Using music to bring the spirit into a church meeting is one of the biggest rewards of being a musician. The flute lends itself to church meetings (in any denomination) so well that if you are are flute player or learning how to play the flute, you’ll want to take some thought to this article as I list out some of my favorite church music for flute.
When performing for any church meeting, it’s important to determine the type of style that would be most appropriate for the meeting. Disrupting the spirit of a quiet, solemn meeting with a rip-roaring, loud rendition of something you want everyone to get up and dance to is pretty frowned upon for many audiences.
It’s very important to play with the highest skill possible.
Once you’ve determined the theme and appropriate style for the meeting, you can then choose the perfect number and work on a tempo. Hymns can be played at various tempos. A slow tempo will preserve a ‘pensive’ feel to the meeting and invite reverence, whereas a beat that is on the faster side for the Hymn in question will pick-up heart rates and create a livelier feel- which can also invite the spirit and give a nice feeling of hope and uplift.
My biggest advice to anyone who is preparing to play their flute in church is to make sure you play with accompaniment if possible. Most churches have organs, pianos, or someone who competently plays guitar. They can help you set the mood, and enhance the phrasing of the flute. Find the best accompanist you can, and make sure you’ve practiced together enough to find confidence.
Something unique about the flute is that unlike the vocal (singing), the melody is the only thing being played. The lyrics are set aside, and the tune takes on an ‘air’. So, it’s very important to play with the highest skill possible.
Since the lyrics aren’t involved in the performance, I like to choose pieces that have nice melodies that don’t repeat too much or stay in one 4-note range.
Here’s a short list of some of my favorites:
Come Thou Fount
Shall We Gather At The River
Be Still My Soul
Abide With Me
How Great Thou Art
All Creatures of Our God and King
What Child is This
Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief
-And many, many, many more…
If you’re interested in learning more about playing the flute in church, check out my online flute-learning program “Hymns for Flute” and also the “Hymn of the Month CLUB for Flutists” where you’ll learn the skills and techniques that make playing smooth-as-butter a real possibility for you. There are many special skills having to do with tone, dynamics, vibrato, and appropriate articulation that you’ll need to now to enhance your style and artistry in the Gospel genre. Check it out here.
Let me know what some of your cherished Hymns are. It’s a fun thing to be part of a community of flutists all united in purpose. There are a lot of different types of church music for flute. What’s one of your favorites? Leave a comment.