The Hymn Project

Upcoming Deadline: The hymn “Joy to the World” (for the Christmas Eve Service). Deadline is Sunday, December 20th by midnight. You have the option to sing the melody, or you can sing one of the other parts (alto, tenor, bass).

Welcome to The Hymn Project , the place to be if you want to lend your voice to online congregational singing at Messiah UMC! You do not have to read music or be an expert singer to participate! You will be submitting an audio-only recording (no video) of your singing that will be combined with all of the other members of our congregation who also submit recordings, so that we can have congregational singing during our hymns for online worship. If you’re interested, please read on!

This is an ongoing project. We will be doing this on a rolling basis, with the goal of producing at least two hymns per month with congregational singing. There will be cutoff dates for submitting your audio files. If you miss the deadline for a hymn, join us for the next one. This page will be updated regularly with hymns in progress.

Who may participate? Anyone! Adults and kids of all ages, and you need not be a member of Messiah UMC.

Before participating, please watch these important videos.

Jessica gives some important pointers for how to record yourself successfully.

Jessica explains which function/app to use on your phone to record yourself.

Click this link to check out Jessica’s favorite sound recording app. If this app is not compatible with your phone, you can find many other kinds of voice recorders or sound recorders by searching on your phone’s app store. Some are free.

First, Practice.

  • Listen to the guide track of the hymn to make sure you are familiar with it.

  • Download the sheet music for the hymn so that you can follow the notes, rhythms, and words.

  • Practice singing along with the hymn. You don’t have to sing alone! Practice with others in your household. You can submit a family recording if you wish!

  • When you feel as though you are familiar enough with the hymn, it’s time to record yourself.

Second, Record Yourself.

  • IMPORTANT: Please take note of which verses are being sung and whether you will be singing in unison melody or everyone on their own part (S, A, T, B). This may differ from project to project, but will be indicated on the sheet music provided.

  • Select a quiet location free of background noise. Choose a time to record when your neighbor is not mowing their lawn, and a trash truck is not in front of your house. Try to eliminate ambient background noise by silencing loud air vents, fans and electronics that may produce a low-level hum in the room.

  • Remember that we want you to record ONLY your (or your family’s) voice(s). We don’t want to hear the guide track on your recording. To accomplish this, you need two devices. You need a cell phone to record yourself. You will also need another device to listen to the guide track with earbuds or headphones.

  • If you are recording with another person or a group, at least one person will need to listen to the track; the others can guide off of that person’s voice. If there are only two of you, another option is to share earbuds– each of you gets an earbud.

  • When you are ready to record, start your recording app on your phone first, then play the guide track. In previous Hymn Projects, you were asked to clap at a specific time on your recording. We are longer asking anyone to clap, so just sing when it’s time to sing after the organ introduction.

  • Have fun singing. Please don’t obsess over getting it “perfect.” Your voice, whatever kind of voice God gave you, is important and loved. Just do your best and then let go of it.

Third, Submit Your Recording.