Ever been put on the spot? I know I have!
Even after more than 30 years playing for several churches, I still haven’t heard every possible interesting musical request out there – even when I think the last one took the cake! Most of the time though, I love playing for church and helping people praise God – the fact that it is fun is what brings me back Sunday after Sunday. It’s a challenge to sight-read music on the spur of the moment and coordinate my efforts with the timing of the congregation. When things come together well, it puts a huge smile on my face that I rarely get from anything else. When things crash and burn, I smile sheepishly and look for some way, however improbable, to crawl under the piano and disappear – if only until the next hymn.
I believe that all of God’s children have a place in the choir. We all get different gifts to hone for useful service to the King. It doesn’t matter what the gift is – they are all equally important – as long as it is used for God’s glory.
While my time at the piano bench may be nearing a close, I know that there are others who are just starting a similar journey. How I would love to be there to help each one personally! Since that is beyond my capabilities, and in a Higher Department, I thought there might be a gift I can give new musicians…the gift of easier music. Each piece of music posted on this site is amply-spaced so that it is easy to read. Notes are large and the words are as unobstrusive as I can make them so that you can sing along and the musician can keep track of where she/he is in the verses without relying on someone to alert him/her by being startled with some unforeseen signal that causes the musician to come to a crashing halt and fall off their perch. Hymnals are often optimized for the singer’s range, but someone who suddenly comes face to face with 5 or more sharps or flats in the key signature really just needs the comfort of an easier key, so I transposed the hymns to something quicker to pick up.
I hope that helps! By all means, enjoy the songs for free! I have also recorded a version of each and put it on YouTube so you have something to aspire to as your experience grows.
P.S.: When I first started making videos, the words were not always very good at keeping in step with the music. I found a way to fix much of it, so I am posting remastered versions along with the originals that needed some attention. I hope that makes things easier!