Category Archives: contemporary worship

how to encourage singing

I’m a big fan of Nick Page‘s “no-fault singing” principle, which is summed up (quoting Duke Ellington) “if it sounds good, it is good”. Put another way, I believe everyone can sing – can make a joyful noise – even … Continue reading

Posted in contemporary worship | 2 Comments

what are our tropes?

I listen to a local Christian chain radio station (K-LOVE), for spiritual inspiration as well as for musical inspiration. I have found several really good songs that not only rock out, but also express an aspect of our UU theology. … Continue reading

Posted in contemporary worship | 15 Comments

vocal tools for “contemporary” singers

Voice Lessons Will Make Me Sound Like a Lounge Singer I think the title of this article pretty well nails how many “popular” or “contemporary” singers feel about “classical” vocal training. And the article gets right to the root of … Continue reading

Posted in contemporary worship | Leave a comment

cheaper than stained glass, too

Ellen Snoeyenbos has come up with a compelling metaphor – one of those that make you say “Well, duh. Why didn’t I think of that?” Multimedia is the new stained glass window

Posted in contemporary worship | Leave a comment

tools in the toolbox

Musicians have a lot of tools – our voices, our instruments, our gadgets (tuners, wrenches, cables, spare vacuum tubes, sticks and brushes, Leslie oil, etc.). Composers, arrangers and transcribers also have another set: ruled paper, pens, and software. There is … Continue reading

Posted in contemporary worship | 1 Comment

justice work: how do you start changing the world?

This is an exceptionally well-done amateur video, set to Ozomatli’s “Let Me Dream”. Money quote: “I just want to change this world by changing what’s inside of me.” What does religion offer the world? Yes, we hope we can change … Continue reading

Posted in contemporary worship | 1 Comment

how to make congregational singing engaging

Here’s some great advice from Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern, who was paying attention at General Assembly to what worked (and didn’t) in the music. “More Music Thoughts After General Assembly” There are many excellent observations there, but I want to … Continue reading

Posted in contemporary worship | 1 Comment

the personal politics of “dumbing down”

There are some people, a small but often very vocal minority, who regard contemporary music in a worship setting as too uncultured, too raucous, too uncouth. I invite them to consider the words of a high-toned playwright: ‘What I mean … Continue reading

Posted in contemporary worship | Leave a comment

out of your comfort zone

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of old ones.” ~ John Cage

Posted in contemporary worship | 1 Comment

stay right where we are?

Yesterday, after a contemporary music service, a friend said “you know, we HAVE to do this. There are too many other places people can go, if we don’t.” She’s a member of our UU congregation, but also frequents a Unity … Continue reading

Posted in contemporary worship | Leave a comment