10 AMAZING Online Lessons for Beginner Harp Players

I’m really looking forward to getting together with harp players from Australia and around the world on Easter Weekend!
We’ve set the timing up for these so people can use their time off over Easter and also that shouldn’t interfere with the Easter programs in Churches or upset their family time too much. Beginning on Easter Saturday, April 15th at 6 am till noon and again on Easter Monday, April 17th 6 am till noon.
The 10 harp lessons, encompassing 20 different skills used on the harp in worship will really equip anyone learning the harp to confidently play the harp in Church with their worship band by the following weekend!

The lessons will each take 30 minutes and the attendees will receive detailed notes and 20 additional videos contain the 20 skills taught throughout the lessons so that they can relive and go over the content at their own pace.

What about those living in USA?
Glad you asked, we are intentionally starting early in Australia at 6 am on Saturday AEST which will be 4pm EST in New York, the day before, so your start time will be at 4pm on Good Friday till 10pm and likewise on Sunday afternoon at 4pm till 10pm. If you reside in a timezone west on New York, your start time will begin 1-2 hours earlier according to your relative timezone change.

Make sure you register now, we’re only allow 9 to register for each class so that the size of the group remains intimate and we can answer questions and easily interact.

What do you need? A harp and a computer with good internet connection and a hunger to learn.

We’re using Google Hangouts so that we can see, hear
and speak to each other making sure that each student is understanding and grasping the technical side of playing the harp.

Its going to be FUN!
See you there!


Proverbs 25:11 “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

GODLY CONVERSATIONS – blog by Andrew Ironside

I want to encourage you to take a moment as you read this to consider the words and conversations that are coming out of your mouth and the kind of conversations that you’re having on a daily basis.

As Christians, I think we have a responsibility to be careful and even more aware of the conversations that we have both verbally and on social media that they remain pleasing and honouring to God.

This blog will challenge you every step of the way because we all engage in many conversations each day and I think, we can still do even better with a bit more conscious lining up with God’s pattern that has been set out for us in His Word.

  1. Conversations That Build Up

This is sometimes harder to do when we’re not feeling well, having a bad day or feeling condemned and worthless ourselves.

Eph 4:29 (KJV) “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”

The NIV translation says it even more specifically to think about the question: Does it benefit the hearers?

Eph 4:29 (NIV) “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Lets make our conversations, not just about what we want to say, but more about listening and benefiting those we’re conversing with.

Maybe its a good idea to stop and think about what you’re going to say before we say it; “Is this going to benefit this person? Is it going to impart grace or just more strife to these people’s lives?”

2. Conversations That Produce Life

I find this is an interesting journey of sequential verses…

Proverbs 18:20-22 “A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,

And those who love it will eat its fruit.

He who finds a wife finds a good thing,

And obtains favour from the Lord.”

In v20 he’s talking about what you put into your mouth and being satisfied with it, in V21 the proverb mentions what comes OUT of our mouth and in V22 it goes straight onto talking about finding a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour of the Lord… Hmmm??? “Out of the overflow of the Heart the mouth speaks” Luke 6:45

Can you see the connection between what we put onto our lives and what comes out of our lives and to really obtain favour from the Lord, be careful how you speak your wives (the “good thing” God has provided for us)?

As a christian and a worship leader, I find these next verses really convicting.

I think that our praise to God is somewhat shallow if we think that we can say anything we want wherever we want and even curse other people and then come together in the assembly of God’s people or into His presence and pretend to praise Him.

James 3:9-12 says; “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.

Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.

My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? Can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”

In fact these verses seem to indicate that; its impossible to praise and honour God at the same time as cursing, putting down, judging or criticising others.

3. Every Word Counts

Matt 12:37 (NKJV) Says: “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

From the Message translation Matt 12:37 Says: “You have minds like a snake pit! How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded?”

“It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words.”

“A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard.”

“Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you.”

“There will be a time of Reckoning.”

“Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.”

Wow! Let’s endeavour to be mindful of every word and the tone of those words. I so appreciate my wife Desma pulling me up on not just on my words but even the very tone of my voice can be somewhat condescending at times.

