The Art of Hymn Playing by M. Dean Kincaid is a study course for pianists who can play hymns as they are written but would like to decorate them by added chords, fills, scales, arpeggios and octaves, extending them into congregational accompaniments and piano solo arrangements. Many children of elementary and high school age, as well as adults, have developed styles of improvising (one must be able to reach an octave with either hand). Piano teachers often include the lessons along with classical music instruction. The hymns to be studied are included in a supplementary hymnal, actual copies of hymns found in common hymnals. An instructional DVD greatly enhances the learning process. Each of the 21 lessons are taught by the author.
The method is to teach patterns for both the left and right hands which are applicable to any and all hymns from the hymnal, beginning with a simple left-hand pattern, soon enlarged and embellished. The right hand gradually extends the given treble notes to full-octave chords. Sufficient theory is included, although more comprehensive theoretical study is beneficial (see Principles of Harmony).
Once the basic patterns become natural, decorative styles are introduced: broken chords, arpeggios, octave fills, special effects, and basic transposition and modulation.
The Table of Contents is given below:
Basic Rhythm Style