Priesthood, Relief Society, Young Women, Primary Pianists

Priesthood Pianist

  • Ideally should should be called and set apart.
  • Plays prelude and postlude for opening exercises.
  • Learns and practices good accompanying techniques.
  • Uses the metronome markings in the hymnbook as a guide for correct tempos
  • PRACTICES REGULARLY TO AVOID MAKING MISTAKES.

Relief Society Pianist

  • Provides music for Relief Society meetings, including prelude and postlude music (5-10 min. prelude and 2-5 min. postlude), hymn accompaniment, and accompaniment for special selections.
  • Accompanies Relief Society choirs.
  • Attends ward Relief Society leadership meetings.
  • Learns and practices good accompanying techniques.
  • Uses the metronome markings in the hymnbook as a guide for correct tempos
  • PRACTICES REGULARLY TO AVOID MAKING MISTAKES.

Young Women Pianist

  • Provides prelude and postlude music and hymn accompaniment in Young Women meetings.
  • Learns and practices good accompanying techniques.
  • Uses the metronome markings in the hymnbook as a guide for correct tempos
  • PRACTICES REGULARLY TO AVOID MAKING MISTAKES.

Primary Pianist

  • Should should be called and set apart
  • Plays prelude and postlude
  • Learns and practices good accompanying techniques
  • Uses the metronome markings in the Primary Songbook and hymnbook as a guide for correct tempos
  • PRACTICES REGULARLY TO AVOID MAKING MISTAKES

A few years ago I was in a Primary Presidency.  Our pianist was really terrible, and I say that with as much love and compassion as I can muster, but really he was.  The problem was that he never practiced.  He made mistakes all over the place and all the songs were painfully slow because he couldn’t play them very fast.  We had a very talented ward and there were plenty of pianists, which is probably why I got the opportunity to serve in the Primary Presidency instead of a music calling.  I’m sure the Bishop had a reason for wanting this particular brother to serve as pianist.  As we were drawing near to the time of the Primary Sacrament Meeting Program the Primary President asked me to have a chat with this good brother and convince him to practice.  It’s one thing to be on my students’ case about practicing but I felt a little out of place here.  I was angry with him that he would put us in that position.  I did have a chat with him and he knew perfectly well that he needed to work on the music.  Having someone tell him that it was bad enough that we heard all his mistakes finally got him to the piano to work out the problems.  We did the program and he did okay.  It wasn’t perfect but he certainly didn’t embarrass himself.  He simply needed to magnify his calling.

A few years later in that same ward we had an incredible Primary Pianist.  She wasn’t a very accomplished pianist, but she really magnified her calling.  She practiced a lot to avoid making mistakes.  She was there early to play prelude.  She always had a substitute ready to accompany if she couldn’t attend.  The thing that stands out the most is her organization of the primary children who played the piano.  With the okay of the Presidency, she organized a rotation of primary children who played the piano.  These children would play interlude music when the Jr. Primary was dismissing and the Sr. Primary was entering the room.  The children knew well in advance when their time would come to play.  They prepared Primary songs, most of the time simplified Primary songs.  These little pianists took their job very seriously and prepared well for their opportunity to play the interlude music.  What a fantastic way to train young pianists how to use their music to serve in the Church.

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