You’ll probably find that God has given you people around you to assist you in growing in these areas, that are not there to judge you, but help you with your language, your tone and your words. If we’re humble, open and teachable enough, we can receive their help and correction in these areas of conversation and really grow.

4. Truthful Conversations

This is a good thought hey? What about our default conversation method and responding mode as followers of Jesus, be to always speak the truth? Just being humble enough as Christians to take responsibility anytime that we want to protect ourselves by telling a little white lie, but instead we intentionally tell the truth and face the consequences.

Ephesians 4:25-32 Reads: “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body.”

Colossians 3:8-17 Says: “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.”

Matthew 5:37 tells us: “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”

I don’t want to come across as harsh and about this point of speaking the truth because there are sometimes in our lives out of shear kindness and sensitivity to others that we withhold the “absolute truth” in order to preserve their dignity. Now, I’m not saying that we should lie, but sometimes you don’t have to answer questions directly, but divert the question with a related answer. I personally don’t think anyone can handle “the absolute truth”, but I also think that we can be truthful without being nasty.

Like, how do we respond as husbands when our wife says? “Honey does this outfit make me look fat?” Ha! You’ve all been there hey? This such a complex issue, because most women would say: “I want you to be honest with me”, but really meaning: “Please be nicely honest, but please remain tactful.”

You could respond many different ways, by asking another question, or offering an alternative suggestion and even humorous ways to answer the “Honey does this outfit make me look fat?” question like;

“Would you feel more comfortable in another outfit?”


You could try not actually answering her question directly by saying: “You are beautiful anyway, in that outfit or any outfit”


If she has a great sense of humour and you have a great way with humour and can maybe say it with jest: “No, your fat makes you look fat, don’t blame the outfit honey.”

I wouldn’t attempt this one as I don’t have that humorous flare to be able to get away with it…


You could look at it this way; the correct answer is “the truth.”

You shouldn’t patronise women. Don’t think they won’t know when you’re not being honest…they will otherwise over time learn to disregard your opinion.

If she looks fat, maybe tell her, but in a sublimely subtle, kind way. If something doesn’t look good on her, and she asks, let her know nicely. She may be slightly annoyed at that instant…but it will pass. Then later, when she puts something on and does look good and you tell her – she will glow with confidence. Why? Because she knows it’s true – you never lie to her. If you say she looks good, then she does.

The other side of the coin of never telling petty lies is; your wife will value and trust your opinion. And why not? It’s worth something…

By the way, my wife Desma is not fat, I think she looks great in EVERY outfit!

5. Speak God’s Word

When you don’t know what to say or how to respond, let God’s word come out of you and it will if that’s what you’re feeding on.

Please be careful using the Word of God, when trying to get your point across, it is a double edged sword. I recently heard a brother quote “by your fruits, you will know them” and analysing the situation, the Word of God that he used against another brother actually in my opinion, made him look worse, because the “fruit” that he was demonstrating by his words, emotions and actions was showing that he was ‘insecure’, ‘angry’, ‘territorial’, ‘defensive’, ‘offensive’, ‘indignant’ and holding onto a grudge, when all the other brother had done was make an innocent, but insensitive mistake out of an enthusiastic attitude for God’s Kingdom.

When I say; SPEAK GOD’S WORD, make sure its spoken from a sweet spirit with the purpose of “building others up” not putting them down with your self righteousness. Speak God’s Word over your finances, over your physical body, over your relationships and family, over your workplace or wherever you need God to move.

1 Peter 4:11 “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.

If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.

To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

Ex 4:12 “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

6. Learn To Have Crucial Conversations

This point of: Crucial Conversations is really the crux of this blog.

Last year I read about 30 books and other than the Word Of God, this book Crucial Conversations has helped and impacted me personally more than any other book.Crucial Conversations

It’s really about tools for talking when the stakes are high. I highly recommend you buy it and read it several times. I haven’t met anyone in the world that doesn’t need to improve and grow in this area of having better Godly crucial conversations.

As I was reading this book for the first time, I began repenting from all the hurt and pain that I’d caused Desma and other people we have been close to throughout my life over the past 50 years or so because I haven’t done crucial conversations very well at all, or in a Godly way. So I apologise to all those that I have hurt by not being more emotionally intelligent and strong enough to see through many of the crucial conversations that have come and gone or been avoided over the years. I repent and say, I am truly sorry!

