Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Archive for December, 2015

4 Reasons Why a Busy Advent/Christmas Season is a Great Thing

by David Jordan

1.Listening to music releases Dopamine in the brain.

a.Valorie Salimpoor (2011) and her team conducted research that shows that listening to music can release the neurotransmitter dopamine. Even anticipating music can release dopamine.

b.People have favorite music that induces euphoria. Be aware of that.

c. Anticipating the pleasurable parts of music activates different areas of the brain and neurotransmitters than actually listening to and experiencing the music.

d.Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them.

2.The more difficult something is to achieve; the more people like it.

a.Of course I would highly recommend that you do help them actually achieve it.

b. If you want people to join your community, choir, body, you might find that people put more value on it if there are steps that have to be taken to join. Filling out an application, meeting certain criteria, being invited by others — all of these can be seen as barriers to entry but they may also mean that the people who do join, are going to care more about the group.

3. People are more motivated as they get closer to a goal.

a.The goal-gradient effect says that you will accelerate your behavior as you progress closer to your goal.

b. People focus on what’s left more than what’s completed. People are focused on what’s left to accomplish. Perfect for advent/Christmas concerts and special services.  The shorter distance to the goal the more motivated people are to reach it. People are even more motivated when the end is in sight.

4.People are more motivated by intrinsic rewards than extrinsic rewards.

a. People want to the experience of learning and improving.

b.They are motivated when what they are doing helps connect with other people.

c. Heuristic work assumes the work itself provides intrinsic motivation through a sense of accomplishment.

I hope this will give a different perspective on what we often experience as just overwhelming. During the next several weeks, look for ways to create a more robust and excited choir, church, community, entity of MIPs (Musically Important People). People that are looking forward to every moment of participation in this glorious season.

Have a very Merry Christmas and Thank You.

David Jordan, media artist and Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, are the creators and performers of the organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea.  They are also church musicians.


3 Reasons Why a Busy Advent/Christmas Season is a Great Thing

by David Jordan

1. Food

2. Doing things together bonds people together.

a.  It’s called synchronous activity. These are actions you take together with others, where everyone is doing the same thing at the same time in physical proximity to one another. Dancing, singing and chanting in time as a group are all examples of synchronous activity. This promotes bonding and therefore helps the group survive. Mirror neurons are involved in synchronous activity and there is a certain type of happiness that humans can’t get any other way than engaging in synchronous activity.

b. Yes, we do have to work on Synchronicity at times to get all the parts together, on the first beat, but the more we do together the happier we’ll be.

c. This is one of the many benefits that choirs have contributed to the church body.

3.People are happier when they’re busy. 

Truly we are, and there have been many studies on this subject to prove this idea. Of course, being over-burdened is not great. However, there’s a lot we can and want to do before we get too busy.

Did I mention food?  Remember, the Chocolate Season starts on All Saints Eve and goes through Easter.

 David Jordan, media artist and Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, are the creators and performers of the organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea.  They are also church musicians.

Giving the Gift of Music

MusicAs we look forward with expectation to the Christmas season, let your music be a gift during this glorious, yet for some, stress-filled time of the year.  We as organists are in the unique position to bring beauty, serenity, joy, and excitement to our congregations, to our friends, and to our family. 

As you play for the many church services, concerts, carol sings, and parties in the coming month, revel in giving the gift of music.  Allow those black spots to “come alive” and celebrate with an outburst of joy, Christ among us.

Blessings on your gift this Christmas season. 

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist

Dr. Jeannine Jordan

With Christmas joy,



Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, and David Jordan, media artist, are the creators and performers of the organ and multimedia concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea.  Dr. Jordan is also a church musician and teacher.

Living Advent through Hymnody

The ubiquitous “sounds of Christmas” which surround us at every turn from mid-November on, are among the most powerful influences on us to think about Christmas, rather than Advent. “Christmas music” from Jingle Bells and Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer mixed in with Silent Night and Joy to the World fills every store, coffee shop, elevator, and office. Once one of those catchy tunes begins ringing in our ears and repeating again and again, it is difficult to get it out. Thus, one of the ways we can work on “living Advent” is to rediscover some of the rich hymnody of the Advent season.

Advent imageThe season of Advent looks back, to a time before the birth of Christ, to show us how the people of God learned hope in ancient times. And then the season of Advent looks forward, far beyond the birth of Christ, to the true object of our faith, the King who comes to conquer the darkness, restore creation, and establish his Kingdom forever.

Following is a sampling of the Advent hymns:advent hymn

Come, thou long expected Jesus (#66) is a Charles Wesley hymn, a gentle prayer to the infant King to enter our hearts and raise us to heaven. Although it was originally written as two stanzas of eight lines each, it has been set to the tune STUTTGART as four stanzas of four lines each.

On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry (#76) Although he does not have a feast day in Advent, John the Baptist is clearly one of the chief saints of Advent. He bridges the gap between the Old and New Testaments, proclaiming the traditional prophetic promise of the coming Messiah, and then pointing specifically to Jesus, the long-awaited fulfilment of that promise. This Latin hymn of the 18th century repeats the Baptist’s warning that repentance is a necessary precondition to participation in the coming salvation. The text is set to another early melody, WINCHSTER NEW.

Creator of the stars of night (#60) The Latin original of this hymn first appears in manuscripts of the ninth and tenth centuries. Both a plea for divine compassion and a hymn of praise to God the Creator, Redeemer, and Judge of fallen humanity, it is the office hymn in the monastic office of Vespers. The English translation of John Mason Neale was first published in 1851 and has been revised and updated several times. The plainsong melody, CONDITOR ALME SIDERUM, is the traditional tune associated with this hymn.

Herald, Sound the Note of Judgment (#76) The next for this “new to us” Advent hymn, was written by Moir A. J. Waters who was born in India and spent many years teaching at Indore Theological Seminary and evangelizing in nearby villages. After his retirement, he published three small collections of hymns including the Advent hymn, Herald, Sound the Note of Judgment. With the tune, HERALD, SOUND by Robert Powell of Greenville, South Carolina, this marvelous hymn made its first (and to date) – only hymnal appearance in The Hymnal 1982.

Comfort, comfort ye my people (#67) was written in German by Johannes G. Olearius (1611-1684) for the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. The English translation by Catherine Winkworth was published in 1863. The text paraphrases Isaiah 40 and identifies the voice in the wilderness as John the Baptist. The lively, dance-like tune, PSALM 42, first appeared in the Genevan Psalter in the mid-1500s.

O come, O come, Emmanuel (#56) This ancient advent hymn originated in part from the “Great ‘O’ Antiphons,” part of the medieval Roman Catholic Advent liturgy. On each day of the week leading up to Christmas, one responsive verse would be chanted, each including a different Old Testament name for the coming Messiah. When we sing each verse of this hymn, we acknowledge Christ as the fulfillment of these Old Testament prophesies. We sing this hymn in an already-but not yet-kingdom of God. Christ’s first coming gives us a reason to rejoice again and again, yet we know that all is not well with the world. So along with our rejoicing, we plead using the words of this hymn that Christ would come again to perfectly fulfill the promise that all darkness will be turned to light. The original text created a reverse acrostic: “ero cras,” which means, “I shall be with you tomorrow.” That is the promise we hold to as we sing this beautiful hymn.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan is a church musician, teacher, and concert organist. Visit www.promotionmusic.org to learn more of her work.



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