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 be intentional about taking a moment to read these opening words from the author. Not surprisingly, I’ve found that reading those words has not only prepared me for the book to come but have at times brought more awareness of and gratefulness toward the person whose “art” I am about to absorb.
Surprisingly (or perhaps not?), the same principle 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. All it took was one moment – one moment to stop and read the heart and intentions of another.
Don’t skip the forward.