So I want to explain and reference a few of the highlights from the book that have really helped and impacted me. i feel like a changed person, yet I also know that I have a long way to go when it comes to truly having Godly crucial conversations. We can learn new things as we age and get older!

What is a crucial conversation?

A crucial conversation is when casual interactions that we all have daily, turn crucial.

Its a conversation where – opinions vary

Its a conversation where – the stakes are high

Its a conversation where – emotions can run high

Its a conversation – that is so important that the outcome effects the quality of your life

When it matters most we seem to do our worst, when it comes to having high stakes crucial conversations.

When conversations turn from Casual to Crucial we’re usually not ready to handle it.

Matt 18:15-17 (ESV)

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.

But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.

If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

SCIENTISTS say: Your brain gets drunk on adrenalin when a crucial conversation takes you by surprise and many times the outcome is not always good.

A GODLY CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS IS: The ability to talk openly, safely & honestly about high stakes emotional & controversial issues.

At the heart of almost all chronic problems in our relationships, our church, our team and our organisations is: The ability to hold crucial conversations involving politically controversial, risky opinions without becoming defensive or angry.

James 1:19 Says: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

A GODLY CRUCIAL CONVERSATION is knowing how to stand up to the boss without commuting career suicide.

The important question for you is: “How many crucial conversations are you currently avoiding or having badly?”

I love the way the book describes conversation as a “pool of meaning” and both sides are contributing to that pool until it becomes “unsafe” and then it turns into a crucial conversation.

Keep the POOL OF MEANING SAFE – people become defensive when it’s not safe. You can keep the pool of meaning safe by being aware of your emotions, your physical responses and keep your words and tone in a safe zone and sometimes that even means apologising even when its not your fault, or taking responsibility even if you’re the one who’s right, in order to help the other person/s feel safe so that the conversation can continue.

Actually, when a conversation is really safe, you can say anything.

This is the point that really got to me; In CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS we tend to either go silent or violent.

This next point is what has lead me on a path of true repentance; I’ve always been the “silent” one when it comes to crucial conversations and I discovered as I read that being silent is just as abusive as being violent when it comes to conversations.

Now I slap my face and remind myself to stay in the conversation!

Here are some examples from the book that reveal us silent ones: SILENCE – purposefully withholding meaning from the pool of dialogue as a means of AVOIDING potential problems. Ouch!

SILENCE comes out in the form of –

MASKING – selectively understating, or withdrawing our opinions, sugar coating or vouching, talking about other issues,

AVOIDING – steering completely away from sensitive subjects, we “talk” but without addressing the real issues

WITHDRAWING – pulling out of the conversation altogether, we either exit the conversation or exit the room.  Eg: “Excuse me I’ve got something to do”

On the other hand: VIOLENCE – is any verbal strategy that attempts to convince, control or compel others to your point of view.

It violates “safety” by trying to force meaning into the pool.

Violence comes out in the form of: name calling, monologuing and making threats.

Violence manifests as: Controlling, Labelling or Attacking.

CONTROLLING – consists of coercing others to your way of thinking.

CONTROLLING – Is done by forcing your point of view or dominating the conversation

The Methods of violence is: Cutting other’s off, Overstating the facts, Speaking in absolutes, Changing subjects.

Hmmm? Have you been in one of these conversations? It just means the other person feels unsafe and so is becoming verbally violent and thus causing the silent one to shrink even further away…

Violence is also: Using directive questions to get control of the conversation.

Violence uses LABELLING – It’s putting a label on people or idea so that we can dismiss them under a general category; Eg: “What can I say, they’re musicians, need I say more?”

Violence uses ATTACKING  – this is were the conversation begins and suddenly has an aggressive tone and even volume from one side – it includes belittling and threatening.

SO THE BIG QUESTION IS: Which style are you when you’re under stress? SILENT OR VIOLENT?

I’ve found the most difficult part of this whole process is monitoring your own behaviour while carefully observing the behaviour of others while in a crucial conversation.

