In college, I recall one of my Bible class professors encouraging us to always read the forward/preface/opening words to any book before diving in. Up until that point, I always skimmed over those parts, including the “acknowledgments.” Since then I have tried to take a moment to read opening words of the author and have found that it has made me more prepared for, aware of, and grateful for the person whose “art” I am about to absorb.
The same principal applies to sheet music/books. I recently purchased two new church music books. One for myself (What Praise Can I Play on Sunday? by Carol Tornquist) and one for an adult student, Phillip Keveren’s 2015 Weekly Worship: 52 Hymns for a Year of Praise. The latter especially had touching words that resonated with me and touched my heart. All it took was one moment – one moment to stop and read the heart and intentions of another.