This course includes four hours of instruction and a study guide with classwork and examples. Church pianists are influential. Often, they are one of the biggest influences on the overall worship atmosphere in a worship service.
The queen of all church piano skills is accompanying your congregation when they sing. If you want to make a more positive impact in your church music, this is the first area you need to focus on.
In this four hour course, you will learn:
- The history, goals, and challenges of congregational accompaniment
- The theory behind this style of improvisation
- A simple 4-step process that will get you playing congregational music in a solid, effective style
- Ways to develop the style to a much higher (and fancier) level
- Four ways to make your left hand more interesting and less predictable
- Multiple strategies for fills (filling in dead space)
- How to play songs in compound meter (3/8, 6/8, and 9/8)
- How to adjust to different styles such as reflective songs and big anthems
- How to play introductions
- How to work with a song leader
This course includes a 60-page study guide with examples and assignments to help you learn these skills.
There are two main sections. In the first section, you will learn a basic style that will make you a fairly simple but effective congregational accompanist. The second section teaches numerous strategies to help you play in a more complex and interesting way.
This course is based on theory. The goal is to get pianists to read chords rather than notes. In fact, step 1 of the 4-step process is learning how to identify the chords in a song. Many courses and classes that teach congregational accompaniment do not take this unique approach. Instead, they give shortcuts that get the pianist playing the style faster but limit their long-term potential.
The ability to identify chords in a song is critical to being all you can be as a church pianist and is a building block of practically every course available here. Make sure you spend some time on this skill before you start more advanced courses. This is a course that will really help you.
We suggest that you know the following to be able to understand this course:
- How to read music (general basics such as naming notes, counting, key signatures, etc.).
- Basic theory. You need to know how to play a major scale. Ideally, you can build simple chords such as major and minor triads. If you need help in this area, consider purchasing Theory for Church Pianists.
- How to identify chords and chart a song. You should be able to work through a typical song in the hymnal and write in the chords you see. If you need help in this area, consider purchasing the course How to Chart a Song.