[Menvi-discuss] memorizing church music

Karen Gearreald karen118 at cox.net
Mon Sep 4 23:20:06 EDT 2017

If songs such as the doxology and the Gloria Patri will be sung every week,
you might want to find a music braillist who will transcribe those pieces
for you.  If the church has a song leader or music director, be sure to
confer with that person regarding the preferred style and tempo and dynamic
level for those songs.  Rehearse with him so that you are sure he is
comfortable with the way you play.  Be ready to accommodate his preferences
if, for example, he asks you to play at a slower or faster tempo.

I would also ask the director about his preferences for the number of
stanzas of all the hymns.  Whether or not he uses all the stanzas in the
book, be sure that you always know the number of stanzas that will be sung
for each hymn.  At least for a while, I would write down those numbers in
braille, perhaps on index cards which you can use at the piano for each

Don't hesitate to arrange for whatever help you need.  During the first few
weeks, for example, you might feel uncomfortable about the order of service
and the exact times when you should start playing.  If necessary, arrange to
have a sighted prompter sit near you so that any necessary signals can
unobtrusively be given to you.  As you become better accustomed to the flow
of the service, you probably won't need the prompter except perhaps for
special occasions such as Easter and Christmas.  Often the pastor or the
music director will give an obvious cue by what he says to the congregation,
such as "Please stand for the singing of hymn No. 1, verses 1 and 3."  Pay
close attention so that you derive maximum benefit from such cues.  
					Enjoy these new opportunities for
growth and service!
						Karen Gearreald

-----Original Message-----
From: Menvi-discuss [mailto:menvi-discuss-bounces at menvi.org] On Behalf Of
betina vega via Menvi-discuss
Sent: Monday, September 04, 2017 6:20 PM
To: menvi-discuss
Cc: betina vega
Subject: [Menvi-discuss] memorizing church music

Hello everyone:

I have recently been hired as a pianist at a Lutheran church.
Would any of you have any tips on how to quickly memorize and perform church
In the church which I have been hired, two songs will stay the same each
week, and three will change.
I am totally blind and I use Braille music and recordings that my piano
teacher makes.
Any help would be appreciated.

Betina Vega


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