Think Pieces

5 Keys to Refresh Your Musical Palette

5 Keys to Refresh Your Musical Palette

5 Keys to Refresh Your Musical Palette   Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut when it comes to the music you listen to? Our musical preferences tend to follow certain predictable patterns. Most people prefer listening to genres of music they grew up with and it...

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Music through the Eyes of Faith by Harold Best

Music through the Eyes of Faith by Harold Best

Music through the Eyes of Faith by Harold M. Best (Harper Collins, 1993) is not a heavy read, but it’s not light either; the author is obviously well trained in both music and logical thinking. The book is a little dated (1993), but in terms of foundational...

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What is a modern hymn?

What is a modern hymn?

There are a lot of opinions flying around these days about what constitutes a hymn. Because I write, study, and speak about music, I frequently come across questions about what hymns are and whether we can write and sing modern hymns in the church today. I’d like to...

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3 Reasons I’m Excited About Millennials

3 Reasons I’m Excited About Millennials

Bashing Millennials has become a favorite pastime. Just today I was scrolling social media and came across an ad for a “dry bar comic.” His entire 5 minute mini-routine consisted of making fun of the generation born between the early 1980’s and the late 1990’s. I know...

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12 Tips for Top Notch Home Recordings

12 Tips for Top Notch Home Recordings

12 Tips for Top Notch Home Recordings Are you ready to produce a recording for family and friends? Maybe you want to try your hand at a YouTube music video, but you don’t know quite where to start. No problem! We’ve put together a list of 12 tips for creating quality...

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What Do We Sing For Fun Around Here

What Do We Sing For Fun Around Here

What Do We Do For Fun Around Here? I spend a lot of my time talking about sacred music and holiness in worship—so much so, in fact, that I’m often asked whether it’s okay to listen to secular music at all! Should Christians ever “loosen up” and listen to music just...

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What’s the Big Deal About Harmony

What’s the Big Deal About Harmony

What’s the Big Deal About Harmony? We talk a lot about the importance of melody in our singing. Melody carries the message of the song, helps us think about the words, and sticks in our minds long after the song is over. But melody alone lacks power. It needs the...

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Are You Suffering from O Holy Night Syndrome

Are You Suffering from O Holy Night Syndrome

Are You Suffering from O Holy Night Syndrome? We’ve all seen it happen. A dearly beloved church member gets up to sing a solo on Sunday morning. He or she looks a bit jittery, and with eyes glued to music, begins to sing. From the first warbly note, people in the...

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Why Vocal Clarity Is Essential in Sacred Music

Why Vocal Clarity Is Essential in Sacred Music

Why Vocal Clarity Is Essential in Sacred Music Music is powerful. Music alone, without words, has the power to stimulate emotions in us. It can make us feel happy, sad, excited, awestruck, angry, or fearful. But add words to the mix, and music carries us a step...

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Singing? Have an Extra Glass of Water

Singing? Have an Extra Glass of Water

Singing? Have an Extra Glass of Water First Have you ever watched a singer who was struggling to get the sound out? I always feel a pang of sympathy when I see someone coughing between verses, licking their lips and swallowing in an attempt to overcome dry mouth, or...

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10 Blessings & Challenges You Get on the Road

10 Blessings & Challenges You Get on the Road

10 Blessings & Challenges You Get on the Road Blessings 1.     Experiencing gracious treatment People tend to roll out the red carpet for you as a special guest.  We've been able to experience a lot of gracious treatment that we may never have received if we...

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12 MORE Blessings and Challenges from Road Life

12 MORE Blessings and Challenges from Road Life

12 MORE Blessings and Challenges from Road Life 1.     Getting a "panoramic view" of Christianity This is pretty cool!  We have the opportunity to see a wider cross-section of our churches and their condition.  This is an enormous help as we see trends wash across...

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Does Melody Matter

Does Melody Matter

Does Melody Matter? If you grew up going to church, chances are good that one of the first songs you learned was “Jesus Loves Me.” It’s a simple melody, but it carries some important truths. And because those truths are set to music, they can be easily memorized,...

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Music Doesn’t Make You Smarter—It Does Something Better

Music Doesn’t Make You Smarter—It Does Something Better

Music Doesn’t Make You Smarter—It Does Something Better Researchers have studied the effect of music on the brain for decades, and they have come up with a lot of different theories about how our brains respond to the music we listen to. Some of those theories have...

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What Will Church Music Be Like in 100 Years

What Will Church Music Be Like in 100 Years

What Will Church Music Be Like in 100 Years? Contemporary Christian music is not unique to the 20th or 21st century. When I use that term, I am not referring to the music industry that has co-opted it for the purpose of marketing and sales. I am talking about music...

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Pros and Cons of Downloads

Pros and Cons of Downloads

Music recording has progressed by leaps and bounds over the past 50 years. From the nostalgic record albums of the 1950s, we have rocketed through many different recording formats, including 8-track tapes, cassette tapes, and compact discs. Our beloved CDs finally...

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Are You a Worship Service Participant or Just a Spectator

Are You a Worship Service Participant or Just a Spectator

Are You a Worship Service Participant or Just a Spectator? The alarm clock rings. And rings again. And again. Mom and Dad stumble out of bed and cajole sleepy kids to scarf down their breakfast and find shoes. Kids dawdle, Mom and Dad frantically grab coffee mugs, and...

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