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Written by

Anna Johnson

Deaconess Anna Johnson is a marketing manager at Concordia Publishing House. After graduating from the deaconess program at Concordia University Chicago, she continued her studies at the University of Colorado—Denver in education and human development. She has worked as a church youth director and served a variety of other nonprofit organizations, such as the Lutheran Mission Society of Maryland. Anna loves playing video games and drinking a hot cup of tea almost as much as she loves her cat and her husband.

Recent Posts by Anna Johnson

Music in Worship: Thoughts from Composer Mark Bender

Having served on the committee that created Lutheran Service Book and being a church music director, Mark Bender has a complex understanding of how music functions in the Divine Service. Mark also has published more than a dozen compositions with CPH Music. Hear from Mark himself about how he chooses music for worship and what tools he recommends to his fellow music directors.

5 Networking Tips for Church Music Directors

God created us to be in community, and that applies to every aspect of our lives, including our jobs. If you’re a church music director, you need musicians to make music with, coworkers to run ministries with, and other music directors to learn and get help from. All these things require relationships—in other words, a network. Here are some ways to build a network that can help you continue to grow and move forward.

The Role of Music in Teaching the Faith

We know that music is important in teaching people about Jesus, but what does that actually look like? What practical steps can music directors take to teach not only music but also the Christian faith? Below is an excerpt adapted from Kenneth T. Kosche’s article in The Pedagogy of Faith, a book for Lutheran educators about teaching methods they can use in the Christian classroom. Our excerpt is from the chapter about music.

3 Summer Projects for Church Music Directors

If you’re a music director, your summers probably are balanced with catching up from the previous year and working ahead for the next one. Use some of that “working ahead” time this summer to step back from your regular weekly tasks and maintain the infrastructure of your music ministry. Some of the projects we suggest are to get your music organized, learn what music your congregation prefers, and recruit new musicians.

Summer Reading about Music and Worship: CPH Reads

It’s summer! Even musicians can benefit from taking a break, sitting down with a book, and escaping into a story or learning something new. Concordia Publishing House’s summer reading program, CPH Reads, is in full swing. This is a program for adults and children that allows you to select a reading plan, track your progress by earning points, and celebrate your success by being entered to win a grand prize. Here are some books about music and worship that are included in the program. At the end of the post, you can sign up for CPH Reads!

Meet CPH Composer Jacob B. Weber

Composer Jacob B. Weber began his musical journey as a piano student in first grade. He later studied church music and organ at Bethany Lutheran College and completed the master of church music degree at Concordia University Wisconsin. He was the kantor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church and School in Dearborn, Michigan, where he planned worship, played organ, led ensembles, and taught music at the K–8 school. Now, Jacob is the associate editor of music/worship at Concordia Publishing House. Jacob has published more than thirty works with CPH Music, including four new pieces this year. Get to know him by reading our interview with him below.

7 Handbell Techniques for Unique Sounds

While handbells are a relatively easy instrument to learn, they still offer complexity and much variety in sound. Even those who have played in handbell choirs for a long time will enjoy learning new skills and honing current ones. Here are seven techniques from Successful Ringing Step by Step by John A. Behnke that will help ringers have fun and get a variety of sounds out of the bells.

Adding New Music into Worship while Honoring Tradition

All art was once new. Over much time, works now considered classic earned that status and were adopted into people’s traditions. How do we embrace new music in our churches today, whether to adopt those works into our congregations’ traditions or simply to enjoy them on their own? Robin Leaver discusses this question in an excerpt below from “The Theological Character of Music in Worship.”

Lenten Reading Plan 2018

The Church’s hymns are filled with rich and beautiful texts that provide congregations the opportunity to put words of Scripture to song. This Lenten season, we invite you to join us in our 2018 Lenten reading plan. Each day, we’ll focus on a new hymn stanza and the associated Scripture reading that inspired it.

Featured Music for Lent

Lent begins in less than one month! If you’re looking for some special music to incorporate into your repertoire this season, here are some of our recently added Lenten selections to check out.