Psalm Tap is a colloquium where pastors and musicians discuss the nuts and bolts of composing and teaching music in the church.

When we follow the psalmist’s encouragement to sing new songs to the Lord (Ps. 98), we are faced with a lineup of questions: What should these new songs sound like? How should we sing them? What instruments (if any) should accompany them? Above all, where does the book of Psalms fit into the picture?

Meaning of the Name "PsalmTap":
 1) “tap” can mean the root or source of something (a faucet, beer tap, taproot), as psalms are to church music; 2) “tap” as a verb means accessing that source; 3) “tap” has musical connotations, as in tapping your foot to the beat.

Other questions follow, adding to the hubbub. Once we have a singable tune and appropriate lyrics, how will the congregation learn to sing it? For a musically uneducated church, would it be better to stick with stuff they can queue up on Spotify instead of laboring over new compositions? Should we print music in the bulletin or will lyrics suffice? What are the pros and cons of using a hymnal or a psalter? And what about instruments? Is a trap set appropriate in the sanctuary? What about a set of bagpipes? Parts singing? Unison? A song leader? A projector screen? Clapping? Dancing? If not, why not?

The target is large, obvious, and important—build churches that sing well. The means of reaching that target are varied, challenging, yet equally important. Church musicians have an enormous task ahead of them—they must teach their congregations new songs—but it is work that, done well, will bear fruit for generations to come.

At Psalm Tap, church musicians will present new compositions (musical and lyrical) to an audience with a vested interest in their quality and discuss the best ways of learning and singing them. The hope is that, by gathering together in one place, we can find answers to some of the questions above. If you are a church musician, a pastor, or merely a churchgoer with a psalter and some strong opinions, consider joining us.

As I said, it’s a big job. But the good news is that it has been done before. All the hymns we adore were at one time brand spanking new. Every old favorite was written, composed, arranged, and taught. It can be done, so let’s get to work. Let’s write the new old favorites.

OUR CONFIRMED SPEAKER SO FAR . . .

Here are a list of some of the confirmed names of folks who will be here participating in this new event. If you would like to inquire about presenting please contact Christian Leithart at [email protected]

Peter J. Leithart

Theopolis Institute - Birmingham, AL
Peter Leithart is author of numerous books that seem to always help understand music in more central ways. He will be presenting on music as the fulfillment of the human vocation to be priest, king, and prophet. Title: "Music Man."

Uriesou Brito

Pastor & Amateur Musician
Pastor Brito is a boisterous singer and preacher and understands the vital role of joyful, hearty singing plays for not only the worship of the Triune God, but the life of his bride--the Church. 

Michael E. Owens

Church Musician / Piano Technician
Michael E. Owens is church musician serving the reformed community in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  He has been assisting West Side Baptist Church (Gouverneur, NY) for several years to learn to sing the Psalms.  Michael was born in 1974, and is a piano technician by trade.

Jarrod Richey

Church Musician / Author
Jarrod Richey has been on staff at Auburn Avenue/Church of the Redeemer since 2005 where he leads in choir, music training, hymnody, and psalm sings. He is a proponent of joyful music literacy for all of God's people.

David P. Regier

Music Minister - San Jacinto, CA 
Minister of Music at First Baptist Church San Jacinto.

(Bio coming soon)

FrEquently Asked QUestions

Where can I stay?
You are responsible for finding your own lodging. There are several local hotels available  You may also contact the church secretary, Jackie Peacock, at (318) 323-3061 for information about staying with a church family.
What airport should I fly into?
The most convenient airport is Monroe (MLU).
How much does it cost? The colloquium is free.
Why "Psalm Tap?"
1) “Tap” can mean the root or source of something (a faucet, beer tap, taproot), as psalms are to church music; 2) “tap” as a verb means accessing that source; 3) “tap” has musical connotations, as in tapping your foot to the beat. Also, it's an assonant spondee, which is fun.