Easy Gift Idea for Under $2! Potted Plant

Looking for a special gift for a special someone, that doesn’t break the bank? Check out this potted plant idea! Cost is less than $2! This would be an ideal gift for teachers, coworkers, students, neighbors, friends… really, who doesn’t like a fresh flower? Even if you’re crunched for time, you can easily put this together in a couple minutes, and it’s a gift that will last for months! We assembled about 30 of them to use as a little gift to celebrate Easter.

We purchased Snapdragon flowers to use as our potted plant, because they’re hardy enough to endure colder spring temps. 

We found 15 little peat pots for less than $4, and the potted plant can be placed in the ground with pot and all! 

Pick up a pack of pencils from the dollar store, download this printable sheet (or design your own if you don’t want Easter tags), and you have simple instruction flags to insert into each plant.

It’s such a joy to be able to give a little “thinking of you” gift, or to share a little something to celebrate a special holiday! 

A New Product Line is Here!

That’s right! We are thrilled to be able to offer Legacy journals as a part of Neely Marketplace’s unique collection of products for living, gifts for giving. For years, we have enjoyed giving and using these beautiful journals and it is with great joy that we are able to make them available to each of you.

With a variety of covers to choose from, Legacy journals are sure to meet your journaling, note-taking, and creative writing needs, as well as those of your friends. Hop over to our online store and take a look!

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P.S. Don’t forget about upcoming holidays and occasions: Easter – April 21, Mother’s Day – May 12, graduations, and more!

Restock sale extended, only better! | All Thera-pit-ics are 20% off!

We couldn’t let a good thing go,

so we are extending the restock sale on Thera-pit-ic packs until April 1! Are you looking ahead toward special events like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day? How about a unique gift to commemorate the resurrection of our Lord on Easter? Thera-pit-ics aren’t just good for nationally observed holidays, though.

They make perfect wedding gifts, birthday gifts, hostess gifts, end-of-schoolyear teacher gifts, “I appreciate you ” gifts, and more. The sky is the limit for how you can give this useful and unique product all year long! 

The good news doesn’t end there, however…

Not only is the restock sale extended, but it now includes the entire line of Thera-pit-ic prints. Come by our online store and check out the wonderful options that are available. There’s something for everyone!

Thera-pit-ics restocked! | 20% off spring favorites and more!

There are several favorites in the Thera-pit-ics line that were restocked last week – just in time to prepare for the heat of summer! In addition to Spring Rush, Cloud & Sunshine Floral, Cloud & Sunshine Stripe, and Moroccan Sunshine, four other prints have been marked as 20% off, simply to celebrate their renewed presence on the shelf. These celebrated four are:

  • Ribbon Stripe
  • Beach Towel
  • Picnic Bouquet (pictured below)
  • Yum! Black Cherry – standard favorite!

These are all-time bestsellers, so take action now. They won’t last forever!

Welcome Spring! | Thera-pit-ics Sale

We are enjoying the brighter atmosphere that comes along with early spring. The world out-of-doors holds an appearance of warmth as the bright sun, blue skies, and greener grass join together in a glorious, God-painted landscape. 

To welcome the first signs of spring, we have put select Thera-pit-ic prints 20% off. Visit our online store and check out with

  • Spring Rush
  • Moroccan Sunshine
  • Cloud & Sunshine Floral
  • Cloud & Sunshine Stripe

   There is no coupon necessary to receive the discount!

Piano Accompaniment

Something has surfaced in my teaching quite a bit recently, and this is the subject of training accompanists. Typically, an accompanist is a pianist because the bulk of repertoire is written with piano specific accompaniments, or piano reductions of orchestra accompaniments. With a very few exceptions, this is the case in classically styled sacred music, probably even more so than it is in classical music itself. Then, when we consider the average church, most of them use piano or a keyboard instrument, where other classical chamber groups or orchestras may be lacking. With this in view, it becomes tremendously important for a ministry-minded pianist to learn how to accompany others in all sorts of settings from all types of music, whether it is classical rep, or the more common improvised accompaniment out of a hymnbook, or a choral arrangement, or the accompaniment for another instrumentalist.

There are many things to consider as an accompanist, with the biggest being that the accompanist must support, not dominate. This was always a bit of a challenge for me to grasp when I was first learning, especially when I was handed accompaniment parts for particularly exciting violin solos or vocal pieces. Nevertheless, this is arguably the most important thing for an accompanist to realize, for it is not only crucial in and of itself, but also effects every other part of how they play.

Moving on to the more practical side of things, some quick helps for learning to accompany are:

Count. A no-brainer? Maybe, but while most beginners are continually being hammered with repetitions of “1 2 3 4,” “1+2+3+4+,” “trip-l-et, trip-l-et, trip-l-et,” or the more appealing “straw-ber-ry, straw-ber-ry, straw-ber-ry” or some other such form of counting, more advanced musicians somehow loose track of this most important technique. Find the quarter beat (or other main beat) and stick with it. Tap your foot, nod your head, do anything to keep on track with the person you are accompanying.

Analyze. As the supporting musician, you have a very unique role. The music written to enhance the soloist is usually full of embellishments and ideas that duplicate those found in the solo or choral parts, but are often woven in so as not to draw direct attention. When preparing to accompany, spend some time with the score, and look to see how the accompaniment part and the solo part work together. Look for patterns that repeat between the parts, contrasting note values (maybe the solo has sixteenth notes and the piano is supporting by playing quarters or eighths), parallel vs. contrasting registers, etc. The more you know about what the other person is doing and how it relates to what you are doing, the better your prepared accompaniment will sound.

Listen. (A)  If you can find a recording of the piece you are to accompany, spend some time and listen to it. If your part is a piano reduction or a piece that has had orchestrations added to it, listen for what orchestral instruments are used to enhance the mood and musicality of the piece in its full edition. Envisioning a tuba or a piccolo will make a difference in how you approach relating portions of the work.

Listen. (B) When practicing with the one whom you are to accompany, develop the habit of listening to them, rather than to yourself. This takes work and sometimes a little mind-over-matter technique, but is well worth the effort.

Practice. Here again, this may seem like a no-brainer. You may be surprised, however, by the difference there can be between only ever playing with the soloist and taking time to study your own part between rehearsals.

 

Here are some of our favorite books for young string soloists, with each arrangement including a beautiful piano accompaniment. These make excellent practice for church pianists in training!

Cover tiny file look inside Come, Christians, Join to Sing Composed by Kristin Campbell. SoundForth #228841. Published by SoundForth (S2.228841).
Cover tiny file look inside Worship the King Easy Hymn Settings for Solo Violin and Piano. Composed by Kristin Campbell. Score and performance/accompaniment CD. Lorenz Publishing Company #30/2600L. Published by Lorenz Publishing Company (LO.30-2600L).

 

If you found this post helpful, click here to read other posts on music pedagogy.

 

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NEW Releases | Music for Children

We are excited to release several new titles in the line of sacred songs for children. All of these songs work well with families and children’s choirs, and emphasize specific Scripture verses and/or principles in fun and memorable ways.

Until January 31, you can purchase any 2 of the children’s songs and receive a third one FREE when you apply the coupon code childrens-song3for4 at checkout. Stop by the Vocal Sheet Music page to browse our Children’s Song titles.

NEW Release | And Can It Be for String Quartet

We’re excited to make available a fresh string setting for the timeless hymn, “And Can It Be?” In a rousing and triumphant rendition, string quartets can marvel at and rejoice in the matchless love of our God. For ease of coordination, there is an optional third violin part that can double the viola or serve as a substitute when violists are scarce! 

Visit our online store to preview the complete score and to purchase.