There are many different styles and abilities of the Church Pianist. Some are experienced, others play only out of necessity, and I’m sure an infinite number of abilities between these two. Today I’d like to discuss the role of the smallest pianist, the child who may, if given the chance, be your very own church pianist in a few years.
Children’s Music in the Church
When I was a little girl of about 9 years old, I joined the children’s music schedule in our church. My big brother was already playing the piano, and I wanted to be like him! So I pulled out my copy of Oh How I Love Jesus and practiced for all I was worth. When my turn came around, I was proudly ready to play my hymn, complete with chords in the left hand!
You see, my dad was the music director of our church, and he strongly believed that children should be involved in church music. I still remember singing Jesus Loves Me with him when I had to stand on a chair to see over the pulpit. Some of my friends played the piano and some sang with their families. When we got a bit older we started playing the flute, trombone, clarinet, violin, and even accompanied ourselves while each other played their instrument or sang. Every Sunday night a child was on the special music schedule to play or sing.
But why go to all this trouble? It surely wasn’t always pleasant to listen to us pounding out our songs like a metronome, grasping for the next chord , or dropping the music during a page turn (true story!). We weren’t often tickling the ears of our church family and bringing tears to their eyes with our songs when we were young.
Was this some crazy, pointless exercise catering to the whims of small children? I think not. You see, out of the 10 or so children who regularly sang or played in front of church, one still sings solos and another sings with her husband. Two little girls who played the piano for offerings 20 years ago are now either full or part time church pianists. One young man who sang in church with his mom, now sings in his own church while playing the guitar.
Training the Future Church Pianist
When you let the little children of your church play Jesus Loves Me one note at a time, you are training a future Church Pianist. You give him an opportunity to serve God in that moment with both his talent and time. You train his nerves while he is young to play in front of others. You are training the child to serve God in His early years which he will hopefully continue to use for the rest of his life.
Listen carefully, ignore the mistakes, and think of the words to a beautiful hymn. Let the words speak music to your soul.
Will There be A Future Church Pianist?
The many backup tracks out there may cause you to argue the necessity of a future church pianist. Having a live pianist benefits the congregation in many ways, which I’m sure to write about another day.
For now, please consider the future Church Pianist of your church or another church like yours. Train your young people up so they will be ready to serve the Lord and minister to His people with music in a few short years. Consider the many churches at home and abroad who have no pianist at all. Your child may be part of this church one day. What a blessing they would both give and receive if they could fill this need!
Do you agree or disagree with this post that children should be involved with music in the church? I would love to discuss this further and hear your feedback in the comments below.
Are you looking for an easy hymn arrangement? Download Here is Love from our store today!