Sale: James Koerts Piano Music

James Koerts’ piano music is on sale until Friday, December 31, 2016 (11:59pm).

These are pretty big discounts. I don’t know where else you can get a collection of 9 brand new Sacred Piano books for less than $12ea.

Use the Promo Code WINTER2016 and get 50% off your entire order of $50 or more!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Questionable Music Theory-Chords

And just for fun, here is a short video about music theory (chords in particular).

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Online classes with Faye Lopez, and Greg Howlett

Take advantage of online classes with Greg Howlett and Faye Lopez!

greg-howlett-picture

Click on photo to learn about Greg Howlett

faye-lopez-picture

Click on picture to learn about Faye Lopez

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning in 2017, you will be able to take online classes with Greg Howlett, or Faye Lopez, one of Conservative Christian Music’s most prolific composers.

Through Greg’s website, you’ll be able to take private lessons, master classes, and college prep theory classes.

If at all possible for you, I would highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity from some amazing composers and arrangers!

I personally have had some opportunity to take some classes from Faye, and she is a wonderful person, and excellent teacher, coach and mentor in my pursuit of excellence in sacred music

I met Mr. Howlett at the Pine Lake Music, Composer’s Symposium in Atlanta this year. Greg is a brilliant man, and an excellent teacher, arranger, pianist, and producer, as well. Though I have not taken lessons directly from him yet, I would highly recommend him as well!

Either of these individuals would be able to take your musical knowledge and skill to a higher level. As musicians in the house of the LORD, we ought to always strive for excellence. Both Greg and Faye have a heart to see excellent music in church settings and are launching this opportunity so you too can become a more excellent musician.

To learn more now, go to greghowlett.com

 

Posted in Accompaniment, Announcements, Education, Musicianship, Resources | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Read Music

Learn how to read sheet music in two minutes and 15 seconds…kind of.

Someone put together this short video, How to Read Sheet Music, highlighting some of the basic musical notations and their meanings in a comical way. Sometimes it’s good to take a moment off from all your seriousness and just enjoy something that makes you laugh.

In case you always wanted to know what a demisemihemidemisemiquaver was, well now you can.

Posted in Just for Fun | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Free Album until Sunday night!

Solace album coverSorry for the late notice, but until Sunday night, you can get a FREE ALBUM!

Greg Howlett is generously giving away his brand new album, Solace, for FREE until Sunday night. As the name implies, it is an album of quiet, background like music that is peaceful and refreshing. Get it for free while you can by clicking the link or the picture!

Songs include:

Sweet Hour of Prayer

Day by Day

Hiding in Thee

Holy, Holy, Holy!

Near The Cross

Christ Arose

The Old Rugged Cross

He Leadeth Me

Search Me, O God

Jesus, What A Friend For Sinners

Also, he is offering his complete set of 11 courses for 25% off right now! These are 10, no, 11 great reasons to jump over to www.greghowlett.com and check out his website right now!

If you are reading this after the Sunday, August 28th at Midnight, don’t worry, you can still get the album at Greg’s website by clicking here.

Posted in Free, Resources | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

20% off from Sheet Music Plus!

Hi folks! Just a quick note to let you know that Sheet Music Plus is offering a 20% off discount on choral, piano method, and concert band music until August 23rd so hurry on over and take advantage of this fantastic offer from Sheet Music Plus!

Choral Sale

Piano Methods on sale until Tuesday, September 13th
Sacred Piano Solo Sale


Concert Band Music on sale until Tuesday, September 20th

Oxford University Press

Note: Any purchases made through these links will benefit this website and continue the work we have started.

Posted in Limited time offers, Resources | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Self-Centered Worship

I have found a helpful bit of advice on modern Self Centered Worship, from Australian worship leader, Darin Browne, at PraiseandWorshipLeader.com

This podcast explores self centered worship, and whether or not “I” songs have become the focus of modern worship music. They make the excellent points:

  • If we are going to worship, it must be centered on God. When modern songs fail to mention even one of His many names, it is hard to say if it is focused on the LORD, or a human fancy.
  • The “Formulas” vs. the Holy Spirit.
  • Choosing the right kind of songs for worship and choosing songs with purpose and looking at the meaning. Not using “throw away” songs. Time for music in worship is limited already. Every song should either point to God, or your response to God.
  • The call to worship.
  • Seeking God on every song you do. This is something that has been important to me, and I have personally seen this have a big impact in my worship.

Top five take aways:

  1. Choose lyrics and songs carefully. Choose the right key. Check out the lyrics and melodies to be sure you are not singing “junk” music that is not accurate, or is difficult to sing. Just because they are doctrinally or scripturally correct, doesn’t mean they are great corporate worship songs! Don’t introduce more than one new song in a week. Learning new songs isn’t usually the focus of worship in song.

