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How to Get Middle Schoolers to Participate in Choir Class

Students, especially middle schoolers on the cusp of adulthood, long to be treated with respect and dignity; however, as music teachers, it is often tempting to search for music we think might be popular with our students regardless of musical, or spiritual, value. As soon as we recognize that kids can tell when we are trying to cater to their childishness rather than help lead them toward a mature adulthood, we can see how valuable hymns are in teaching our middle schoolers.

Emmanuel Has Come—Even to Tired Church Musicians

As Christmas approaches, everything around us tells us to be merry and happy—and we should be as we rejoice at the remembrance of the birth of Christ. For us church musicians, though, this time of year finds many of us busy, anxious, and stressed, a far cry from the Christmas cheer everyone around us espouses. Fortunately for us, our tasks during this season lead us to the truth, the ultimate cause of rejoicing.

Five Simple Ways for Church Organists to Improve Their Playing

Between learning music for each week, leading rehearsals, teaching, and keeping up with regular life responsibilities, it can be hard for working church musicians to focus on their musical growth. But growing as a musician is one of the most important and fun parts of your work. So how do you make it happen?

Here are some simple ways to keep your musical growth a priority as you keep up your regular responsibilities at church.

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.

5 Essential Tasks for Music Directors before Summer Ends

The end of summer is drawing near, which means that regular music rehearsals will begin again for most church musicians. Here are five essential things for music directors to do in order to make a smooth transition into fall.

4 Ways for Church Music Directors to Recharge during Summer

It is hard to believe that summer is already nearing its end. For me personally, it has been a time to rest and enjoy traveling and relaxing. Although I realize it is not always that way for everybody, I imagine that many people, especially church workers, have a bit more of a relaxed schedule during the summer. In particular, the summer is a time during which church musicians can catch their breath.

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.

How Church Musicians Can Find Rest during Holy Week

One church musician cancels her piano lessons during Holy Week. Another decides not to travel to visit family during spring break because Holy Week is coming up too soon. The looks and brief conversations between church musicians during this time admit an exhaustion that accompanies this premier week of the Church Year.

Music as a Teaching Tool

Have you ever wondered why it’s so easy to remember the lyrics to that one song you heard on the radio but it’s so hard to remember Luther’s explanation of the Fifth Commandment? That’s because when you put things to music, they’re much easier to memorize.

Keeping Special Musicians Engaged after Christmas

It is often at Christmas that church music directors pull out all the stops—and all the special musicians. Special musicians, whether they are singers or instrumentalists, are usually willing to share their talents at this festive time of year. But how can church music directors engage these other musicians all year round?