Faithful Music Ministry Servant

I have been a faithful part of the music ministries of the church for 10 years.  I have sung in the choir, played hand bells, lead congregation singing, filled in on the piano and as choir director.  I've shared music with children and youth during Sunday school and special events throughout the year.  I have also been a representative of the church at funerals, weddings and community worship services.

In the past year and a half I have added praise band vocalist, keyboard player and even volunteer interim director to my music ministry list. I completed an annual CCLI licensing audit and have become more familiar with CCLI. I attended a sound system class that was offered when my current church upgraded their sound system and I have worked closely with a few sound people to learn as much as possible about successful sound production for worship. I look forward to learning more about this subject in the future.
I have chosen worship music, found lead sheets and guitar chord charts and when I couldn't find them I wrote them out myself.  I've made a mountain of copies from CCLI's Song Select, hole punched them and have worked to make worship notebooks that are in sync so we always know what key we are working from and what we are going to play on any given Sunday.  Once our music order was selected I worked with the pastor to make sure our MediaShout presentation of the lyrics for Sunday morning were correct for the congregation.

With the invitation to lead music in 2001 at my home church in Lawrence, Kansas and an opportunity to study church music and worship at Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology, I started a journey 10 years ago that has brought me to the Kansas City community and to my current church family. I have grown closer to Christ in my time here and I have gained more confidence in my God given gifts and abilities. I have also been lead to a deeper understanding of whom I am called to be.

I am called to share my talents in the field of church music ministry. God has prepared me and equipped me these past 10 years to serve. This is not a coincidence. There are no accidents in God's plan. All of the trials, tribulations, and learning experiences I have had have strengthened my knowledge and experience and made me an excellent candidate to serve as director of any church music ministry program.

Since I moved to Kansas City almost 5 years ago, I have been searching for a new music ministry position where I could share my skills. I have had to be patient and have learned a lot during my time of searching. I have always secretly hoped that my search would end when an opening would become available at my current church. Due to the events of the last year and a half I have almost given up hope in that ever happening and have since broadened my current job search to include several different states.

I have been praying about this for several weeks now and I believe with God's help I have come to the right decision. I am not interested in continuing on in just a volunteer capacity.  I would however welcome an offer of a paid position. I believe it's in the church's best interest to have strong, consistent leadership in the area of worship arts so that our church can grow and develop strong disciples. I am confident that I would be an asset to the worship arts program of any church and would work to further their vision through the ministry that is worships arts.


Win an iPad 2 from Musicnotes.com

Now through August 1, 2011, you can enter to win prizes from Musicnotes.com - including a grand prize of an iPad2, a hands-free bluetooth page-turner from AirTurn and a $100 Musicnotes.com Gift Card - the ultimate set-up for the new Musicnotes.com iPad App!

I am so excited to get a chance to win this neat package.  I was watching a concert on public television a few months ago and noticed that the entire orchestra was using iPads instead of traditional paper scores for the performance.  I would love a more streamlined sheet music collection and I bet page turns while playing the piano would go more smoothly as well.   

Entering is easy - just type your email address in the box on the website and click "Enter to Win" - the winners will be chosen at random after the end of the contest.

Prizes You Could Win!

  • Grand Prize (1) Apple iPad 2 (16GB WiFi only), (1) AirTurn BT-105 Hands-Free Bluetooth Page Turner, (1) $100 Musicnotes.com Gift Card
  • Second Prize $100 Musicnotes.com Gift Card + T-Shirt and Coffee Mug
  • Third Prize $50 Musicnotes.com Gift Card + T-Shirt and Coffee Mug
  • (10) Fourth Prizes $25 Musicnotes.com Gift Card + 10% Off All Musicnotes.com Digital Sheet Music Purchases for 1 Year
  • (10) Fifth Prizes Musicnotes.com T-Shirt
Take a second today and enter to win!


