Worship at the Keys

A Method Book

Non-Fiction - Music/Entertainment
74 Pages
Reviewed on 06/15/2018
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Author Biography

Donna Gielow McFarland taught herself how to play worship songs from chord charts when she was in middle school. Her love for praise and worship music continued on through grad school, where she was inspired to write her masters project on how classically trained pianists can learn to improvise for playing in church.

After receiving a B.Mus. in Piano Performance from Wheaton College and an M.Mus. in Piano Pedagogy from the University of Oregon, Donna taught a number of courses including piano, class piano, music theory and ear training at New Hope Christian College and, currently, Northwest Christian University. She has published music books including Follow the Star: Christmas Songs for Piano (Vol. 1-5), Intro to Piano: Class Piano for Adult Beginners and Music Theory Made Simpl(er). She has also written several children's early readers and chapter books. Donna lives in Eugene, Oregon with her husband and son.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Darin Godby for Readers' Favorite

Worship at the Keys by Donna Gielow McFarland is a much needed and beautifully written book. Any worship director, as well as students desiring to be a part of the worship team, would benefit from such a well-written book. The letter “To Worship Leaders” is a very well written letter and one that needs much attention. Supporting those who will be a part of the team is so vital in these beginning stages. While everyone wants things to be as close to perfection as possible, it can never be demonstrated at the expense of hurting the individual.

There are lovely examples shown of how to use both the left and right hands, how to keep the rhythm and how to improve with practice and hard work. There is an explanation of each key and how to move from key to key and even transposing as needed. There is an emphasis on major and minor triads as well as some new chord introductions. There are practice sections that allow the student to exercise what was previously read and work on it until they are comfortable. There is an emphasis on playing as though one will be doing so along with a guitar, a bass, and drums or maybe with just one additional instrument. The point is to be prepared and ready to play with confidence, regardless of being alone or with someone. Worship at the Keys would be a tremendous asset for every new beginner who desires to learn worship music on the keyboard. Every Christian school should use this book in their music department, encouraging their students to learn and grow from the wisdom of Donna Gielow McFarland.