Hymns & Chorales

~ The most valuable resources for sight-reading are four-part chorales by J.S. Bach and traditional church hymns. 
~ Bach chorales and church hymns are like the “vitamins and minerals” of piano playing. ~

The regular practice of quality church hymns (such as the ones selected for WRP) have a myriad of benefits that extend far beyond just sight-reading, which contribute to the making of a complete musician. Practicing hymns teach pianists how to:

  • play with a singing tone and shape melodic phrases
  • maintain a slow but steady beat
  • employ ritardandi tastefully (that is, slowing down slightly at the end of phrases)
  • use the damper pedal correctly
  • play with flexible fingers (“yoga” for the fingers)
  • use intelligent “economy of motion” and play with little effort
  • apply slightly different fingerings as needed 
  • understand musical harmony (i.e., “music theory”) and thus read music more fluently
  • enjoy and revel in simple melodies and beautiful harmonies with no need to be a “virtuoso” 
  • and much more……
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