I’m so inspired to continue growing in this journey of Godly Crucial Conversations that I want to spread the new and teach others about this wonderfully, liberating truth; You CAN in the future have great crucial conversations

I believe the answer is Jesus, look at the red lettering in the Bible, the words that Jesus spoke and his conversations and see how he handled the crucial conversations in a Godly way. Jesus knew when to hold his tongue, he knew when to be forthright, he knew when to speak in parables and stories, he knew when and how to bring a rebuke and when was the appropriate time to really express love, mercy and compassion.

I love these verses in 1 Corinthians that we often share at weddings, but in the light of Godly Conversations, I think we should meditate on it and read it daily:

1 Cor 13:4-8

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;”

“Love does not rejoice in iniquity,

but rejoices in the truth;

Love bears all things, believes all things,

hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails!”

If we can truly walk in this kind of love, the God kind of love, we’ll be able to engage in any conversation without becoming defensive or angry.

Proverbs 25:11 “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

Enjoy growing in your – Godly Conversations

This blog is just the brief version. If you want to hear the complete blog in the form of an inspiring audio sermon or video sermon and enjoy the full message you can download the mp3 here

Godly Conversations – Sermon – Mp3


Worship Encount3r Album Release

We’re so pumped to let you know that Worship Encounter 3 – Delux Live Worship Album was officially released in November, last year. We know you’ll enjoy this amazing, seamless experience through the journey of Worship & Teaching.

While at Faith Life Church, Columbus, Ohio, last November, my Aussie band and I decided at the last minute, (literally 15 minutes before the service began) to record the night and if all went well, we’d go ahead and aim to release it as a live worship project. So as you can guess it went extremely well and here we are now 12 months later its being released to coincide with Faith Life Church’s Worship night this November.

One of the things I like most about Worship Encounter 3 is the response and wonderfully innocent engagement of the congregation at Faith Life Church the night it was recorded as they didn’t know we were recording it. So there’s no level of “performing worship” for the recording’s sake but simple, virtuous, response to God in worship.

In post production, we’ve done lots of editing and overdubs to bring the recording to an enjoyable and listenable quality album that you will want to play many times over.

As I teach at Hillsong Leadership College in Sydney on Perfect Pitch and Relative Pitch, I have to let you know that all of my vocals and worship leading that you here on the album are the “live” vocals I recorded and ministered on the night it was recorded, the same goes for my Harp and Native American Flute playing.

We encourage keyboard players to learn to play the parts and to try and avoid using backing tracks and you’ll enjoy the raw, live keyboard arrangements on Worship Encounter 3.

Josh Telford of In-House Productions did such an amazing job of mixing this album. Josh has worked on Darlene Zschech’s albums and was a resident engineer for Mark & Darlene’s previously owned Grove Studios. Josh told me that he was so ministered to while mixing the album that sometimes he’d stop working and it and just sit there and enjoy the ministry moments as he played them many times over.

Luke Munns of Lakehaus Studios has also done a fabulous job of mastering the album and we feel to privileged that he could work on this for us.

As well as coming out on iTunes and CD, we’ve also released Worship Encounter 3 on USB as the Extended Version which runs for a full 90 minutes versus the CD/iTunes version which is 79 minutes in length. The USB also contains 2 bonus REMIX versions of “The Way” and “To Worship”.

I hope that you enjoy listening to and being ministered to by Worship Encounter 3 as much as we have enjoyed preparing it for your enjoyment.

Andrew Ironside

Hillsong Leadership College

It is such a privilege to teach, train and coach at our Sydney Hillsong Leadership College.

The other day, I walked into the class that I was guest lecturing at for my daughter Bree Ironside to the sounds of cheering and applause for the start of my 2nd year Song Writing lecture. The Hillsong College 2students are so honouring and definitely know how to draw the best out of their teachers and trainers.

The atmosphere of the class was electric from beginning to end and I’ve got to say the improvement in the songwriters since they started at Hillsong College is absolutely mind blowing! It shows they’re learning, but more importantly, they’re teachable, willing to be corrected and receive helpful critique and feedback. One of the marks of emotional intelligence is the person hungers for constructive feedback.

