So here it is! My very first blog post on my website.
I never thought that I would be a person with a blog. I don’t use social media (except when my job requires me to). When I get home from work for the day, my phone goes away, and I rarely use my computer at home.
But here we are.
I have been a “Creative Church Pianist” for most of my life.
I grew up playing piano in the church. I took lessons from church members, played for preludes, came to Christ by approaching my music minister (who is still a close friend). I have been working in full-time Music Ministry for the last number of years and am currently Director of Worship at a church in Chattanooga, TN.
I have a lovely wife who is on faculty at the University in town. I always say - she is a far better pianist than I. She is the love of my life, constant supporter, and best friend. She is the one who encouraged me to put together this blog, so thank you honey.
So why a blog? And why The Creative Church Pianist?
Here is the thing…I grew up in the church. I grew up playing hymns and was turned on to contemporary christian music in youth group. I got two degrees in Jazz Studies because I didn’t really see myself working in the church for a living. I had dreams of being a professional Jazz pianist - and did quite a bit of that for a while. But God moves in mysterious ways. Apparently, he wanted me working in His Church after all.
My study and deep love of improvisation makes me a different kind of Church Pianist…dare I say a Creative one.
Being a pianist/musician/worship leader in the church is tough these days.
Some churches want all traditional hymns, some want nothing but the most contemporary worship music, and still others want a mix of the two.
How do we navigate this terrain as musicians? How much note-reading is too much, and how much lead-sheet playing is too much? Is there space for more creativity in worship? How do we most effectively plan worship in conjunction with our pastors? And what does real biblical worship look like, and what does that mean for us today?
We will explore these topics, and many, many others in the posts to come. Whoever you are out there reading this, know that you are not alone. All of us - pianists, worship leaders, musicians, worship pastors, directors of music, directors of worship, or whatever title you go by at your church - all of us can benefit from honest, open conversation with one another.
I want this blog to be a place where we explore a wide range of topics, from the practical to the profound, in an attempt to more capably glorify God in our worship.
So, whoever you are, drop a line down in the comments section, or contact me with questions, ideas, thoughts, or observations. I’m looking forward to this!