  2. Ask why do you do the song you are doing. You need to have a valid reason for each song.
  3. Avoid formulas. Three fast, two slow…two fast, three slow, or whatever it be, God will not fall off His throne if you do it different.
  4. Middle songs should be about proclaiming God- i.e., He is Lord, Man of Sorrows, When I Survey
  5. Finish on song that directly glorifies God. i.e. How Great Thou Art, Agnus Dei, How Great Is Our God.

While these folks are discussing this subject in terms of a modern worship music setting, the same can be said for much of so called traditional music in worship. If this is your form of worship, take a hard look at the music you choose as well. This phenomenon is not exclusive to CCM.

 

Posted in Education, Musicianship, Sales, Worship, Worship Leading | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2016 PPMC Music Conference part 2

Music Conference photos part 2…

Vocal Class

Jim’s vocal class was well received. In the first session, he had the most students!
20160601,2,3 (29)For those of you, who haven’t had the pleasure of hearing him, he sings in a natural, easy style, that has really is a joy to listen to! A lot of people are preferring this over traditional classical operatic singing that typifies traditional church music. Jim showed that you can sing both praise and worship songs, and traditional solos, such as The Via Dolorosa, and not still project your voice, and add proper emotion and technique without sounding gaudy. One of Jim’s strengths which I believe added to this conference, is that he comes from a slightly less traditional background, having been a professional entertainer, and then later serving on the music ministry team at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, CA. He now leads the music at a Messianic Jewish congregation in Irvine, CA., and he possesses the ability and sensitivity to balance the technique and style. He understands both sides and their proper uses and was able to communicate this through instruction and demonstration._MG_1759

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim did a lot of private lessons in addition to the group sessions that covered the basic techniques. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of photos from this class.

 

Conducting/Songleading

Everybody loves Mr. Fox! He is a blast to be around, and he knows his stuff! Don’t let his this serious look scare you away!

_MG_1255

Mr. Fox. Photo Courtesy of the Shove Family

Too bad there isn’t a picture of the historical conducting devices which you would’ve seen had you been here, but I guess we will have to do this again, and you will have to come to his class, so you can learn not only the history, and beginning of conducting, but also learn some actual conducting skills (if you can between laughing!)

Doing what He does best!

Doing what He does best! (Photo Courtesy of the Shove Family)

 

Really, Mr. Fox was another wonderful asset to this conference, bringing many years of teaching and believe it or not, actual conducting experience! 🙂 He is also very expressive, and his students always have a great time and burn calories laughing from the fun in the process!

Mr. Fox also had the difficult task of taking 46 of us, with varying degrees of ability and experience (some not even reading music), and led us in making actual music! It really was amazing that he was able to pull it off!

_MG_2325

Photo Courtesy of the Shove family.

Each student at this conference was involved in either the chorale, or the accompaniment for the chorale.

Logan O. Accompanying the chorale.

Logan O. Accompanying the chorale.

In the short time we had together, we put together two anthems and a hymn, which were sung on Friday evening in addition to the individuals and groups that shared their gifts.

20160601,2,3 (78)We had a number of string players which brought their instruments and did a fantastic job accompanying us, as well as Logan O. on the piano, under Mr. Fox’s fabulous direction.
20160601,2,3 (81)20160601,2,3 (77)

 

Thank you to the Smith, Haymond, Osborn and Bisceglia family members who were willing to do a little extra and share your talents with us in the string ensemble!
_MG_2450

Photo by Treasured Moments Studio

Photo by Treasured Moments Studio

Really, all of you should be congratulated on your perseverance and hard work on learning some brand new (to most of you) music in just two short days! You all did an incredible job!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructor Forum

On Friday afternoon, we held an instructor forum, with the combined experience of the professionals to answer your questions. As you can see, we aren’t always serious!

20160601,2,3 (90)

If you were there, you would know what was said…:) 20160601,2,3 (83)

20160601,2,3 (89)20160601,2,3 (88)We solicited questions on Wednesday, and Thursday, and held the forum Friday. 20160601,2,3 (85)

Our purpose wasn’t to discuss the merits of Traditional vs. Contemporary, or to get into a divisive argument which doesn’t serve to help us worship. Instead, we deliberately steered the conversation toward things of practical value to any musician of any leaning, with the emphasis and encouragement of keeping a heart of true worship. We did seek to define what worship truly is, earlier in the week, and this discussion expounded on that somewhat.

 

Final Concert

The conference culminated on Friday evening, with a community evening of worship in song, led by the staff and conference attendees. Each of the students had the opportunity to put to use some of their new skills. All participated in one way or another. We had a chorale, special numbers, and community hymn-singing led and accompanied by the students and staff. 20160601,2,3 (93) 20160601,2,3 (94)

20160601,2,3 (95)

Mr. Smythe shared some history about the iconic hymn, How Great Thou Art, and then led us in singing it. This was his first time leading music for an event like this!