During the course of the class I had two guys perform the latest songs they’d written and I have to admit BOTH of their songs were MUCH BETTER than any of the 178 songs I have personally written and published through CCLI, APRA, AMCOS and on iTunes over the past 20 years or so.Hang on… isn’t that the way its supposed to be?

Hillsong College 1

I love the vibe at Hillsong Leadership College, if you’re thinking of attending, I highly recommend it – the proof is in the pudding – the evidence is there, changed lives through God’s Word, great teaching and a healthy environment to grow in. You can apply and enroll now through the Hillsong Leadership College website.

If you’re looking for some helpful song writing tips and training in the meantime you purchase the set of 4 Songwriting CDs or the Songwriting digital downloads from our website today


Happy songwriting!

Andrew Ironside

Hillsong Leadership College Trainer


YOU’RE going to love this! Beginning on Aug 3rd, for the first time ever we’re hosting this amazing online interactive worship team training called WORSHIP PASTOR’S WEBINAR, hosted by Andrew Ironside and Darlene Zschech’s HopeUC Creative Team Leaders.

If you’re a Worship Pastor, Worship Leader, Music Director, Song Writer, Sound Engineer, Production Manager; then this is a MUST for you! YOU need to be there with us!WORSHIP PASTOR'S WEBINAR

Every Wednesday morning for 7 weeks at 6am, starting Aug 3rd (AEST), Andrew is bringing this amazing lineup of HopeUC Creative Team Leaders to connect with YOU at home using web based platform of “Google Hangouts”.

HopeUC Jemima Gleeson

We’ll be discussing and covering in depth topics like: The Worship Pastor’s Role, The MD’s – Music Director’s Role, The Production Manger, Building An Effective Multi-Campus Creative Team, Leadership – What kind of Leader/Follower are you? Developing Song Writer – Songs & Producers, Worship Leading Principles, Relationships – Working With Senior Pastors and Team Leaders, Vitality and Energy To Get The Job Done (and still be sane).

A massive array of Darlene Zschech’s, HopeUC Creative Team Leaders are coming to Andrew’s Loft EACH WEEK to broadcast, train and interact with you; Luke Taylor, Jessamy Hoken, Craig Gower, Luke Munns, Jemima Gleeson, Nelda Sammy, Dave Watson and Melody Benson. Wow! You will be ecstatic about all the useful tools, techniques and testimonies that God is giving you through this team!

REGISTER NOW: http://musictrainingcourses.com/wpw/

More information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4ROTlxrgaQ


Worship Pastor’s MD Intensive

Would you like to know how to get your worship and production teams completely committed to Growing, Serving, and Ministering with a spirit of excellence?

We’re so looking forward to gathering together with a bunch of Worship Pastors from around the country for 3 days called The Worship Pastor’s – MD Intensive – Aug.2-4, 2016

It is I N T E N S E!

We pack a lot of training and coaching into 3 days and 1 night with our HopeUC Creative Team coming in and sharing the principles that help build unified, progressive, Mainstage WPW 2anointed, totally committed, creative/worship/production teams.

You get plenty of time to interact, gather bucket loads of wisdom and insight from our HopeUC speakers: Luke Taylor – HopeUC Worship Pastor & MD, Jessamy Hoken – HopeUC Worship Pastor & MD, Nelda Sammy – HopeUC Production Manager, Dave Watson – Sound Engineer, Craig Gower – MD & Keyboard player for Darlene, Luke Munns – Former Hillsong United drummer now Worship Leader & Song Writer at HopeUC, Jemima Gleeson – Worship Leader at HopeUC, Melody Benson – Wife, Mother, Entrepreneur, Health Specialist.

For more information and to register: http://musictrainingcourses.com/mdintensive/


I want to say that I would like to encourage Keyboard Players to do whatever they can to learn the new songs and develop the new sounds for their Church worship teams rather than using backing tracks to replace what the keyboard players and piano players should be and could be playing…Untitled5

My guess also that this is either a topic you don’t care about, doesn’t interest you, maybe you haven’t heard of before, or you are one that already has a strong opinion on it.


This is a really fantastic and exciting hour for keyboard players to be alive and be utilizing these new controller keyboards and sounds for the worship of our living God.


