Course Description

This course includes one hour of instruction and a study guide with classwork and examples. Lead sheets have been around for decades, but are becoming very popular in churches. They consist of just a melody line and chords. While they can be intimidating at first, pianists that practice will quickly get to the point where they prefer reading lead sheets to 4-part harmony in a hymnal.

If you are scared of lead sheets, this 1-hour course is for you! It includes a 15-page study guide with illustrations and assignments.

Here is what you will learn:

  • How to convert a 4-part hymn into a lead sheet
  • Voicing tips to make your chords sound great
  • Accompanying from a lead sheet
  • Congregational accompaniment from a lead sheet

This is an entry-level course, and it opens the door to many other advanced topics such as reharmonization, arranging, transposing, and much more.

Suggested Prerequisites

We suggest that you know the following to be able to understand this course:

  1. How to read music (general basics such as naming notes, counting, key signatures, etc.).
  2. 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.
  3. (Optional, but highly recommended.) 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.