What does the Bible say about our singing and worship? How do we lead singing or play our instruments in a way that helps the congregation’s praise? How do I create a healthy culture amongst my music team? Our Word In Song day conference for church musicians and leaders is centred around great Bible teaching, and applied through practical seminars, singing, fellowship and discussion. Come along to be equipped, challenged, resourced and excited about God’s purposes for your church’s music ministry, whatever your size or musical tradition.

Upcoming Conferences

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Saturday 11th January, 2020
Heritage Centre, Petaling Jaya
Program and registration

Saturday 18th January, 2020
Adam Road Presbyterian Church, Singapore
Program and registration

Houston, TX, USA
HopePointe Anglican Church
3333 S Panther Creek Dr, Spring, TX, 77381
Program and registration

Gateshead, UK
Saturday 28th March, 2020
Holy Trinity Gateshead, Marigold Ave, Gateshead, NE10 0DP

Sydney, Australia
5th September, 2020


Conference Program

At the heart of the Word In Song conference is a careful balance of biblical teaching with useful practical input. Three key elements of the day are:

1. Bible Talk – Our main session where we sing, meet the team and hear from God’s word about his purposes for the church, music and worship. The key idea is that our singing is fundamentally a ministry of the word of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit (Col 3:16; Eph 5:18-20).

2. Church Music Masterclass – A fun and informative session where we look at how musical ensembles work, especially in the context of congregational singing, and where we talk about how to lead great singing with whatever musical resources you have in your church.

3. Seminars – Specialist sessions covering a range of practical, theological and leadership issues, with lots of time for questions and discussion.

(Click on the registration link for more details).

Seminar Descriptions

Church Music Masterclass: In this session we aim to cover everything you’ll ever need to know about leading excellent singing in your church – whatever your church size or preferred style of music! We’ll look at how (as a music team) we give priority to the congregation’s voice, and how we can use any instrument and vocal combination to provide a creative and confident lead for the singing in your church. Helpful for everyone – musicians, vocalists, worship leaders, sound team, pastors.

Anleiten: In many ways the song leader is the single most important person in leading great congregational singing. We will look at the biblical basis for having a song leader, but will aim to spend most of our time on the practicalities of how to lead singing well – including mic technique, what to say, how to teach new material etc., as well offering some constructive criticism to those who are happy to stand up and have a go! Helpful for singers, worship leaders, pastors.

What Songs Should We Sing?: Choosing songs thoughtfully and intentionally is key to an effective word-based music ministry. However, there is so much to consider when creating services week in and week out – and it can be hard to keep our focus on what is important! In this workshop we’ll think about how to create a well-rounded repertoire of songs for our church and talk through all the factors we need to consider when choosing from this list each week. We’ll also consider how style, instrumentation, lyrical content and liturgy affect our song choices. Helpful for pastors, singers, worship leaders, songwriters.

Leading a Music Team: Effective music ministry can’t happen without someone in charge. But many of us land in the job of music director with little experience or knowing how to take the ministry forward. This session will look at the role of the music director, how to shape a team culture, how to shape a culture of singing in the church, how to partner with the pastor, as well thinking about your own personal holiness and development. Helpful for worship leaders, administrators, music team leaders, and those aspiring to these roles!

Leading from PianoFor many churches the piano is the key instrument in leading congregational singing. But often we lack the skills to turn years of lessons and exams into playing in a helpful style for church leading. We’ll look at contemporary keyboard techniques and discuss how and when to leave the score behind! We’ll also discuss the differences between playing on your own and in a band. Helpful for pianists and worship leaders.

Leading from Guitar: This session will look at how the guitar can be used most effectively in facilitating congregational singing, as part of a band but also on your own. We will look closely at use of capos, strumming rhythms, and how to play hymns on a guitar. Helpful for guitarists and song leaders.

Drums & Bass: What does it take to create a solid foundation to a rhythm section? The bass and drums are the ‘engine room’ of any church band. We will look at: our roles, finding a part, locking in together, time, technical skills, playing the song, groove vocabulary and more. Bring your sticks and bass!

Ministry of Sound: This session is for sound people and musicians – it is about training your ears and the practical implications of the church being called to hear God’s word: spoken and sung. We will consider how we play for different sized congregations, volume, balance, the critical mass of a space, how to self-mix, ambient sound, and how to foster good relationships between musicians, sound guys and congregation. Helpful for worship pastors, musicians, sound technicians.

Music for Kids and Youth: Music and singing is one of the most effective ways to teach and train our kids and young people in Bible knowledge and godliness. But often we feel under-resourced or unable to create and sustain a singing culture in our children’s and youth ministries. In this seminar, we’ll look at the why, what and how of music for kids and young people. Be prepared to get in touch with your inner-child or teenager and get ready for some ‘hands-on’ action as we consider singing with kids together.

What people are saying…

‘Word in Song is a very practical music conference. I left the conference feeling more equipped to lead my music team at church, select songs and play my role in helping our church sing praises to our God and each other.’ Brenton (Perth, Australia)

‘A superb, spirit-filled day that engaged, inspired and provided practical advice’. Jane (Durham, UK)

‘Six of our music group came along from our small church. We had an amazing day which immediately impacted the way we do music at church. Just wish I could have taken the whole church along!’ Chris (Otley, UK)

‘Great teaching, Great Music and a Great encouragement for people involved in music ministry in their local church. Look forward to EMU coming again.’ James (Forbes, Australia)

‘Absolutely brilliant day and so much to take away and put into practice. The whole team were so friendly and helpful. Anyone involved with Church music whether you are the one singer or part of a choir, the one organist or part of a band, the PA person or someone who only joins the choir for Christmas should definitely get to one of these conferences and learn more about music in church!’ Ben (Gateshead, UK)

‘The conference was very helpful and inspiring, gave me new insight into what it means to write songs for the Church and made me want to start writing myself! All Glory to God!’ Elsa (Leipzig, Germany)

‘Thanks for a great day. I was challenged at a heart level, was inspired to practice my craft more and encouraged that some of what we’re doing is on the right track after all. I am grateful for the additional resources our church now has access to through Emu Music.’ Anderson (Mt Barker, Australia)

‘God-centred and extremely practical. They know what they’re talking about!’ Pearl (Newcastle, UK)

‘We really enjoyed the 1 day Word in Song Conference; it was well planned and well executed. the highlight was the Masterclass where the layering of instruments was demonstrated; that was particularly effective. The individual workshops were also really well done – the variety was helpful, and I also appreciated the consistency of message across all the workshops and talks.’ Joy (Singapore)

‘I feel refreshed and inspired to be a part of bringing glory to Jesus through our church’s music ministry.’ Becky (Porthcawl, Wales)

‘It was such an encouragement to have people from lots of different churches worshipping and learning together last weekend. The Emu team provided a well-organised, professional package, that carefully defined the reasons behind using music and song to worship God, as well as giving helpful and accessible practical advice on how to lead sung worship. I enjoyed every part of the conference and really look forward to inviting them back again in the future!’ Peter (Gateshead, UK)