A W Hot Culture Special Investigation: How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?
Wigglesworth and the Great Dramatic Soprano Deborah Voigt
Unravel the Mysteries of the Art Song
To learn how to sing hymns, all you need to do is follow a simple four step process:
1. Decide which part best fits your voice. Start by taking a guess: if you’re a girl, you’ll probably want to sing either the soprano or alto part. If you’re a guy you’ll probably want to sing either the tenor or bass part. If you’re having trouble with one, try the a different one. Sing the part you enjoy the most. Some guys may actually want to sing the alto and soprano parts an octave lower.
2. Listen to your part via the videos associated with each hymn. Learn it really well, so that you can sing your part with any of the verses. If you don’t read music, just look at the words, listen to your part, and sing along. Get help from a musical friend if you need it.
3. Each hymn has a video that plays and shows all four parts. If you can sing your part while hearing the other parts too, you’re ready to go sing in church. Belt it out as loud as you can!
4. Print off the music and practice in a group. PDF’s are available at the main site: . Find some friends to sing a few other parts and see if you can hold it together a cappella. This will reinforce your ability so that it can be permanent and will also decrease you dependency on needing to hear your part in order to sing it.
Why learning how to sing hymns is important:
Song is not just an extra help to our prayer life, it is a necessary element. In fact, most of the prayers in the Bible are songs. Mary’s prayer in Luke 1 seems to have been some sort of song. Exodus 15 explicitly states that Miriam’s prayer was a song. Although the Bible doesn’t say that Moses actually sang his lengthy prayer in Deuteronomy 32, it does indicate that he was at least reciting a song. Oh, and let’s not forget the Psalms: the longest book of the Bible, which is completely dedicated to prayer through music.
All of the spiritual giants in the New Testament are seen praying through music in scripture. Matthew 26:30 very clearly states that Jesus sang with his disciples, and the phrase “they had sung” presupposes that they sang something they knew; in other words, they sang it more than once before. Acts 16:25 states that Paul and Silas were singing hymns and praying in prison. Ephesians 5:19 (NIV) says, “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord…” Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” James 5:13 “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.” As I hope you can see, prayer and song seem to go together more often than not. Our prayer deficiency is partly caused by a singing deficiency. Prayer and song are the same spiritual discipline.
If you have any questions, please contact us! To use the “How to Sing Harmony” web app, go to