With the recent and amazing technological advancements in controller keyboards, soft synths (synthesizers and sounds based on software) like MainStage3, Omnisphere, Sylenth, Native Instrument Pianos, Synths and more, for the first time in history we have such a beautiful plethora of 1000s of unique, easily editable, hugely expressive sounds to magnify God with and help people become more aware of Him.


Untitled4In my opinion I think many keyboard players who are not moving forward with their learning of these new tools for worship are shirking their responsibility and the most monumental, prized opportunity in our lifetime so far, to creatively and sensitively minister the worship, the emotions and the stirring that’s going on in our hearts to God and for His people. Our Hillsong keyboard players have been using these tools for several years already.


  1. Please don’t be lazy, learn to play the new parts with the new sounds!


Running backing tracks for keyboard parts I think, promotes an unprepared attitude amongst many piano and keyboard players. They can easily just continue to doodle along with the same comfortable piano/pad style they’ve had for years, instead of stepping out of their boat of comfort and walking on the water with some level of fear and in-trepidation yet still mixed with fun, freshness and creative anticipation of voicing the new sounds.


Why is it that for decades guitarists have developed their guitar skills, put the practice in and learnt and played the hook and lead lines really well but suddenly as styles change globally to a more keyboard orientated sound that many keyboard players find it too difficult to learn or can’t simply find the time to learn and practice the parts in order to accurately play the songs of a new era?


Piano players and keyboard players, this is your moment; this is your time!

Step up to the mark; put the required time and effort in to learn the intricate and exciting parts for the new songs of today and tomorrow!


  1. Develop and program the right sounds!


Of all the instruments in our worship teams the keyboards have the greatest capacity hold and build the right atmosphere.


Add MediaWhere you heart is your treasure is. Invest in some up to date technology like a new model, fast, Mac Book Pro laptop, MainStage3 software, Omnisphere2 and a controller keyboard or NanoKontrol2.


Untitled3Why is it that for decades guitarist have refined their sounds with 1000s of dollars worth of effect pedals and warm sounding tube amps, then along comes some fresh keyboard lead lines in our worship songs and we feel we have to play a backing track because the keyboard players don’t have the “right” sounds or time to learn the parts?

Why not spend a mere AUD$37.50 or less and begin by downloading the Mac App “MainStage 3” and gain access to current, cutting edge sounds coming from your keyboard playing today?


A few weeks ago I heard a piano/keys player playing the exciting and fresh lead lines of Worship Central’s “The Way” song with a piano sound, I was so disappointed, as this is not how it’s meant to sound at all, it made a new and fresh song sound very dated.


So the question now is; Will we sit back as comfortable piano players and continue to just plod away with the safe old meat & potatoes piano/pad style sounds or will we grab people’s attention in worship to God by embracing the moment, the technology, the tremendously exciting new atmosphere building motion/arp/rhythm and lead style sounds available to us?


For me it all comes back to the fact that; “The purpose of worship is to help people become more aware of God,” not lull them to sleep with our out of date, overused, unimaginative, minimally prepared musical contributions from the keyboard.


  1. Embrace the complexity.


Yes, MainStage3 and Omnisphere have a reasonable amount of depth and complexity to them, but even the average intelligence person can quickly understand and learn how to program their own patches with interesting layers of sounds with motion, arpeggios, rhythms and effects that will deliver the best atmosphere for each song and worship moment.


To take away your excuses for not knowing where or how to start or even continue this journey we run a yearly 3 Day Keyboard Intensive for MainStage 2 & 3 and Omnisphere in April 2016 on the Central Coast.

We have also produced a DVD on how to use and setup your own MainStage rig. You can easily order the ‘MainStage3 Omnisphere DVD’, USB video or digital download from our website today.


Untitled2To also help you get started, the Hillsong keyboard players have uploaded some free MainStage patches/sounds on the Hillsong website: Hillsong.com as well as having some more current sounds for songs available for you to purchase.


I will sometimes spend 4-6 hrs in any given week that I’m rostered on to play at our Church HopeUC in preparing MainStage3 patches and sounds for specific new songs for the upcoming Sunday worship services. It is my absolute privilege to do so.


