FAQs

Q?

When and how did you begin writing music?

A.

When I was about 10 years old, I found that writing my own music was much more fun than studying my piano lessons. Thankfully, I had a wonderful piano teacher who nurtured my creativity and allowed time in my lessons for me to play my creations. However, it wasn't until I was about 16 years old that my writing really took off. At that time I was attending seminary in my LDS faith, and found that the music I heard there was very appealing to me. I loved the spirit I felt when I listened to it and chose to pursue writing music of a more spiritual nature and to follow in the footsteps of some of the writers I loved.

Q?

Do you write any other music besides church music?

A.

Yes, of course. I have some love songs, a few country-ish ballads, I've written a song for the Alberta Centennial Celebration contest, some other inspirational songs, children's numbers and lots of instrumentals. I also love adding instrumental parts to common songs and arranging already popular music.

Q?

Do you perform your own music?

A.

Only when people beg me to! I really am not the singer. I am the writer. I prefer to be more behind the scenes than the performer of my music and love working with many vocalists, both in live performances and recording. However, I do occasionally sing at firesides and presentations I give - and you will find me as a background vocal with Jennifer Ehlert on the song "When Thou Carries Me" from the new album Come To Know Him. I am often at the piano accompanying my music in performances. I enjoy that as well, but some of the most satisfying experiences have been when I am seated in an audience listening to the performance from a totally different angle - as purely a listener. It's always fun to hear other's interpretations of my music!

Q?

What other instruments do you play?

A.

In addition to the piano, I play the flute. But not professionally. I've always been more of a piano girl.

Q?

What program do you use to write your music?

A.

Currently, Finale. I used to use Cakewalk Scorewriter, but I'm quite enjoying Finale.

Q?

Do you write arrangements of hymns?

A.

Some! They are coming! I have a very big goal of writing an arrangement of many of the popular hymns in the LDS hymnal. So far, I have only published "I Stand All Amazed". I have also done a men's choir arrangement of "Come Follow Me", but it has yet to be officially published. It was used at my grandfather's funeral. I would like to create arrangements that are easy to learn for vocals (like for instant choirs - and just use the melodies from the hymn book) and with a simple accompaniments. We all know how choir practices go and performances for church. It's often difficult to rehearse the way we want to, so my goal is to make the arrangement simple and ready to use in a pinch.

I am taking hymn suggestions for arrangements, so if you have one, feel free to contact me.

Q?

Which comes first – the music or the words?

A.

It all depends on the song. Often I'll start out with the music - but only a portion. Rarely an entire song comes at once. It's usually a chord squence or a hook line or melody that I just can't seem to get out of my head. Then, from there, I build it. I often start by writing the chorus - the punch line of the song - and add verses. It's kind of like dumping out a puzzle with about 500 pieces and then seeing where it all fits. Often, I'm not even sure where it's all going until the song is finished. One time, though, I had an entire set of lyrics before any music came. That was for the song "Miracles For Me". I decided the words to that song must be very special, since they came first.

 

Q?

How much does it cost to record music?

A.

Well, that all depends on how professional you want it to sound and who you want to have record by way of instrumentalists and vocalists. For me, let's just say I could have paid off a couple of new cars by now. I have always wanted it to sound as professional as I could make it. As a writer, having your music recorded on a professional level is an extremely awesome experience. When I record, one of things I ask myself is "would someone want to listen to this again and again?" If the answer is yes, then I know it's been money well spent.

When recording, you are paying studio time at $60-90/hour, a producer/arranger at his/her fees, vocalists at a few hundred dollars each and other instrumentalists. I use people who record professionally and so it does cost me. However, the end result product is extremely well done, so for me, it is well worth every penny, not to mention a very exhilarating experience.

Q?

What kind of piano do you have?

A.

I have a Roland digital piano. One day...ONE DAY...I hope to own a grand. But I will always need a digital piano for my writing. 🙂

Q?

Who inspires you in your writing?

A.

Well, lots of songwriters inspire me. Because of the unique type of music I write, I find that other LDS songwriters inspire me the most. Specifically Janice Kapp Perry, Michael McLean, Hilary Weeks, and Kenneth Cope. Those were LDS artists who were popular as I began writing and I've gleaned from the spirit they have in their music. Really though, it is my Savior who inspires me most. I love writing music about Him.

Q?

How long does it take to write a song?

A.

Hours. Sometimes days. A song often has to simmer for a week or more before I even try to start writing it down. Once the composing part is finished, the actual scoring of a song will take anywhere from 12-20 hours of work. It's kind of like picking up a thousand beads out of shag carpet. It's very tedious work, but extremely rewarding.

Q?

Do you travel to share your music?

A.

I have, but not too far. My family is still quite young and travel costs are great. However, I've come up with this great idea where I am making my programs available for a small fee. These will include a skeletal outline of a program with scriptures, stories, quotes, and then all of my sheet music for download. That way people can share my music and use it in the places they are from, using talent from their own area.

Q?

Who do you produce with?

A.

I have used Greg Hansen from the get-go. He contacted me many years ago and we have worked together ever since. I like to use him because he "gets" my type of music, since he has arranged and written LDS music for years. He takes my music and runs with it and hires the vocalists and instrumentalists - with my blessing of course.

Q?

How do you balance your music with your family?

A.

It's tricky and a juggling act for sure. I've found (when I do it right) that the best way to give my family my all and sneak in the music is to write either before the children are up or before they go to bed. However, when I have big projects on the go, deadlines, or concerts in the works, my family is very understanding. I'm not sure the juggling will ever end. But I think that any mom who does stuff on the side, whatever that may be, will find that it's tough to balance. One of the things that makes it worth it is to hear my children sing my songs and learn to play them on the piano. 🙂

Q?

What else do you love to do besides music?

A.

Well, I love to sew, bake, and I love to tend my flower garden. In fact, I chose peonies for my website because I have a peony bush that was given to me by my grandfather who also loved to garden. This bush also belonged to his grandmother! All my grandparents have always had lovely flowers in their yard. I also love to spend time with my family, watching my kid's sports games, shopping with them and going on trips.  One of the things I have recently found that I love is creating graphics and blogging. I think computers are fun. I wish I could say I loved to ski, hike or mountain bike, but I've never been much of a sporty girl. However, I DID pick up jogging a couple of years ago and now that the new album is finished, I hope to get back to doing that!

  1. Not Far From Home (feat. April Meservy) Sara Lyn Baril 0:48
  2. Come To Know Him (feat. Daniel Beck) Sara Lyn Baril 0:42
  3. In The Lord's Time (feat. Sara Bethany Ham) Sara Lyn Baril 0:35
  4. Closer Than You Know (feat. April Meservy) Sara Lyn Baril 0:38
  5. Thy Healing Hands (feat. Rebecca Lopez) Sara Lyn Baril 0:47
  6. I Will Remember Him (feat. Benson Baril) Sara Lyn Baril 0:43
  7. At His Feet (feat. Rebecca Lopez) Sara Lyn Baril 0:42
  8. Miracles For Me (feat. Sara Bethany Ham) Sara Lyn Baril 0:40
  9. Unto The Lord (feat. Tammy Simister Robinson) Sara Lyn Baril 0:34
  10. How Is It Done? (feat. Traci Ellingson & Jennifer Ehlert) Sara Lyn Baril 0:40
  11. Believe (feat. Julie Rose) Sara Lyn Baril 0:39