Word In Song Conferences

Word In Song Conferences


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 Conferences are centred around the Bible's teaching about singing, and applied through practical seminars, singing, fellowship and discussion. If you're a church musician, leader, service planner, pastor, sound technician or just interested in church music - then come along to be equipped, excited, resourced and refreshed in God’s purposes for your church’s music ministry, whatever your size or musical tradition. 

The Emu team run three levels of training events for the local church, ranging from full day conferences, to half day masterclasses, to in-house workshops, throughout the UK, Australia, Europe and further afield. Want to find out more about training opportunities for your music team? We'd love to hear from you! Get in touch here

Upcoming Events

Word In Song Conference Orange, Australia 
Save the date - 20th August 2022

Word In Song Conference Wellington, NZ Flag of New Zealand - Wikipedia
Save the date - 3rd September 2022

Word In Song Conference Cornwall, UK  Flag of the United Kingdom - Wikipedia
Save the date - 17th September 2022


Word In Song Conference Northern Ireland, UK  Flag of the United Kingdom - Wikipedia
Save the date - 14th-15th October 2022

Word In Song Conference Brisbane, Australia 

Save the date - 22nd October 2022 

Word In Song Masterclass Glasgow, UK  Flag of the United Kingdom - Wikipedia
Save the date - 5th November 2022

Word In Song Conference Melbourne, Australia  
Save the date - 12th November 2022

Word In Song Masterclass Birmingham, UK  Flag of the United Kingdom - Wikipedia
2022 date to be announced soon!

Word In Song Masterclass Liverpool, UK  Flag of the United Kingdom - Wikipedia
2023 date to be announced soon!

We also run Word in Song Workshops, which are in-house training events for church music teams. Get in touch if you're interested in a Workshop for your team.

Conference Program

At the heart of the Word In Song conference is Bible teaching and practical help for your ministry. Three key elements of the day are:

1. Bible Talk – Our main session is 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 available.

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

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, song leaders, sound team, pastors.

Song Leading: 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, song 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, song 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 song 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 song 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, the tech team, and congregation. Helpful for song 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.

SongwritingWhat makes a song work for a congregation to sing? We'll explore how to create lyrics that are true, poetic and relevant, and what musical issues are relevant to writing a beautiful, memorable and singable corporate song.

Single-Note Instrument: What is the role of a melody instrument in a church band, and how can it be used to best help the congregation to sing? This seminar will look at the purpose, function, and joys of being a melody instrument in a church context!

Creativity in Congregational Music: Good ensemble playing requires understanding your place in the group and knowing what and how to play at the right time. But is there more we can do to craft our songs and services to creatively engage hearts and minds with the gospel? We'll look at the musical techniques for re-inventing songs, old and new; as well as thinking about our singing in relation to the Word, our space and visual media.

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)

Conference FAQs

What does the ticket price include?
The ticket covers all the sessions across the day, as well as a physical booklet (a digital copy is available for those who want to download it prior to the event) and refreshments.

Can I bring my child(ren) along?
We can't guarantee that the conference venue will have facilities suitable for kids, but please get in touch with us before the event so that we can look into this for you.

Should I bring my instrument along for the seminars?
Our pre-conference email will let you know everything you need to bring on the day.

What is your cancellation policy?
In the case of cancellation by a delegate, refunds are given until 2 weeks prior to the conference, but will incur a $10/£5 administrative charge. No refunds will be given within 2 weeks before the event date. In the case of cancellation by us (Emu Music), a full refund will be given. See below for cancellations due to Covid-19.

What is your Covid-19 policy?
We run our events according to current government guidance for Covid-19. If you have any symptoms of covid before the conference, please do not come. In the case of a cancellation due to covid symptoms or positive tests, a full refund will be given.

Can Emu run a Word In Song conference at my church?
We're always happy to talk about training opportunities for churches across the UK, Australia, Europe, and further afield. Please get in touch with us here to start a conversation about hosting an event at your church.