If you don’t have that much available time in your schedule to as you’re getting started, we’ve also produced a USB or digital download folder of 100 x MainStage3 worship patches/songs that incorporate Omnisphere sounds to help you get underway.

The hours and hours that we have spent designing patches for specific worship songs and worship moments will give you a great head start with a great variety of MainStage 3 Patches, MainStage Concerts, and set lists that also contain the settings for your attached USB Korg NanoKontrol2 setup.


UntitledOne of the greatest and creative flexibilities of MainStage 3 is the expression and control that a controller keyboard and a NanoKontrol device can give you for live, instant, on the spot volume, EQ filtering, reso filtering and dynamics to the sounds and layers you’re using at any moment.


Isn’t that what worship is really all about; getting the creative expression of music, love for God and emotion that’s inside you coming out through the simplest and most profoundly expressive and current way possible?


  1. Technology is not going away.


As you know I love using organic and ancient instruments like the Harp, Native American Flute, Low Irish Whistle and many others as well as the latest in technological advancements as tools to minister the presence of God and help people become more aware of how great God really is.


Let me encourage ALL piano players and ALL keyboard players to stay abreast and connected with what is available to you, learn something new, dedicate to a season of learning and mastering the new software instruments (soft synths) and tools available to worship and honour God in this season. Why not begin your exciting training and development journey now? (Click here)


I pray that you’ll find as much joy and fulfillment as I have in utilizing these fabulous tools for worship!


Happy keyboard playing! 🙂


Andrew Ironside

Worship Pastor – Itinerate Ministry ACC Australia

Arrowhead Ministries – HopeUC Member – Hillsong College Lecturer



Additional helpful information:


  1. What specs should my MacBook Pro Laptop have?

Ans: 2.8 – 3 gig CPU, 8 – 16 gig Ram, 1 TB SSD Hard Drive. Other features are optional.

You can often pickup a refurbished MacBook Pro up to $500 cheaper that still contain the warranties and AppleCare that a new computer has.


  1. Where do I purchase MainStage?

Ans: MainStage 3 can only be purchased and downloaded from iTunes App Store and is around $40.


  1. Where do I purchase Omnisphere?

Ans: Check out the Spectrasonics website for the closest store near you that stocks Omnisphere.

The most recent version of Omnisphere v2 is being released at the end of April, 2015. Check out the capabilities of Omnisphere V2 as well as the existing capabilities of v1.5 here.

Then you just need to stay current with the subsequent upcoming versions every couple of years into the future…


  1. How do I purchase Andrew Ironside’s training DVD – ‘Essential MainStage & Omnisphere Training’?

Ans: Click on this link to order the DVD, USB Video or Digital Download.


  1. How do I register for the ‘3 Day Keyboard Intensive for MainStage/Omnisphere’?

Ans: Click on this link to register through EventBrite or email andrew@andrewironside.com


  1. Where can I purchase and get more MainStage 3 Patches for specific Praise & Worship Songs?

Ans: Some really great Mainstage3 Patches that use Omnisphere at: chrislangmusic.com


Why I Play The Harp

Worship Encounter Electric Harp - Laser lights

Of the 14 instruments I currently play, the harp is the most profound, enjoyable and definitely the easiest to play.

I’ve had the privilege of playing the 30 String Harp for about 4 years and have lately been also using the 36 string harp.

Of all the harps I’ve played around the world, these Australian Red Cedar harps that my friend makes for us sound the best by far because the beautiful resonance produced by the timber and design. Using Australian Red Cedar when constructing the harp, produces a very light weight, fabulous sounding, but durable result.

I’ve also enjoyed the journey of finding a modern application for the harp and figuring out how it can work in a contemporary music setting, so in each of the harps that I play and sell we install high quality German pickups and then run them through an LR Baggs Acoustic Di then a series of guitar effect pedals like the Boss DD7 digital delay, TC Nova delay, Strymon Big Sky reverb (my favourite), and a Stereo JamMan Looper so that I can record the loops and musical patterns that I create and it’s been so much fun!

In the DVD – How To Play The Harp In 7 Easy Lessons, I devote an entire lesson on how to setup and efficiently use these effect pedals. It really does modernize the sound of the harp and bring it into the 21st century. Plus, it makes the whole experience of playing the harp so much more inspiring and creative.

