If you were to step into my bedroom at any point in the day, more than half the time you’d find me sitting at my desk, working away at some kind of project. And many times, I’ll have music playing in the background—sometimes quiet instrumental (mostly solo piano) pieces, other times louder ones when I’ve forgotten to turn it down. Because, yeah, that happens too. 🙂
I love listening to music—and sometimes wonder if I listen to it too much!—but it’s something I really enjoy in life. Music lightens the mood, it helps me focus when I’m trying to write, and it’s a beautiful representation of one aspect of God’s wonderful creation.
Over the years, I’ve accumulated a substantial collection of instrumental music, and though I still often resort to online radios, I’ve found myself using my own collection more and more frequently. And the best part of all? I’ve been able to build up my collection for free—and today, I’d like to share my top favorites of the free ones I’ve found with you.
A note before the list: One thing I always try to make sure of is that the “free” albums I’m downloading have been made available legally. Piracy is NOT something I want to be getting into, and I’m sure you don’t, either! There are quite a few songs on Youtube that are illegally uploaded (although I believe there is a good number that are legal, too—it just depends on the source). But several years ago, I discovered NoiseTrade. NoiseTrade is a place for artists to offer samples of their work to you for free, in exchange for adding you to their newsletter lists. Almost everything on NoiseTrade is stuff I don’t appreciate, but when I was on there recently, I kept track of the gems I found, and that’s what I want to share with you today. As far as I know, these are all put up by the original artists, so they should be legal. Check into it yourself—don’t take my word for it! I’m only sharing these since they have been a blessing to me, and hopefully they will be for you, too!
Unless otherwise stated, these are full solo piano albums. Most are from Christian artists, and many have hymns in them.
My favorites–soothing ones I love to have playing in the background (free on NoiseTrade):
- Lighthouse (A Piano Album) by Scripture Lullabies
- Serenade by Jana Van Ryn (hymns, new and old—four variations with “Jesus Loves Me”!)
- The King Shall Come: Piano Meditations on the Church’s Advent and Christmas Music by William Weedon (mostly Christmas-themed hymns)
- Hymns of Worship, Vol. 1 and Hymns of Worship, Vol. 2 by Joshua David Harris (Piano)
- Illuminate by Emilee Hartley (solo piano)
- Out of the Blue by Cory Lavine (solo piano)
- In a Sampler Motif by Dianne Esau Porter (hymns; not a full album; 6 tracks)
- Best Hits: The Naked Piano and Best Hits: The Naked Piano, Volume II by Gary Girouard (I don’t like the name, but they are lovely! not full albums, though; 6 tracks apiece)
- Wordless Worship (Solo Piano) by David Delgado (another beautiful collection; 22 tracks)
- Worship Interludes, Volume 1 by Fred McKinnon
- Dawn Light by Zachary Bruno (not a Christian artist, but beautiful piano music–click on his name to see more of his work)
Other nice instrumental albums (free on NoiseTrade):
- 25 Solo Piano Hymns and Spiritual Songs by Ang Li (not quite as gentle as some I like, but a beautiful collection of hymns old and new—I’ll be keeping this one!)
- Pursuit by Jana Van Ryn (beautiful worship songs; not as gentle as I like, but I still love this album!)
- Sea of Glass by David Mahler (this is more instrumental; mainly dulcimer music, all eight songs inspired by the book of Revelations)
- A Cup of Tea by Judah Banke (solo piano, but not always gentle—a fun one for tea lovers!)
- Hymns at the Piano and Favorite Tunes at the piano by Frank Carter (not qute as gentle as some artists, but still nice)
- Piano Collection, Vol 2 by Brandon Musser (Christian artist; not gentle playing, but has quite a few hymn albums—click on his name to see them all)
- Solo Piano by Phil Madeira (jazz style; but not heavy-handed—nice to have in the background)
BONUS: Other artists I love listening to:
I thought I’d throw this in here, because I always enjoy seeing what other people listen to! This is not a complete list, but hopefully it will give you some more options! The links are to the artist “topic channels” on Youtube, so they aren’t ones I’ve found for free, but you can find them on Spotify or iHeart Radio or wherever else you get your music. These are not in any particular order–I appreciate them all.
Hopefully, that’s helpful! I’ve marveled before at how tensions can be rising over something, and then we turn some good music on, and everyone settles down again. I believe God has built into us an appreciation for good music, and it’s a wonderful way for us to value His goodness and the beauties of His creation more, too.
Do you have any favorite artists—ones I have mentioned, or some I’ve missed? Please share. I’m always on the lookout for more variety!