Piano Tutorial - Chording "By the Numbers"

Ronnie Murchison brings us a quick tutorial going over the 4 primary chords that will help you get started playing along with a lot of worship music.  Ronnie is one of the newer members of the divisional team, be sure to check out his bio, along with all of our details to learn more about who we are and the many ways our team can help you.

Ronnie Murchison, from the Texas Music and Arts Department presents a worship band piano tutorial, chording by the numbers.

Capo Tutorial

The Capo is a great tool for the novice or seasoned guitar player.  If you still have a bit of confusion about this device, or have never used one, check out this tutorial video.  It gives a step-by-step approach that addresses why and how to use the capo.  It's important to have a basic knowledge of open chords on the guitar before adding the capo.  You are welcome to review the guitar basics document beforehand.  Enjoy!

Where Mission and Fellowship Meet


What a great start to the 2014/2015 season of our Divisional Music & Arts Ensembles!  Over the September 12-13 weekend, more than 150 Sr and Jr Soldiers from around the Texas Division descended upon Camp Hoblitzelle to take part in one of our 5 divisional bands and 2 creative arts ensembles.  In addition to our youth groups (Contact, CAST, Texas Brass, Lonestar Brass, Bluebonnet Brass and Beginner Brass) we were pleased to add the Texas Divisional Band back into the mix, bringing 37 of our adult musicians and leaders together to play some great music!

So you may ask yourself...Why do we do this?  Why take the time get a group from your corps ready, pack up, hop on a bus and head to camp to spend a perfectly good weekend sitting in rehearsals, when I'm sure there are plenty of other things to do?  As the Divisional Music & Arts Director, I feel it's my job to ask these questions (and maybe you're thinking I don't ask them enough!).  And the answer I keep coming back to can be summed up in two words....Mission and Fellowship.

A few years back, I heard a speaker at our Territorial Youth Workers Conference speak about this.  I'm a little ashamed to say that I forget who the speaker was, but I clearly remember his message.  He talked about how our jobs as leaders in any church capacity is to create opportunities where mission and fellowship come together.  This really struck a chord with me as it relates to our programs.  We tend to be pretty good at both of these, but rarely do they come together.  I think we've all seen both sides of this coin.  How often have you been so occupied with the programs of your corps that you feel like you're busy from the time you walk in the door until the time you leave, and you realize you've barely had a chance to say hi to people?  Or the other side, have you ever been part of a group at the corps (Sunday School Class, weekly fellowship group, maybe even your music groups) where it never seems to go beyond the superficial "hang-put" phase? If we look closely, we realize that mission without fellowship produces burn-out while fellowship minus the mission produces boredom

I believe that these monthly gatherings at camp are so very beneficial to those who take part.  What a great way to stay connected to others throughout the Texas Division who are engaged in the same ministries you are.  But beyond being a good opportunity to hang out, there is a dual sided mission as well.  It is my job to ensure that these groups aren't just rehearsing for themselves.  There are places in Texas and the world who need to hear the message of Christ, and we have a special opportunity to bring that message in our unique way. (by the way, there are some exciting possibilities in the works).  But we also have a mission to disciple and encourage those within the group.

Hebrews 10:24-25 says this: And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

My hope and prayer is that you take this scripture to heart as we continue to gather together (next on October 4!), and also that you take this encouragement back to your corps.  These groups do not exist to give you a break from your corps!  Quite the opposite.  My hope is that your involvement would inspire you, as you grow, to examine your corps life and seek how God can bring deeper meaning to all you do.  It is then you will see the fruit!

I hope to see you all again in October, excited to share in this special fellowship and ready to get involved in the mission.  Congratulations if you've read this far into my ramblings....you win the prize! 

See you next month!


What does media have to do with Music and Arts, anyway?

by Joshua Muir

You may have noticed that the Music and Arts Department has started working in the area of media and audio/visual technology.  We've had a media major at Conservatory for 2 years now, and we've begun producing videos from within our department.  This is new for our department, and you may wonder why we are spending any time on these things.

Well, we see the growth in the use of videos, media and technology both in the world and in our corps on a Sunday.  Our department already is involved in teaching and resourcing our division in the areas of brass, vocal and contemporary music, as well as the creative arts of dance, drama, timbrels and more.  We see audio and visual media as a further progression of the Creative Arts.  Increasingly, we need skilled operators of the sound and video equipment currently in our corps.  Very often, these technologies are used to support our music and creative arts forces, whether in supplying the sound for a praise band or drama group, or providing the lyrics in a clear and non-distracting way.  This is best accomplished through careful planning, adequate training and practice, practice, practice!  Does that sound familiar?  Just as we train our Junior and Senior Soldiers in the various music disciplines, we should be focusing a similar effort in the art of running a sound board, or crafting a Power Point show.  

My mission in the Music and Arts Department is to

  • Provide training at the local level on all audio/visual equipment, with special attention to providing the best quality possible for our Sunday morning worship
  • Coordinate audio/visual ministry at the divisional level, to demonstrate the impact of using worship technology at the highest level
  • Generate video and audio resources that can assist the corps in their mission, either on Sunday mornings, or throughout the week, in addition to sharing currently available resources

I am happy to be a part of this amazing division, and hope you will reach out to me.  Let me know what you are doing locally and how I can help in any way.  

The media track at Conservatory has produced a few videos and I share the two final projects with you here as an example of what we accomplish out at camp.

 Conservatory Video Gallery.