Video of the Week: Leading Like the Great Conductors

Today's "Video of the Week" is brought to you by Orchestra Conductor, Itay Talgam, who shares with us the unique styles of six, 20th century conductors, while illustrating important lessons for all leaders. 

I'm not an orchestra conductor but I gleaned quite a few ideas about leadership in music that I think translates very well to many different situations.  The most important message I gleaned was to respect the musicians you are working with and create relationships built on respect. 


{If you are reading this post in an RSS Reader and don't see the video below please click over to my blog to view}


Music Ministry Job Search: Progress Check

How's the job searching going? Have you written that killer resume and cover letter that you can't wait to share with the world? Are you in the final edit of your first YouTube video? Please share links to your projects in the comments so we can applaud your great work. We could all use a little encouragement!

Join me next week as we finish up our journey into job searching in the music world.  Through out this series I will cover Job Searching, Resumes, Cover Letters, Special Requests for Worship Musicians, Selling Yourself to Prospective Employers, and what to do while you wait.   


Prayers and Songs: July 24th, 2011

Prayers and Songs for Worship:

"He is Exalted" by Twila Paris

Our Lord, is to be praised forever and ever. Heaven and earth rejoices in his holy name. So, let us raise our voices in praise and thanksgiving this morning and open our hearts to let the truth and the light in.

Living God, we praise you for the many people in our community and in the world that are striving to be a witness to your peace. Who are learning to trust in your compassion and love. Through Jesus Christ we are forgiven and made new. Help us to continue to grow and flourish in your amazing love, Oh, Lord.
"Mighty to Save" by Reuben Morgan & Ben Fielding
"Be Thou My Vision" arranged by Jars of Clay

"Give Me a Clean Heart" by Margaret P. Douroux

"We Want to See Jesus Lifted High" by Doug Horley

Contemporary worship music selections and original prayers written by Emily Elliott for worship this week at One Spirit United Methodist Church in Kansas City, MO

Quote of Week: "Music's the..."

"Music's the medicine of the mind."
 ~John A. Logan


Video of the Week: "Choruses Lead the Way!"

Today's "Video of the Week" is a clip from CBS Sunday Morning that shares the impact that singing in a chorus has on the singers as well as the community.  As someone who has sung in choirs for years, I personally know that choirs are too important to be ignored by our communities and cut from our schools.  Everyone has a voice and needs to join a choir and sing.  Enjoy! 

{If you are reading this post in an RSS Reader and don't see the video below please click over to my blog to view}.


Quote of Week: "Take a music bath once or..."

"Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body. "

~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Prayers and Songs: July 17th, 2011

Prayers and Songs for Worship:

"Awesome God" by Rick Mullins

Our God is awesome! Full of wisdom, power and love for all of us. We can find comfort in his greatness. O Lord, bring us your wisdom and help us to feel the great power of your love.

"How Great is our God" by Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves and Ed Cash

Psalm 77:13-14 NIV
13 Your ways, God, are holy.
   What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
   you display your power among the peoples.
This message from Psalm 77 confirms how great our God really is. This greatness deserves our devotion and praise. When we align our wants with what God wants for us we are on our way to becoming one with Christ.
"Take My Life" by Scott Underwood

"I Love You Lord" by Laurie Klein

"Shout to the Lord" by Darlene Zschech

Contemporary worship music selections and original prayers written by Emily Elliott for worship this week at One Spirit United Methodist Church in Kansas City, MO


Prayers and Songs: Sunday, July 10, 2011

Prayers and songs for worship this week:

"Cry of My Heart" by Terry Butler

It is great to be in the house of the Lord this morning!  Amen!  To God be the Glory this day and everyday for we are a blessed people.  Let's turn now to God and be present today as we worship.
"Friend of God" by Gungor/Houghton

Living God, you show us the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence.  In following you we chose to love and never to harden our hearts.  Even when our way seems dark and full of trouble, one way forward always remains open, the way of trust and faith.  We trust and have faith in you O, God!

