Songwriting Essentials: Rhyme Time

The single most common Poetic Device used in songwriting is without a doubt – rhyme. Unfortunately rhyme is seemingly so simple, the beginner songwriter may assume it to be easy. (Simple is very different than easy.) Really great rhyme is a well-practiced craft. For those of you songwriters that haven’t read my book (Shame on you, […]

Building Music – A Labor of Love

In 1968, as an 8th-grader in LaMarque, Texas, I took Shop Class. It wasn’t that I longed for a future of building furniture or fixing cars.  I didn’t.  (Nothing wrong with either of those fields. They just weren’t for me.) No. Like most every 8th-grade Texas boy in the 1960s, I was required to take a year […]

New Site Feature: “Spotlight”

I’ve just launched a new page here at my website – “Spotlight.” There I will from time to time feature a particular piece of music (typically a choral anthem) and tell the story behind the music — Why I wrote it and how it came to be. I hope it will be of interest not only to aspiring […]

Luke Garrett

Luke Garrett

I first heard about Luke Garrett in 1985. The stories floating around Dallas then were of an astounding young voice one had to hear to believe. In June of 1986, I heard it for myself, on a recording session for the Disabled American Veterans. The rumors were right. A couple months later, I grouped Luke with Chris Machen […]

More Random Neural Firings

More Random Neural Firings

I’ve been meaning to post something significant and life-changing (You know, like all my previous posts), but “significant and life-changing” takes time, and I’ve been busy. But this morning, I am in one of those moments of forced stillness.  I am stuck for a couple of hours at the auto shop while my car is […]

ON THE JOB TRAINING: “Ready to Write”

ON THE JOB TRAINING: “Ready to Write”

Lessons learned from a life in music. (#9 in a series of posts) “And So We Sing” (Shawnee Press 35027907) A song idea can come from just about anywhere. Whether it’s the latest catch phrase sweeping the nation, or a colorful quip from your eccentric aunt Doris, a great hook may land in your lap when […]

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year? Already???

The snow is melting. Birds are chirping. Bees are buzzing and trees are budding. All that can only mean one thing: It’s time to talk about Christmas! Believe it or not, this is the time of year when a lot of churches make plans for the Advent season. This is especially true for churches and […]

You Know You’re a Music Geek When…

You Know You’re a Music Geek When…

Up until a few days ago, I’d been holding on to $75 of Amazon gift cards from last Christmas. Never let it be said that money burns a hole in my pocket. The truth of the matter is I waited so long to spend the money, not because I am some crazed penny pincher (After all, it was gift […]

Critical Listening

Critical Listening

This past week, I enjoyed thoughtful conversations with two music educators. Both are Believers teaching at Christian universities. Both are accomplished musicians and arrangers. Both are preparing students to enter the Church Music world as worship leaders. And both are concerned with their students’ lack of critical listening skills, particularly as they pertain to contemporary […]

The End of the World As We Know It

The End of the World As We Know It

I’m giving you all fair warning: Today I joined FaceBook. Of course, this means the End Times are upon us. In the past few years, I have been encouraged by many, and chided by others (you know who you are), to join this Internet phenomenon that my younger son described as a “great way to waste time.” I […]