Apr 16 2013

Psalm 61 – Congregational Song

psalm 61I wrote this song in a hotel room in Hawaii about seventeen years ago. Now I know you feel sorry for me about the whole Hawaii part of the story, but not everything is always wonderful–even in “paradise”. I was working a sales job in the pharmaceutical industry that had me in Hawaii for 5 weeks straight, I didn’t know a soul (although I later connected with a wonderful church while there), and was a bit lonely. One day, Psalm 61 was part of my devotional reading and I decided to try and put it to music to help me meditate on the passage. This song was the result. To this day, I think it is the only song I have written without sitting at the piano to work on the tune.

Our church enjoys singing this song, and so I wanted to make the leadsheet available for free in case it might benefit other ministries (or your personal devotions) as well. Have a wonderful day!

View/Print Psalm 61 Leadsheet (C)


Apr 10 2013

Behold Our God Intermediate Piano Duet

four-handsMy boys have been after me for a while to write an arrangement of this song for them. The words and tune (chorus especially) are both absolute home runs! We just sang it as part of our 7th Anniversary service at my church this past weekend, in fact, and I commend it to you for use in your own congregation. You can find the words here. My boys are reaching a level where they are playing some pretty difficult stuff, so I am classifying this as an intermediate level piece. The use of sixteenth notes, bigger chords, and significant ledger line reading requirements are the things that (to me) push this up from student to intermediate. But, I think that could also make it a nice duet for regular church pianists or even piano/organs duets? It is certainly my hope you may find it useful. I’d love to hear any feedback you might have for me after you’ve listened and viewed it below (or after you have used it if you decide to buy it)!

  

View Music


Apr 9 2013

5 Tech Tools for Church Musicians

The worlds of music and technology have always been closely intertwined for me, and I continue to be amazed at the wonderful software, hardware, tools, apps, and ideas being made available to musicians.  I’m going to occasionally highlight some of the things that I use (or that have caught my attention), but I would really like to hear from you as well and learn about some of the things you find useful.

music technology

1) Yamaha Clavinova – maybe it’s because my first piano lessons as a 5-year-old were on a Yamaha digital piano (group lessons in Singapore as a missionary kid), but I am VERY biased towards Yamaha in general (I’ll take a C7 Grand for the house if anyone would like to donate one!)…and Clavinovas in particular. They are just so incredibly versatile. All the recorded piano you hear on mincymedia (including all of my CDs) has been done on a Clavinova. Just the ability to transpose at the click of a button and record tracks for playback makes it worth its weight in gold for a church accompanist. I could write multiple posts on this…but I’ll stop now.

2) MultiTrack DAW – I do a great percentage of my recording via an iPad these days, and this app has been bullet-proof and a joy to use. It also has incredibly easy sharing features, including my favorite–the ability to share wirelessly between devices.

3) Alesis ioDock – pair the MultiTrack DAW above with this dock (which is what I use…$125-$150 new) and you have yourself an instant studio.

4) Orchestra – I love this app  just for its name, but it can also be confusing at first because it is not a music app at all…it’s “your to-do list, connected to everyone”. Think of it as a simple to-do list, BUT something that can also “orchestrate” projects and tasks between groups of people. If you are like me, you are always looking for better ways to stay organized as a musician, and this an easy–and FREE–way to do it.

5) Music Teacher’s Helper – I saw this the other day and, although I do not have a need for it personally, thought it looked like a really good idea. It is designed to help automate and manage most of the business aspects of running a music teaching studio. Just thought it might be of interest to anyone who teaches lessons.

So what about you? What is a tech tool you have found to be really useful?