Essentials for the Worship Team Pianist
Equipping a student with reading and memorizing skills may develop a capable pianist but, nowadays those limited skills aren’t going to cut it. Most pianists are or will be called upon to play beyond the score and read chord charts and play with bands or worship teams. Preparing for this position requires good ears, knowledge of chords and a willingness to collaborate.
In our next 88 Creative Keys Webinar, we (Bradley Sowash and me, Leila Viss) are excited to have Drew Collins join us. He’s spent over twenty years leading worship and training worship leaders and musicians. This past summer, I invited Drew to a worship team workshop for my students and found Drew’s ideas so worthwhile that we decided to feature him in our next webinar: “Essentials for the Worship Team Pianist.”
Drew Collins has spent twenty years leading worship and training worship leaders and musicians. He earned his B.A. in Music from the University of Northern Colorado and his M.A. in Ministry Leadership from Crown College. A singer, songwriter, and liturgist, he lives with his wife and daughter in Denver, CO. I have the pleasure of being on staff with Drew at South Suburban Christian Church, in Littleton, Colorado.
In the first portion of the webinar, Drew and I will discuss:
- The three roles of a worship team pianist.
- The latest tech tools used by most worship teams.
- Tips on how to build required skills.
- What worship leaders expect of a pianist.
- Common mistakes pianists make when playing with a band.
- Characteristics of a strong worship team pianist.
- Some tricks of the trade.
In the next portion, Bradley will cover:
- What to play when unrehearsed background music is needed.
- Heighten your awareness of thinking and playing in musical layers.
- Tips for pianists about feeling the groove in a band.
- Improvising and/or arranging a traditional hymn for contemporary worship.
Don't miss this workshop! Even if your students don't play in a worship band, with this webinar you'll be able to coach those who may wish to play in a "garage band." You'll find all the ideas we feature in the webinar will crossover to any band experience. Your students will thank you. Bonus: it may give you the skills you need to play in a band yourself!