It’s About Expressing Yourself

Music allows us to express ourselves in deep and meaningful ways that can not be duplicated in any other way. Whether by voice or instrument, we can pour ourselves out, expressing deep, intense feeling and emotion. Can there be a more genuine form of worship?

No more paper. Ever!

The most gifted among us can do this without the need for music – the melody just flows from within. Others can memorize and have the freedom to play expressively without ever worrying about a page turn. And then there are those of us, like myself, who have been chained to paper music. We are forever fretting about the next page turn, or worse, dreading to turn 5 pages back to find a segno, and then 6 pages forward to chase the coda. For us, pouring ourselves into the music can often be a hit or miss affair.

Happily today, there is relief for those of us living in paper music jail. It comes in the form of an iPad, an app to display the music, and optionally, a wireless foot pedal to help turn the pages. Imagine how things change when your entire set list is presented to you page by page just by tapping, swiping the screen, or using your foot. Imagine jumping back to a segno or forward to a coda with just one tap. How might this free your mind to play expressively?

I’ve been playing piano and keyboards for just over 45 years. In all that time there has been no more important invention to my musical performance than the iPad, especially in worship. Removing the paper from the equation has freed my mind from stress and distraction, and it’s allowed me to focus on making a much more meaningful contribution to the musical experience being produced by the worship team.

Whether you choose NextPage or another similar iPad app, I encourage you to take the plunge and choose something. And give it a fair chance, meaning, try it for a least a month. Even in the most ideal situations, turning pages breaks one’s concentration and limits the depth of feeling that can be expressed. So making those page turns as momentary, as reliable, and as uneventful as possible is something you most definitely want to do.  Why? Because our goal is to communicate the music expressively, in the unique way that each of us can do, so as to impart the emotion and message of the music in a way that is meaningful to the listener.

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