Music in Worship: Thoughts from Composer Mark Bender

By Anna Johnson on Aug 14, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Having served on the committee that created Lutheran Service Book and being a church music director, Mark Bender has a complex understanding of how music functions in the Divine Service. Mark also has published more than a dozen compositions with CPH Music. Hear from Mark himself about how he chooses music for worship and what tools he recommends to his fellow music directors.

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Product of the Month: Worship Planning Book

By Peter Reske on Aug 7, 2018 10:30:00 AM

Worship Planning Book assists pastors and musicians in preparing services for Sundays and for holidays, such as Good Friday, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Eve. To make worship planning smoother and easier, the Scripture readings, music suggestions, an outline, and more are included for each service. The 2019 edition, which spans from the First Sunday in Advent (December 2, 2018) through Day of Thanksgiving (November 28, 2019), is now available. Here’s how your pastor, secretary, and music director all can make use of this book together.

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5 Essential Tasks for Music Directors before Summer Ends

By Mark Knickelbein on Jul 31, 2018 2:00:00 PM

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.

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Advent and Christmas Music to Start Thinking About

By Mark Knickelbein on Jul 24, 2018 10:00:00 AM

With things being quieter in churches and schools during the summer, this is a perfect time to start planning ahead for Advent and Christmas. All our new pieces for that season are compiled into our 2018 Advent and Christmas catalog. But if you don’t know where to start, here are some options to get your ideas going.

Topics: Advent Christmas
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4 Ways for Church Music Directors to Recharge during Summer

By Marie Landskroener on Jul 17, 2018 9:30:00 AM

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.

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The Role of Music in Teaching the Faith

By Anna Johnson on Jul 10, 2018 9:30:00 AM

We know that music is important in teaching people about Jesus, but what does that actually look like? What practical steps can music directors take to teach not only music but also the Christian faith? Below is an excerpt adapted from Kenneth T. Kosche’s article in The Pedagogy of Faith, a book for Lutheran educators about teaching methods they can use in the Christian classroom. Our excerpt is from the chapter about music.

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Product of the Month: Marvel at the Mercy

By Peter Reske on Jul 3, 2018 10:00:00 AM

“The center of Starke’s hymnody has always been the person and work of Jesus Christ, as revealed in Holy Scripture.”

Rev. Jon Vieker wrote that in the foreword to Stephen P. Starke’s new volume of hymns, Marvel at the Mercy. And we couldn’t agree with him more. Read on to learn about Pastor Starke’s new volume, his other published works, and how his texts poignantly capture the glory of our salvation through Christ.

Topics: Hymns Starke
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3 Summer Projects for Church Music Directors

By Anna Johnson on Jun 27, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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.

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Does the Memorization of Hymns Matter?

By Marie Landskroener on Jun 19, 2018 9:00:00 AM

We often use music as a tool to memorize things, whether they’re presidents, books of the Bible, states, parts of grammar, the Small Catechism, or any number of other items. The rhythm of songs and the catchiness of melodies make music a convenient vehicle to relay and hold onto facts, stories, lists, and so on. Music in this way serves a great purpose.

But have you ever stopped to wonder why we memorize things? Sure, instantly recalling a fact or name is good and useful and usually speeds up the work that needs to be done. But is there a greater purpose to memorization? Does music’s ability to make memorization quick and easy contain a higher good than simply recollection of fact?

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Summer Reading about Music and Worship: CPH Reads

By Anna Johnson on Jun 12, 2018 2:30:00 PM

It’s summer! Even musicians can benefit from taking a break, sitting down with a book, and escaping into a story or learning something new. Concordia Publishing House’s summer reading program, CPH Reads, is in full swing. This is a program for adults and children that allows you to select a reading plan, track your progress by earning points, and celebrate your success by being entered to win a grand prize. Here are some books about music and worship that are included in the program. At the end of the post, you can sign up for CPH Reads!

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