Sacred Worship Music! This isn’t about 18th century stuff or about modern CCM, but about Worship Music, both older and newer, that is both effective, dynamic, awesome, and set apart for the glory of GOD ALONE!

If you play the piano, lead music, sing in church, or do all of the above, this workshop is for you! It will be in the greater Spokane, WA area, and we are tentatively planning it for early Summer. I will let you know just as soon as I have the dates, times, and exact location.

As mentioned, we are hoping to include training on three aspects of church music:

  • Leadership in dynamic directing/conducting.
  • Leadership in singing/vocal training, with group and one on one vocal training by an excellent vocalist and teacher.
  • Leadership in effective and dynamic improvisational accompaniment on the piano, with a nationally known, pianist, teacher,and prolific composer and arranger, whose name will be announced shortly. I promise, you won’t want to miss this class if you are a church pianist!

I can’t say too much more yet, but check back soon as it promises to be an exciting, fun, valuable, informative, and awesome workshop! Our goal is for you to return to your home church, with new tools in your toolbox that you can put to work right away. If this sounds interesting at all to you, please let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to pass on the news to anyone else who might be interested.

 

Second, and almost as exciting as the first announcement:

Keep checking hymnprovisation.com, as we hope to add considerable content, more free music, and a blog post at least once a week. It’s been a little slow getting started, but we are working on bringing you the valuable techniques, and resources for those who want to sharpen their skills and strive for excellence in music. So keep checking back!

 

Last but not least…okay, maybe least!

Don’t be too shocked if the look of things here change in the near future. We wanted to get this up and running, and figured its better to do it now and make it pretty later. So it isn’t the prettiest just yet, but we hope spruce things up just a bit.

So keep us in your bookmarks, and if you would, let us know what you think in the comments below. Suggestions are welcome!