20160601,2,3 (96)

20160601,2,3 (101)

Vicki L’s powerful piano accompaniment on the hymn, “And Can It Be?”

20160601,2,3 (98)

Osborne sisters with Natalie L. brought us a beautiful trio!

20160601,2,3 (106)

Greg H. accompanying congregational singing.

Greg H. accompanying congregational singing.

20160601,2,3 (103)

Kristen and Amy H. Violin duet.

20160601,2,3 (102)

Cathy O., doing a fine job leading us in another hymn!

20160601,2,3 (116)

These two sisters in Christ, shared an Acapella arrangement they created of “Oh Glorious Love” by John Peterson. Wish you could’ve heard it! It was very beautifully done.

Mrs Smythe Leads singing for her first time!

Mrs Smythe Leads singing for her first time!

20160601,2,3 (114)

20160601,2,3 (131)

Mr. Fox leading, with student accompaniment. BeccaLee S. and Mrs. Lopez, on the piano with string ensemble and organ.

20160601,2,3 (105)

Community members joined us for a night of worship in song.

After we had sung the last song and acknowledged our incredible director, Mr. Fox, he said he had one more thing to do and handed me an envelope with donations he and Mrs. Lopez had collected so that I could go to the Pine Lake Composer’s Symposium in Atlanta, GA. Only Mrs. Lopez knew I wanted to go to this, and she “put a bug in someone’s ear” suggesting they do this. 

Receiving the generosity of the students! Photo Courtesy of the Shove Family

Receiving the generosity of the students! Photo Courtesy of the Shove Family

_MG_2458

Photo courtesy of the Shove family

I was so overwhelmed! We had just, by the grace of God, had the most wonderful conference, and then to top it off, the kind generosity of so many of the students, which allowed me to go and learn from the likes of Joe Martin, Mary McDonald, Brant Adams, Victor Jackson, Robert Sterling, and Brad Nix. THANK YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH!! it was an incredible “Composium” which I will write about in the next blog post, God willing.

 

Mr. Kenny Shove Jr. Assisting with technical aspects such as sound, and recording.

Kenny S. Assisting with technical aspects such as sound, and recording. Photo Courtesy of the Shove Family.

_MG_0977

Maria B. taking photos. Photo Courtesy of the Shove Family.

20160601,2,3 (72)

Josiah P. photo crew. (in the background is James S.) Photo Courtesy Shove Family

IMG_0143

The Instructional staff. Photo Courtesy of the Shove Family

All of you who attended made this a fantastic conference, which was better than I could’ve hoped for and all of you who didn’t make it, missed a great conference!  Lord willing, we will do this again in the future.We have identified a number of areas that people are looking for further training in, and hope to be able add those as well. We are currently praying about what the LORD would have us to do. If you would join with us in this, we would greatly appreciate it!

Posted in Accompaniment, Education, Musicianship, Vocals, Worship Leading | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2016 PPMC Music Conference Part 1

On June 1-3, 2016, we held the very first Powerful Praise! Music Conference, at Opportunity Presbyterian Church, in Spokane Valley, WA!

20160601,2,3 (1)-3

Our welcome banner

Forty-six musicians and worship leaders from as far south as Southern California, and as far North, as North Dakota, showed up to learn how to improve their musicianship in order to make God’s praise glorious! It was an awe-inspiring time with representatives of several different denominations including Presbyterian, Baptist, United Methodist, Messianic, and Non-Denominational churches. I really appreciated the oneness in spirit that everyone had-we were here for the purpose of learning to bring our Lord and Savior praise through music, in the best possible ways, preparing our hearts, minds, and bodies (through excellent technique and practice), to bring Him the very best we can.

We had instruction in piano accompaniment, modulations, arranging, master classes, playing the message of the music, vocal techniques, singing with proper form, projection, mic techniques, conducting hymns for congregational singing, conducting choirs and  ensembles, understanding your audience, understanding the difference between praising God and putting on a performance, a forum with the experts, and hands-on practice. This is only a partial list of the many, many things taught during this two-day conference.

Our instructors were Faye Lopez (piano accompaniment), Brian Fox (song leading and directing), and Jim White (Vocals). Mr. Tom Wylie was invaluable behind the scenes with technical aspects making things run smoothly, as well as Logan O., and the Shove, Pinkerton, Smith and Haymond families. And I can’t fail to mention the gourmet refreshments and service which were graciously provided by the John Smythe family! Thank you all for your servant’s heart and your gracious generosity in giving of time and resources to help out in making this a success!

