Music and the Church Workshops

These workshops are designed to help the church musician:

  •  Achieve a greater depth of understanding of their role and mission within the church;
  •  Expand their awareness of the inherent beauty of music and God’s presence within it;
  •  Refine their skills, enabling freedom of execution and a more prayerful presence.

Sing well, Pray twice!  (vocalists, keyboardists, instrumentalists) St Augustine of Hippo is quoted as saying “who sings well, prays twice”.  (Qui bene cantat bis orat).  Don’t let your song suffer from pedantic execution or lackluster performance. Whether you are singing or playing an instrument, learn some technics for getting in touch with those intangible aspects of music, which are the source of beauty and prayer.

Breathe life into your music. (vocalists, keyboardists, instrumentalists) Music should have life; it is an art form that exists in time and space.  It is more than mere notes printed on a page. The earliest musical instrument was the voice; all others seek to imitate and emulate it.  Through examination and understanding of the lyrics and text learn how to phrase music in a way that makes sense and allows for better comprehension and understanding for the listener.

Listen to the music, listen to each other. (vocalists, keyboardists, instrumentalists) The most important tool for a musician is your ear. Perhaps the most important tool in ministry is also your ear. See what a difference it makes when you listen to each other in a musical ensemble and how that kind of empathic relationship translates into ministry.

Heart and Soul: filling in the gaps.  (keyboardists) Everyone knows how to play Heart and Soul. Even if you’ve never formally studied piano you have probably at one time or another played either the lower or upper parts of this universal, musical ice-breaker. With this standard and ubiquitous chord progression under your fingers and in your ear you now possess the skills and fundamental knowledge to unlock, play and even improvise around many other harmonic progressions found in much of today’s contemporary music. Using this knowledge will free you up to recognize and interpret other progressions.

Music in the Mass.  (musicians, parishioners, clergy) Why does chant matter?  What is the importance of the church and Western Music?  Where did all these chord progressions, scales and rhythms come from?  Here is a brief survey and history of Western Music from chant to contemporary.  Make connections between chant and contemporary music you never knew existed.