Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous tips’ Category

Nothing but the Blood of Jesus

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Nothing but the Blood of Jesus uses only two chords through the entire song! (The I and V)

This hymn is crying out for “dress-ups” from the church pianist.

Here’s several ideas I use to dress up the verse of “Nothing but the Blood”.

Notice the melody of the verse contains a lot of repeated notes.  A great time to add some spice! 🙂 You can even hold a right chord through repeated notes here and there.  You’ll notice I kept the left hand moving during the right hand chords to maintain forward motion/rhythmic drive.  The following example can be used for an entire verse if repeated.

Click here for your free download of “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus” improvising ideas.

Organizing Choir Music

Monday, February 12th, 2018


I’ve been spending a little extra time organizing our choir music at church.

We were using 1 inch notebooks that were overloaded with music!

Each notebook was divided into:

  1. Choruses
  2. Easy Specials
  3. Arranged specials (more involved)

Our repertoire list began to grow…causing overloaded notebooks.

I removed all the arrangements from the notebook and  filed all of

our sheet music arrangements in alphabetical order in a file drawer.

We ordered 1/2 inch 3 ring notebooks and I created a simple (black & white) cover design.

Basically, the notebooks will only house what’s needed for am & pm Sunday services.

We have a very small classroom designated for the choir and don’t have the space to hang

wall storage of any kind…so we are making use of the file cabinet which already exists.

Our music repertoire is limited but expanding 🙂

Feel free to share how your choir keeps their music organized.

Abide With Me (fingering tip)

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

Many of you have purchased my advanced or real advanced arrangement of “Abide With Me”

Someone recently requested I share fingering suggestions for measure #30. Another tip about this measure…I take it slow enough to handle the excessive movement in the left hand.

*See video below to hear measures #22 through #30  (time marker 1:01-1:26) It will give you a better idea of how this transitional section flows into the new key.

Prelude Music for the Church Pianist

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

How many of you church pianists besides myself grab the hymnal just before service to figure out a few prelude songs to play?

That works for me ONLY because I’ve been around awhile and and have memorized many hymns over time.  Seriously, it’s best to prepare in advance…at least before heading to church.

I try to play within a certain theme such as: comfort, peace, joy, thankfulness, salvation, etc.

One of my readers recently emailed me asking if I would provide a categorized list of songs for prelude possibilities.

I also got to thinking….how nice it would be to write/arrange these preludes.

For starters, I’ll share the suggested prelude lists by topic.  (Please note: Approx. 5 to 6 minute per prelude) if each song is played two times.

Click here to print the Prelude by Topic List.












Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne (piano congregational)

Saturday, December 16th, 2017


music christmas ornament iconFor church pianists in the early intermediate level….here’s a piano congregational of “Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne” that I barely squeezed in for this Christmas.

Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne
Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne
Early intermediate Christmas piano congregational, 1 & 1/4 pgs. Key of C One verse and chorus with 1st & 2nd ending. *Compatible for mostly unison singing

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Price: $1.75

Just Published! Easy to Play Christmas Piano Congregational Collection!

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Click on image to view sample pages

NEW: Click on image to view samples: Early intermediate Christmas piano congregational arrangements, 21 pgs. Due to numerous requests, Jenifer has created these easy-to-play piano congregationals...requiring minimal practice from the church pianist. Song list: Angels We Have Heard on High, Away in a Manger, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World, O Come All Ye Faithful, O Holy Night, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Silent Night, The First Noel, What Child is This. *Special note: Angels We Have Heard on High contains a nice key change for last verse. *No introductions are provided but the pianist can easily create their own by playing last few measures of arrangement for the intro.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Price: $13.00

Hymn Suggestions for Thanksgiving Prelude

Thursday, November 16th, 2017


Hymn Suggestions for Thanksgiving Prelude (not extensive list)

* Most of these hymns can be downloaded & printed for free from

Place them in a notebook in the desired order for prelude.

Tip:  Write brief modulation on a sticky-note staff pad to place at end of a song if needed.

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name

Blessed be the Name

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Count Your Blessings

For the Beauty of the Earth

Great is Thy Faithfulness

I Sing the Mighty Power of God

I Will Praise Him

Praise Him! Praise Him!

Rejoice Ye Pure in Heart

There Shall be Showers of Blessing

To God be the Glory

Dad Leading “It is Well” Congregational

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

I LOVE how my dad leads the congregation!  Guess I am partial.

He sings with gusto and conviction…adding enrichment to the meaning of the song.

This is Dad leading congregational singing at the recent 50th Anniversary SCACS Teacher’s Convention in Spartanburg, SC. (Hard to believe he is 80 years old!)

Yes, that’s me (off camera) in the background…just how I like it 😉

Piano Fill-In Tip (chorus of Leaning on the Everlasting Arms)

Sunday, October 29th, 2017

While playing Leaning on the Everlasting Arms for congregational this morning…the thought occurred to me to share one of my fill-in ideas I usually use for the last chorus. This particular hymn needs lots of dress-up to bring it to life!

Some of you pianists may not like “going off the grid” so the first line is for you. The second line is for those who like to venture out in space 😉

Hope all of you are having a wonderful Sunday worshiping the Lord with your church family.

The following example is taken from the first line of the chorus.





Answer Key Sheets from Live Facebook Session (Oct. 12, 2017)

Friday, October 13th, 2017


Enjoyed teaching you all last night! Sorry it lasted longer than expected.

I also appreciate the feedback to help improve my sessions. Thanks as well for your words of encouragement!

The following Answer Keys are in reference to our live facebook session from October 12, 2017

Click HERE to watch the archived video of this session on facebook.

Text Answer Key

Showers of Blessing Answer Key

I Will Sing of My Redeemer Answer Key

O How I Love Jesus Answer Key

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