I have reviews to catch up on, but I’ll try not to string along too many of those lest you get bored. Although what better variety exists than the varieties of books now being written by Lutheran authors? 😉 So, anyway, here is a little update on my learning piano and the resources I’m using for that.
I’m mainly improving my keyboard skills so that I can play at church as needed, so I’ve gotten my own copy of the liturgy accompaniment book for Lutheran Service Book. This is not typically the first book you buy when you start learning piano! Ha haa, but I got it before the Hymn Accompaniment edition, just because a beginning hymn player is fine with an LSB.
I spend quite a bit of time trying to learn soprano, alto, and bass parts. (I’ve blogged earlier about this here, where I reviewed My First Hymnal.) Sometimes I do both tenor and bass parts, but organ often plays the bass line in the pedals so sometimes it’s just not possible to play both with a single hand. My musical training emphasizes bass as more important than tenor for “building” purposes.
Now, it’s a delicate balance for me. I studied clarinet performance at university so I know how to read music, count, etc. Still, following music typically written for organ is tricky business. I have to work on the balance of both musical elements and my own emotional energy!
So, my latest discovery is this. As a step before Basic Hymn Accompaniments II, there are Sunday school and day school resources more likely for piano than organ! While I am a BIG fan of organs, I am also relieved to find piano resources! So I’m working through Songs of God’s Love, and though we wouldn’t sing all those songs in church, like “Sunday School is Over,” you can tell that Songs of God’s Love was put together so that kids get used to many common hymn tunes sprinkled throughout.
Here’s a little preview from the CPH website.
That is, after a lot of diligent work, these days I try to play through Divine Service Setting III and Matins, I work on one or two pieces from Basic Hymn Accompaniments II, a piece or two from Hymns of the Season, Volume 2 (available here), and then I go to town and have a field day in Songs of God’s Love. 🙂
Makes me wonder whether the next CPH children’s hymnal will be written for piano or organ. (The musician in me wants to point out that children’s voices often pair particularly well with organ, even though I continue to think organs should be used in every church possible.)
Additional Resources for Learning Piano for Church
To finish up the post, here are a few other CPH resources that have come to my attention:
- Easy Hymn Accompaniments for Organ or Piano (This is from 1992 so it isn’t directly tied to LSB. Still it looks like a good step for me in learning piano arrangements of common hymn tunes.) 🙂
- The Communion Service with Simplified Accompaniment (This is for the FIRST SETTING in LSB), but I’m glad to learn about it and share in case it’s helpful to you.
Let me know if you have additional thoughts or suggestions!