Listen Closely

Stacey Nordmeyer is the Church Choral Editor for Hal Leonard Corporation and the Praise Band and Handbell Choir Director at Unity Lutheran Church, Christ the King campus, in Brookfield, WI. She has been active in church music for over 30 years and has served as a Worship Leader and Pianist at various churches throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. She holds a music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, with an emphasis in music theory, and she is a member of the Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble. Stacey is married to Kevin, and they have one son, Ryan.

Much of my editorial process involves not only reading through a printed manuscript, but playing through it and/or listening to the Finale playback. Or, if it’s an arrangement of an existing song, comparing it to an original or “source” recording. More often than not, all is well, and there are no issues.

However, there are times when there’s an inconsistency. Maybe the melody doesn’t quite match up, or there’s a wrong lyric.

The truth is, I often hear a mistake or a discrepancy in the music before I see it. So, I’ve learned to not only look intently… but listen closely.

As I type this, I’m on a plane, headed down to Orlando, to spend the week in the recording studio, not to play an instrument or sing (although that would be fun!) but to edit and produce our new music for this upcoming Fall and Christmas. In this environment, I really rely on my ears. How’s the intonation? How would it sound if we voiced that guitar chord differently? Does that D sound more like a sharp, when it should be a natural? Would it sound better if the guys sang a different note here? Or if we were to add a divisi in the Soprano/Alto part?

As a result of this process, there are always “studio corrections” at the end of the week… rewrites and improvements that make their way into the manuscripts, ultimately making the music you share with your choirs and congregations the best that it can be.

Coming into the Lenten season… I’m asking myself: what would happen if I were to listen as intently to hear what God may be trying to teach me as I do as an editor? It would be really easy if all I had to do was plug in, turn up the volume and wait for an audible voice! But, I’ve never actually “heard” God speak… at least not like that. It’s in those quietest times that I seem to hear Him most clearly.

Sometimes, it’s the “still, small voice.”

Listen closely.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. jmmartin88 says:

    Thank you! So glad you enjoyed the blog!!


  2. jmmartin88 says:

    Thank you! Your words of encouragement mean a great deal to us.


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