This has been the culmination of a vision which has been such a joy to see come together!  THANK YOU TO All who participated, helped get out the word, attended, gave of your time and resources, and made this conference happen. It would’ve been a lonely endeavor without you!

At the close of this two day conference, after the choir sang, and we acknowledged our amazing conductor, I was presented with an envelope of donations which they had collected unbeknownst to me, so that I could go to Pine Lake Music’s Composer’s Symposium, I had heard about through Mrs. Lopez. I will tell more about that in part 2. Thank you to all who donated toward this!

As people arrived, they checked in with Tom W. and received their name tag and personalized folders.20160601,2,3 (15) 20160601,2,3 (16)

Photo Courtesy of Shove Family

Photo Courtesy of Shove Family

Everyone received a name tag and a folder with sheet music (several octavos and a new hymn), instructions, and notes, as well as information on copyrights and church music complimentary of CCLI, and Hymnprovisation.com

20160601,2,3 (18)

 

 

We were blessed to have 46 worship leaders, pianists, vocalists, and fellow musicians from South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California! It was a great group of people who sought to improve their skills in musicianship, and to learn how to make excellent music in praise to God.

We began on Wednesday evening, with welcome, introductions, announcements, and a concert by our instructors, Brian Fox, Jim White, and Faye Lopez.

Mr. Fox was Master of Ceremonies, and led in corporate worship at the beginning of the group sessions, as well as conducting the chorale, and string ensemble, and teaching conducting and song leading. We began with the introduction of a brand new hymn by Faye Lopez, Blest Be The Tie, which was fitting for this conference seeing as we had many people from many denominational backgrounds, who all were come together to make God’s praise excellent!

20160601,2,3 (23)

Mr. Fox, taught conducting and song leading and was MC for this conference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We began with introductions and learning the new hymn, "Blest Be The Tie", by Faye Lopez

We began with introductions and learning the new hymn, “Blest Be The Tie”, by Faye Lopez

After the the introductions and announcements, the rest of the evening was dedicated to hearing from Faye Lopez and Jim White, as they shared the gifts God has entrusted to them, with us. Part of the purpose of this was to hear what they are able to do with the training and experience they have gained from years of practice, performance, worship, and teaching.

20160601,2,3 (26)

20160601,2,3 (32)20160601,2,3 (35)20160601,2,3 (36)

J.W. Pepper was also on hand with four tables of music, books, and resources for those involved in music ministry, and if they didn’t have what you were looking for here, they offered free shipping to conference attendees! 20160601,2,3 (57)

20160601,2,3 (45)20160601,2,3 (14)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was intended to be a “hands-on” music conference. Each student was encouraged to try out and implement the techniques they were learning, and each who wanted it, had the opportunity to present, accompany, or lead the singing at the final concert and community hymn sing.

20160601,2,3 (67)

BeccaLee S. taking notes.

20160601,2,3 (73)

20160601,2,3 (64)

Practicing

Impromptu singing at the breaks in the wonderfully acoustic lobby!20160601,2,3 (60) _MG_1636

Piano Accompaniment Class

We were very, very blessed, to have published composer, teacher, and pianist, Faye Lopez, all the way from Bob Jones University, in South Carolina, come out and teach piano accompaniment. The wonderfully expressive Mrs. Lopez, shared from her years of experience teaching, playing, arranging, and writing music. In addition to the regular sessions, she also did a couple of Master Class sessions, where students could present a piece they had been working on, and receive instruction on how to improve their technique, the way they think of the music, the way they express their music and much, much more, in a mutually encouraging, constructive environment!

20160601,2,3 (51)20160601,2,3 (49) 20160601,2,3 (56)Students were encouraged share a song they had been working on, with the purpose of improving techniques through excellent instruction. 20160601,2,3 (48)

There were also a limited number of private lessons available from Mrs. Lopez for an additional cost.

Break time…

During the breaks, there were numerous opportunities for networking, and to learn from others, browse, and purchase sheet music from JW Pepper, practice what you learned, play or sing music in the lobby with others, or simply relax and enjoy the incredible refreshments provided by the John Smythe Family!

20160601,2,3 (46)

20160601,2,3 (42) 20160601,2,3 (41) 20160601,2,3 (40)

20160601,2,3 (58) 20160601,2,3 (59)

 

Click here for part 2 with more photos…

 

All photos on this page unless otherwise noted, are ©2016 Treasured Moments Studio. You can find out more about Treasured Moments Studio here.

Posted in Accompaniment, Education, Musicianship, Vocals, Worship Leading | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Half off on All Koerts Piano Solos!

James Koerts is offering his piano solos for half off, until Saturday, May 21. Go here to take advantage of his offer.

Posted in Discounts, Limited time offers, Resources | Tagged , , | Leave a comment