want a change // make a deadline

At the Soaring Leap workshop Eric Whitacre gave some advice that I quickly put into practice. The advice was simple and so far rewarding.

Whitacre said along these lines…

Ask yourself what you want to do and then make a list of each step to take that would make it happen.

Set a deadline for yourself.

If you want your music performed then contact a music group and pick a date for your piece to be performed. Now you have to do it.

I call this “going fishing”. You offer your work to several groups some bite and some don’t.

Since the workshop I have “gone fishing” quite a bit and have committed to three compositions. I am truly excited about the projects and the people I am working with. I will be composing for wind symphony, women’s choir, and concert choir.

I am composing again! My music will be read, rehearsed, and performed.

The best part is that the music is for God’s glory and there is no greater motivation for me than that!

Like a cuckoo clock, when the correct time strikes – music is played.

doodle by Christen Noelle



the secret of living // hymn #3 melody and challenge

We made a Thanksgiving tree in our house this week. Yes, it may appear to be just a bunch of sticks in a jar with construction paper and leaf rubbings BUT on the back side of the leaves is a collection of our thankfulness.

I asked our three and a half year old daughter first, “Fiona what are some things you are thankful for?”. Her answer humbled me.

I heard her little voice squeak out “forgiveness”.

What?! Not family… or toys… or cake… but forgiveness!

How does my daughter already know the secret of living?!
How can she understand that on the bad days and good days, in everything, we can be content? Only God can work that.
She knows we have already won through Christ!

It is one of the biggest privileges of my life to watch my children’s faith grow. Often it is their faith I admire. Whenever I think a certain subject is too difficult for their minds to understand the Holy Spirit steps right in and shows me the wisdom that a child can have despite me. Thankful.

I knew that I wanted my Thanksgiving hymn to be more folk like. At first, I had the hymn at a faster tempo but decided to slow it down for now. I hope someday to hear a church sing this in worship accompanied by acoustic guitar, washboard, the fiddle and the tenor line sung loud!

So for your listening pleasure (or pain – ha!) I thought that it would be fun to sing it for you and add a voice part at each verse. I did not even attempt the bass line… thankfully there are only three verses. 🙂

Unauthorized copying, duplication or alteration of this composition is a violation of laws.

You can print a pdf document of the hymn by clicking it’s title here The Secret of Living. All of my hymns are copyrighted. You should not alter the music in any way and give me, the composer, full recognition for the piece. If you would like to use the hymn publicly please ask permission by contacting me at thecozycomposer@gmail.com.

Listen below for the midi file of the hymn alone without my singing.

Happy Thanksgiving!