The Piece I Wrote, “This is for My Father’s Glory” (An “About-It” Post)

Last semester, I took a class called “Instrumentation and Arranging.”  In it, we learned techniques to write music and to write for different instruments.  As a music ed major, I had been learning a lot of these things in music theory classes and pedagogy classes, but with this one, we got to apply and write and experience it.  I loved the class, and the final project.  What was this final project, you ask as I put words in your mouth?  Well, I’m gonna write about it.

The final project was to arrange or write a full-length musical composition or arrangement ourselves.  It was really fun!

I had wanted to write music for a long time, but I didn’t really know how to go about it.  This class not only gave me a place to start, it gave me motivation I needed to actually write and finish the piece.  So, the idea of the piece was to share the gospel without using words. I grew up in a Lutheran church, singing hymns that are quite familiar to all of us, so I took themes from hymns and then wrote original themes to represent sin and transitions and everything.  Each theme was representative of something.  For example, “This is my Father’s World” is the theme of God, that he is ultimately in control.  “Crown Him With Many Crowns” represents Jesus’s victory, and “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” represents the relationship we can have with God.  Feedback told me today (because I presented this piece at my college’s symposium this morning) that the lines play just long enough to get the tune in your head, but then it moves to another.  In the end, none of the songs were left stuck in the head because they fit together just so.  I used techniques I have learned like augmentation and diminution; I paid attention to articulation and dynamics.  I was intricate and through all the detail, everything fits together.  I was really excited to present today, and with the handful of music illiterate audience members paying attention and interested, maybe, I feel I did well.  I hope I communicated in a way that was understood to even them.

Music is a powerful medium; it tugs at emotions.  I truly hope that when listening to this piece, others can hear the gospel in it, as well: God’s being before everything, man’s sin, Jesus’ arrival and his crucifixion, his resurrection, and the fact that we can have a relationship with him.  It is all so great!

Last night, I met with my fabulous musicians for a run-through before this morning’s presentation, and I brought an extra person to video tape us.  I uploaded it to YouTube this morning, so you can hear it!  🙂  The full title is “This is for my Father’s Glory: Music of his Love Story.”  Comment below and tell me what you think!


Anna E. Olson, as I’m learning to compose/arrange music (it’s super fun!)

8 thoughts on “The Piece I Wrote, “This is for My Father’s Glory” (An “About-It” Post)

  1. So, this is different than what I would resort to as a form of worship… but, I loved it. Thank you for reminding me that worship comes in many different, unique forms, all cherished by our Lord and Savior…

    That was beautiful!


  2. Anna, that was awesome. You are so talented and give God the glory. I am so proud of you.Love

  3. I caught the part of God being in control of everything, the resurrection, and the relationship with Jesus themes through the music. I was unable to distinguish the sin and crucifixion themes. I am also not very familiar with Lutheran hymns so that might make a differences. I liked the use of the triangle, it reminds me of Christmas time when singing hymns about Jesus, our Savior’s birth and often the accompanied sounds of bells or triangles to sound the arrival of the new born King in the songs. Great job Anna, it was very well done. I know writing music is no easy task, especially for multiple instruments (I have not had experience in writing, but I was in concert/jazz band for 6 years). What a great way to use your talents directly for worshiping God and sharing Him with those around you.

    1. Thank you, Doug! The sin themes were in minor mode– I could sing them to you, but it’s hard to do over text. One of them is usually two voices in awkward harmony, real staccato, and another one is first heard in the alto sax, real smooth and minor. The canon in the middle is minor, too. There are other themes that I guess you don’t hear unless pointed out, but I don’t have my stuff in front of me, otherwise I’d point those out, two. The percussion part actually wasn’t in the original score, as I added it in order to perform the piece at my senior recital. 🙂 I hope to continue praising God in this way! Have a good week!


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