Archive | November, 2008

Developing Arrangements Quickly – Band on the Run Video

Over the years I’ve tried to streamline our rehearsals. Part of it is knowing that folks have other things they’re involved in. Like being with their family. But the other part is that sometimes we just don’t have a lot of time to rehearse. So I’m always looking for ways to maximize that time. At the WorshipGod08 conference I led a seminar called “Band on the Run” that tried to address this issue, covering topics including context, feel, instrumentation, and structure. The seminar was also designed to help churches that were less familiar with arranging songs for a band. Below is a video of the seminar that lasts about 75 minutes. You can download a …

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Encouraging Spontaneity in Your Church

While at the Christian Musician Summit this past weekend I taught a workshop on Encouraging Spontaneity in Your Church. We had about 200 folks crammed into a room that held about 150, so it was, shall we say, a cozy setting. At one point, I led the group in singing spontaneous responses to different sections of Psalm 100, similar to what we did at the WorshipGod conference.  It’s a form of meditating on God’s Word through song. It was moving to hear how God spoke to different individuals through that exercise. Here’s a general outline of what I shared in the seminar. You can download my complete notes here. Cautions About Spontaneity 1. …

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Why Theology Matters to Christian Musicians

This past weekend I spoke at the Christian Musician Summit on Why Theology Matters to Christian musicians. When Christian musicians get together, our tendency is to assume we all have our theology down and we can focus on honing our chops, discovering new gear, and improving our techniques and methodologies. Or maybe we think that theology isn’t that important. Whatever the reason, I wanted to make clear that even at the Christian Musicians Summit, theology matters. I started by saying that theology is literally the “study of God,” particularly as he has revealed himself in Scripture. It includes not only studying the Bible, but understanding …

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What is a Successful Christian Musician?

This past weekend I had the joy of speaking on various topics at the Christian Musician Summit in Overlake, WA, near Seattle. It was a very encouraging time, and I met quite a few people who were currently using Worship Matters with their worship team. Great hooking up with old friends and making some new ones. I mentioned to a few folks that I’d be posting my message and workshop notes on my blog. So that’s what I’ll be doing over the next few days. In the opening session I spoke on “What is a Successful Christian Musician?” I chose that topic because I know that when we attend large conferences led by highly skilled musicians, we can be …

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Together for the Gospel Live CD Pre-Order

The live CD that I mentioned in a previous post is now ready for pre-order at the Sovereign Grace Music site. Right now you can sample all the songs and download three songs for free: O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing Jesus Paid it All All Hail the Pow’r of Jesus’ Name Go on over and let me know what you think. The CD should be ready by December. …

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Listening to Music for God’s Glory

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking to the parents and youth of my home church on the topic of listening to music for the glory of God. The parent/youth ministry is currently discussing the book, Wordliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World. My message was something of an adaptation of a chapter I wrote for the book, called “God, My Heart, and Music.” I started out by saying God gave us music as a gift to direct our attention to him. In the Bible, music is connected with worship, weddings, funerals, work, play, and war. The basic elements of rhythm, melody, and harmony aren’t inherently evil or sinful. Non-Christians can …

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Together for the Gospel Live CD

Last April I had the privilege of leading over 5000 folks (mostly men) in worship a the Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville, KY. The sound was overpowering at times, particularly when we got to verses that unpacked the salvation Jesus secured for us through his substitutionary death. Since the conference, we’ve been asked whether or not any part of the singing had been recorded. As a matter of fact, all of it was. And we’ve been working on a CD made up of 16 hymns from the conference. They include older hymns like And Can it Be, It Is Well, and How Firm a Foundation, as well as modern hymns like The Power of the Cross (Getty/Townend) …

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New Christmas CDs (and One Old One)

Christianity Today offers a review of twenty Christmas CDs that are new this year. Hard to believe that many are being published. Artists include Travis Cottrell, Sara Groves, Fernando Ortega, Shane & Shane, and more. I hope to post any songs I find that may be worth considering. If you haven’t heard Sovereign Grace’s Christmas CD, Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man, you can preview samples at the Sovereign Grace Music site. We put this CD together a few years ago to add to the songs that glory in the Incarnation of our Savior. You can download the whole CD for 6 bucks at the Sovereign Grace store, purchase it  for 8 bucks, …

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How Do You Teach an Inconsistent Melody?

A friend recently emailed me and expressed a dilemma he was facing when teaching new songs performed by an artist who varies the way he or she sings the melody. My friend asked: When do we go with the lead sheet, and when do we go with the CD melody?  And when do we go with what is simple and consistent and when do we go with what is sung on the CD? I’ve faced the same dilemma. While I’m grateful for many of the new congregational songs that have emerged in recent years, they’re not always sung in a way that makes it easy for a congregation to pick them up. Phrases are elongated in one verse and not the other, melodies are changed, and sometimes …

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