Marie Greenway has worked and volunteered as a church musician since childhood. She graduated from Hillsdale College with a degree in music and was formerly the music teacher at Immanuel Lutheran School in Alexandria, Virginia. Now, she has shifted from spending the day teaching other people's children to spending the days and nights raising her own. Marie continues to stay involved at school by teaching piano lessons and coordinating the after-school music lesson program. When she is not teaching lessons, answering emails, or changing diapers, Marie loves to go on walks, read books, sight-read music, hang out with her husband, and risk all dignity earning smiles from her daughter.

Recent Posts by Marie Greenway

Using Hymns to Learn or Improve Improvisation

I had little to no training in improvisation in my music lessons growing up. This lack of training combined with a predisposition to enjoy sight reading led me to avoid improvising at all costs—participating in jazz band always made me a little nervous.

Strengthening Our Singing Voice

The people of God sing throughout the Bible. The Israelites sang when they were delivered from the Egyptians (see Exodus 15). The women of Israel sang when Saul and his army—including David, who famously slew Goliath—came back from defeating the Philistines (see 1 Samuel 18:6–7). Singers were appointed in the house of the Lord in both the tabernacle and the temple. Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn after the Last Supper in the Upper Room (see Matthew 26:30). Not to mention all the instances of calls to sing in the Book of Psalms!

Music and Language Drawing Us to the Lord’s Supper

My husband and I recently received a little toy piano for our daughter. It is the perfect size for her. She sits on the floor and bangs the keys with her little fists, squealing in delight as the acoustic piano plinks out various clashing chords.

Congregational Singing and the Body of Christ

“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it,” Paul writes in his first Letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 12:27).

Why We Should Sing Children’s Hymns

The best things in life can be enjoyed by children and adults. This especially includes the music of the Church—specifically, the hymns we sing.

Fasting and Feasting on Music

I still remember my first Easter at my current church. In the lead up to that glorious day, we stopped singing the Gloria in Excelsis for Lent. As we drew closer to Good Friday, we stopped singing even more of the songs in the liturgy. Then, on Easter Sunday, after the pastor chanted “Glory be to God on high,” the entire congregation burst forth with “and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” like the music of the angels accompanied by an organ. The return of the Gloria provided great joy that Easter Sunday.

Ceremony in the Divine Service

“I was raised Catholic, but, I dunno. Mass is just … well, it’s so much ceremony.

This was overheard at a recent get-together. You may have heard a similar sentiment directed at the Lutheran Divine Service and its faithful use of liturgy. It seems that ceremony can be a bit of a deterrent to some, especially in our casual culture. But I would argue that it is the very ceremony of the Divine Service that beckons and invites those outside the Church in.

Music Education and Child Development

The ancient Greeks recognized the importance of music as part of a complete education. In the Greek gymnasiums of ancient times, men sought physical fitness through training, but education in music was also essential. Greek philosophers argued that music was important because it refined the mind. Gymnastics (or physical training) and music together completed a man’s education.

Do We Listen to Too Much Music?

I was recently listening to a podcast in which one of the hosts shared a personal anecdote about his attempt to not listen to music all day. He briefly related how he realized he had music playing almost constantly and found it incredibly difficult to stop listening for one 24-hour period. This experiment reminded me of the countless people I know who work with headphones on or earbuds in all day long. It is almost assumed today that music will have a permanent place in the background of most environments, be it the office, a coffee shop, or anything in between.

Pondering Christ in Our Work as Church Musicians

A common complaint in our modern culture is the swiftness of time. It seems like every month we look at each other and ask, “Where did the last month go?” For church musicians, this is especially true during Advent as Christmas approaches, more closely followed than we might wish by Lent and Easter. It seems as though there is never enough time to adequately prepare our music and our hearts for each season.

Subscribe to all CPH Blog topics (Worship, Read, Study, Teach, and Serve)