"In the Secret" by Andy Park

"New Doxology" by Thomas Miller (this was a Video of the Week)

"All I Need is You"

"My Life is in You Lord"

Contemporary worship music selections and original prayers written by Emily Elliott for worship this week at One Spirit United Methodist Church in Kansas City, MO


Thank You Musicademy!

Several months ago I was searching online for any free training I could find to help me become more confident in my knowledge of worship praise bands.  I needed something that would get me up to speed pretty quickly and help me learn the ropes so a more traditionally trained musician could lead a praise band rehearsal.  That's when I stumbled across Musicademy.

Musicademy is a UK based music school that began in 2003.  In 2005, they progressed from live lessons to worship instructional DVD's that cover vocals, keyboard, bass and drums.  These DVD's now sell internationally and Musicademy instructors are frequently asked to present at seminars and worship conferences all around the world.  They are passionate about what they do and continue to share online lessons, many website resources and a blog that helps improve musicianship in churches world wide.     
I was volunteering and my budget was basically nonexistant so I wasn't able to take advantage of the instructional DVD's but I have found the blog to be an invaluable resource.  I would highly recommend adding it to your RSS feed. 

Here are a few of my favorite recent posts: 

Where do you go for quality online worship instruction and information?


Video of the Week: "The Battle of Jericho" with Moses Hogan

I fell in love with the works of Moses Hogan the first time I sang one of his arrangements while attending Christian Music Summer School at Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Texas.  I was so sad to learn that the life of this amazing director and arranger of spirituals was cut short with his unfortunate death in 2003.

I just recently found a collection of spirituals Hogan arranged for solo voice called  "Deep River - 10 Spirituals arranged for Voice and Piano" that I have added to wish list and can't wait to buy when I get the chance.

This week's Video of the Week features Moses Hogan and his arrangement of "The Battle of Jericho".  Enjoy! 


Quote of Week: "A painter paints pictures on..."

"A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence."
 ~Leopold Stokowski


Prayers and Songs: June 26th, 2011

Prayers and songs for worship:

"Come Now is the Time to Worship" by Brian Doerkson

O Lord, with Noah you showed us how to trust and obey when the idea seems crazy and impossible.  You have called all of us to serve, to bring your peace to the world.  You have called all of us to love and to forgive.  And with your never ending promise in the sign of a rainbow we can strive to be the people you have called us to be.

"How Great is Our God" by Chris Tomlin
God, work within us so that we can turn to you at every moment.  So often we forget that your Holy spirit Dwells inside all of us, praying for us and loving us.  It is a Holy miracle that you trust in us and forgive us.  Help us to feel your constant, faithful presence in our lives and as we worship today. 

"Great is thy Faithfulness" arranged by Israel Houghton (this was also a video of the week)

"Purify My Heart" (Praise Band Instrumental)

"Give me a Clean Heart"

"Your Grace is Enough" by Matt Maher

Contemporary worship music selections and original prayers written by Emily Elliott for worship this week at One Spirit United Methodist Church in Kansas City, MO


Favorite Music Studio Blogs

I indulged myself today and spent quite a bit of time catching up on all the posts in my Google RSS Reader.  I love seeing what other musicians are thinking about and working on.  I also get some great ideas and inspiration.  Here are few of my favorites from my recent readings.  Enjoy!

Why Play for Your Own Enjoyment :: The Dan Starr Piano Blog

Opening a Private Studio :: Evolving Music Education

New Practice Helper (Mr. Potato Head) :: Pianimation

Floor Staff Carpet :: Jens Piano Studio

Recital Preparations :: Piano Escapades

Defining Yourself as Teacher :: Lowe Piano Studio

Do you have a favorite music blog?  Share your favorites in the comments.


Video of the Week: Will You Be Playing Piano Past 100?

At 106 years old, Alice Sommer Herz is such an inspiration.  In this short video clip she shares with us some of her thoughts on music and then a little Bach.  I hope I can be just as musical as I age.  Enjoy! 


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