We do want to make these beautiful instruments available to as many people as possible and one of the reasons we have harps for sale is that we really want to see the harp restored to Church worship, and not just played occasionally at some weddings and as a background instrument in orchestras.

If you’d like to hear and experience a sample of the 30 String Harp in action, check out these couple of links where I play it on Darlene Zschech’s live album, “Revealing Jesus” and on Daystar’s TV program “Celebration” in Denver, CO.

Why not take advantage of this month’s special and order your harp now and get 2 free sets of levers, pickups and the DVD.



How Can We Best Serve You?

Instead of coming to your Church with our own agenda, our desire is to serve YOU the local church leadership and congregations in any way that we effectively can. We can begin by offering four ways that we know can be of great support and encouragement to you.

1. Worship Leading:

Church services, nights of worship, special meetings, retreats, and conferences.

Our most effective tool has taken the format of ‘Worship Encounters’. A Worship Encounter is a seamless journey of Worship, Prayer & Teaching. Worship Teams all over the world enjoy the opportunity of ministering with Andrew while seeing their own congregations incredibly inspired as they wonderfully respond to the Word and Worship infused together.

2. Preaching & Teaching:

God is allowing us to bring a Word of life and encouragement to His Church, teaching on areas like; Servants & Stewards, Understanding The Seasons, Prospering In Your Soul, What Is Biblical Worship, Faith, Purpose & Jesus, Intimacy With God, Men – The one who takes responsibility

3. Training/Coaching:

Equipping worship leaders and worship teams in the spiritual and practical aspects of worship ministry, through Full Day Saturday Seminars or 2 Hour Evening Seminars.

4. Ongoing Relationship & Support:

Some Churches are booking us for up to 5 years into the future to repeatedly return to their Church and check up on and inspire their Church and Worship Teams.
With over a decade of local church pastoral ministry plus more than 23 years itinerate; we’ve experienced the personal, emotional and spiritual challenges of the calling. More than an itinerate ministry that just “does it’s thing” and moves on, we offer ourselves relationally to the church leadership we are privileged to serve. We also provide consultation in the area of worship ministry, leadership development, and sound system consultancy.

Christianity & Miracles

Christianity is relationship with God, not just a religion or religious act.

The Bible is a book of miracles.

I was inspired recently while listening to Pastor Clark Taylor share along these lines;

Without miracles there’d be no Bible, no creation, no children of Israel, no resurrected Jesus,
God feed 3 million people in the desert – a mriacle,
The birth of Christ is a miracle, Jesus’ life and minstry were filled with miracles… constantly…

Then why are we not believing for and pressing in for miracles today?

All the gifts of the Spirit and promises of God are available to you today! Why not believe for a miracle today?

All the fruit of the Spirit is available to you today! Why not walk in the evidence of that fruit; Love, Joy, Peace, Long Suffering… Today?

To walk in the Spirit is normal.

We are created to walk in two realms – the spirit realm and in the natural realm.

Gen 1:27-28 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Zechariah 12:1 The burden of the word of the Lord against Israel. Thus says the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him:

Knowledge from God comes to you in the Spirit.
You learn to sensitise your spirit to God, just like you sensitise yourself to your wife – it takes time…

God is speaking all the time, the question is; Are you listening? Are you hearing? Maybe God is using different ways of speaking to you than just an audible voice, on inner voice. Quieten down a little and learn to hear and feel His promtings.

Hebrews says the gifts of the spirit are developed by much practice.

1 Cor 2:12 “We have the spirit of God”
V14 “the natural man does not receive the things of God because they are foolish to him”
John 15:15 “you are my friends, I let you know what I thinking and planning”

2 Cor 4:16 “Even though our outward man perishes, the inward man is renewed day by day”

The Word of God divides the spirit & the soul – why? So that we can understand ourselves better, just like you pull a car’s motor apart in order to understand it better and repair it.

Know/learn the ways of God and the ways of man, combine the two in order to effective help and minister to others.

When you don’t feel God and His presence, ask Him what would it feel like if I could feel You right now?

Ask God for a miracle today! I believe in miracles!