Yesterday my server was down most of the day. Bummer! But today I’d like to review resources available from St. Paul’s Music Conservatory. I’ll review a Christmas CD, two student-level hymn books, and a (potential) RSO of the LCMS, David’s Harp. 🙂
Want to cultivate hymnody in your house? Listen to hymns! And if you have a piano, no matter how much you know how to play, St. Paul’s Music Conservatory has two books just for you.
Each book takes a piece from roughly each church season and then offers four arrangements of varying degrees of difficulty. This has been such a help to me, personally, even as an adult, because when our church organist developed cancer, and then our regular substitute had a baby, that left me! Years since I’ve taken piano lessons!
The books are great! The people are great and their permissions are generous!
Right now, the two books are Hymns of the Season, Volume 1 and Volume 2.
Volume one contains:
- “God Loved the World So That He Gave,”
- “Jesus Came, the Heavens Adoring,”
- O Jesus Christ, Thy Manger Is,”
- “Jesus Has Come and Brings Pleasure Eternal,”
- “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted,”
- “Jesus Lives! The Victory’s Won,”
- “To God the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray,”
- “Praise to You and Adoration,” and
- “Jerusalem the Golden.
Volume 2 contains:
- “Jesus, Priceless Treasure,”
- “O Bride of Christ, Rejoice,”
- “Let Us All with Gladsome Voice,”
- “O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright,”
- “God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It,
- “Awake, My Heart, with Gladness,”
- “O Holy Spirit, Grant Us Grace,”
- “What Is the World to Me,” and
- “O Lord, How Shall I Meet You.”
I love the arrangements of “God’s Own Child” so much that I play level 2, level 3, and level 4 back to back frequently as a prelude or postlude.
Also, there is nothing quite as soothing as hearing my kids play these pieces! This has really been a phenomenal asset. Get this for your kids or grandkids. Get this for your church musicians and piano teachers!
(By the way, the arranger is Elizabeth Grimpo, who also arranged My First Hymnal, Accompaniment edition, which I also really love. It has maybe 60 easy hymns in it.)
St. Paul’s Music Conservatory also put together A Christmas Album: Volume 1 CD. I love everything about it. The disc features familiar and less familiar hymns from the Lutheran Service Book and all performers work with St. Paul’s, either as teachers or students. I love it!
I also love that the money goes to such a good cause: reaching out with music for kids, cultivating beauty, and embracing the wealth of Lutheran hymnody! Today, SPMC has 12 faculty members teaching in the areas of piano, guitar, organ, voice, brass, strings, and winds and nearly 100 students stretching from western Omaha to Manning, Iowa!
A little birdie suggested that their next piano book may have varying levels of liturgy!!! Yay!
Last but not least:
Recognizing the need for the intentional development of young musicians as well as the need for funding within music departments to provide a music education with integrity, St. Paul’s has a goal of working with strategic partners in order to collaborate and network for the sake of music education in communities spread all across the country, including the establishment of additional parish based music conservatories. Working together with 316 Strategy Group, Fox Creek Fundraising, and other businesses, schools, churches, music conservatories and the like, SPMC seeks to raise funds for the support of individuals seeking music instruction as well as organizations in need of support in the area of music and beyond.
So they’ve helped to develop David’s Harp! “David’s Harp exists to print resources and establish centers for musical development in churches, schools and missions of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.” PERFECT! Here’s a link to their Facebook page.
If you’re interested in free resources for budding Lutheran pianists, here are a few of those, too, again embracing Lutheran hymnody. 🙂 In fact, I’ll just list a bunch of musical resources. Ha ha ha! The more the merrier!
- A Weekly Hymn Selection with Accompaniment
- Children Making Music DVD, put together by the former LCMS Commission on Worship
- Caroling books for Christmas, Easter, and Trinity!
- Hymns for Small Lutheran Hands, Vol. 1 Advent offers 24 familiar hymn melodies
- Organ Playing 101 (Videos below are 8-10 minutes each)
- Organ Registration — What do all these names mean and how do I know which stops to use?
- Hymn Introductions — How to add variety and interest.
- Hymn Playing — How to lead the singing of the congregation with appropriate tempo, pulse, and phrasing.
- Liturgy Playing — Ideas for leading Divine Service, Setting One.
- Liturgy Playing — Ideas for leading Divine Service, Setting Three.
- Leading New Hymns and Liturgical Settings — How to help yourself and your congregation.
- Super simple arrangements of Lutheran hymnody. First post here.