Church pianists are being called upon more frequently to realize accompaniments for songs from a chord chart or lead sheet. This skill requires a thorough knowledge of chords, chord voicings, and chord inversions. Since the piano keyboard is the ultimate audio-visual aid for understanding functional music theory, we will explore ways to use it as the perfect vehicle for building functional skills for the church pianist.

What Happened to All My Notes? Navigating Chord Charts and Lead Sheets for the Church Pianist

Part One: Understanding Chords, Inversions, and Voicing

Covers the building blocks of harmony in their various forms. We’ll also demonstrate the importance of chord progressions in accomplishing this task.

Part Two: Understanding Lead Sheet and Chord Chart Notation

Deals with these alternate forms of notation. No longer are all the notes provided; we now have to play them using the knowledge we learned in session 1.

Part Three: Q & A/Masterclass

Provides a low-pressure environment where you can ask questions and try your hands at playing a song from a chord chart and/or lead sheet; a chance to synthesize all we covered in the first 2 sessions.

Ken Renfrow

Piano Breakout Class Instructor

Dr. Kenon D. Renfrow serves as Professor of Keyboard Studies, Director of Piano Pedagogy, and Coordinator of Church Keyboard at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC where he teaches applied piano, piano pedagogy, music business, entrepreneurship in music, and music technology. Renfrow has performed extensively on piano and organ and presented keyboard workshops throughout North America. His expertise in the field is further showcased through his numerous publications, including being a co-author of the renowned textbooks Piano 101 and Group Piano for Adults (published by Alfred Music), as well as Functional Skills for Pianists (published by Oxford University Press). Renfrow has actively collaborated with choirs, ensembles, and soloists as an accompanist and vocal coach and has served as music producer for a variety of theatrical productions. His music and recordings are published by Alfred Music Publishing, Piano Music Now, Soundforth (Lorenz), Oxford University Press, and Hal Leonard Corporation. His YouTube channel is PianoMusicNow.