For many years this teacher felt a need for such a course as this. With both children and adults from Christian backgrounds there was a desire to play the hymns we know and love so well. While there are many hymn arrangement books of excellent caliber on the market, they were either very simple or much too advanced for most of my pupils. Consequently, I began writing hymn arrangements on the grade level of my various students. These proved to be quite successful and my students began having better lessons because they enjoyed playing what they knew and loved. Also, they could use the arrangements for special numbers in their various churches.
For several years I wished that someone would write a course based on the hymn tunes. Finally the Lord burdened my own heart to write such a course. It was used with my own students for many months with good success before it became available to the public. Since being placed on the market, many teachers have written to say that it is meeting their needs.
There is one other note of explanation about the course. Although it is a complete piano course in itself, it is not this composer's desire to see all other music deleted from the student's musical training. The world is full of beautiful music and it would be an injustice to one's self to close the mind to the classics and all of the great masters of the world of music. There are many good courses on the market which teach the classics, and so it was not my desire to place just another piano course before the public; but one that has met the need in the lives of my Christian students who love the Lord and seek to learn to play for His honor and glory. Along with this course, study the classics if you would be well rounded in your musical training.
Another concern of mine was the fact that I would hear of so many piano students who had studied for as long as six or seven years and could play classical music quite well but could not play hymns from a hymn book. It has been my desire to see musicians trained to better implement the music in our local churches, and so beginning as soon as possible in my course, I have used the keys for the various hymns which are most common to our hymn books. I have purposefully kept the chords as they appear in the hymns so that the student may relate directly from my course to the hymn book. This should prove most helpful.
As the student strives to master the piano, technique books should be studied. "Hanon, The Virtuoso Pianist" (Schirmer Publishing Co.) is a must and should be started at about the grade two level. Carl Czerny was a master of piano technique and no education at the piano would be complete without a study of his works. "Selected Czerny Studies," edited by Emil Liebling (Theodore Presser Co.) should be studied around the grade three level. "Czerny, Opus 740, The Art of Finger Dexterity," (Schirmer) is a very advanced book with enough material to keep a good pianist busy for the rest of his life. Master these books if you would master the piano.
The study of these books, plus the beautiful piano classics of the world should not be an end in themselves however for the Christian pianist. They should be a means to the end of creating at the keyboard music that would bring honor and glory to our king of kings and lord of lords. He alone is worthy and deserving of the very best which our bodies and minds can produce. I humbly feel that He gave me this course and I reverently and prayerfully give it back to Him, to use as He sees fit. My earnest prayer is that this course will help produce musicians who will love Him and dedicate their talents to Him, to be used to help bring men and women and boys and girls to a saving knowledge of the One Who has truly put a new song in our mouths, even praise unto our God. If the above goals are realized then the purpose for the existence of this course will have been accomplished.
Joyfully in Him,
Mary Jo Moore