Prelude Blog

Drawing from the Well of Inspiration

Posted on Nov 9, 2021 9:00:00 AM by Omaldo Perez in Hymnody, in Music Ministry, in writing, in music

“Anybody can write . . . that is easy, but to write with a specific audience in mind, using the right amount of amusement and persuasion, to address them in a manner that is relevant and insightful, while offering practical advice in a convivial manner—that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”

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Lessons and Carols for Advent

Posted on Oct 14, 2021 9:00:00 AM by Chris Cherwien in Hymnody, in Advent, in music

“Now we wait. We wait for the child to be born.
We wait for the newness that God is bringing into the world.”

Advent is a season of anticipation, longing, and hopefulness. This year, after almost two years in a pandemic, these themes, and the emotions that they invoke, are heightened. We long to see signs in our lives and in our communities that Jesus is present. We need to hear the promises that only God can give.

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Routine Relieves Anxiety

Posted on Sep 16, 2021 9:00:00 AM by Andrea Baxter in Music Ministry, in COVID-19, in Coronavirus, in music

One year, I went to a workshop led by the guru of all things having to do with children’s choirs in the church, Helen Kemp. Helen said something simple that rocked my world that year. She said, “Routine relieves anxiety.” In fact, she had a big, beautiful poster with those words that I can still see in my mind’s eye. Helen already knew what I would soon learn and put into practice. When children know what to expect—when they know that the routine of the rehearsal will include things like sitting in a seat labeled with their name; a sung, responsive roll call; a warm-up; a hymn; anthems; then a closing prayer, for example—they come to rehearsal without fear of the unknown. This healthy, predictable environment provides a safe place to be open and learn.

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Hymns That Speak to Our Times

Posted on Jun 8, 2021 9:00:00 AM by Julie Grindle in Hymnody, in Music Ministry, in music

“Spirit, open my heart to the joy and pain of living. As you love may I love, in receiving and in giving. Spirit, open my heart.” (ACS 1043)

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The Piano as Song Enlivener

Posted on May 20, 2021 9:00:00 AM by Andrea Baxter in Music Ministry, in music

As a pianist who is not an organist, I sometimes lament the inability to aid the assembly’s song with sustained sound. After all, the attack of a hymn’s final chord is immediately followed by a decay, or dying away, of the sound on the piano. My experience has been that congregations often follow that lead and pull back with their voices, rather than hold on to a final chord with gusto.

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