Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

Time to Plan for Easter Music!

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Flowers520

Gearing up for Easter music!  Planning ahead is the key! How many of you church pianists are involved in planning for your church’s Easter service?

I’m trying to decide on a nice Easter ensemble medley for maybe three to four pianos, flutes and clarinet for an offertory. Feeling the creative juices flowing too! I think I’ll adapt my trio piano version of “Power in the Blood Medley” for this group.

Concerning choir music…we usually don’t have a full-fledged program due to time limitations but try to learn new songs for these special occasions.

One of my favorite Easter cantatas is “The Bread of Life” by Lloyd Larson. All of the music is very well done!  I found a fairly decent recording of this very cantata on youtube.  It helps to hear a good representation of the music before tackling a new song…also provides the director with the interpretation ideas of the song such as word coloring (emphasizing certain words to elevate the meaning of the text)…. and also….what tempo is most effective.

At this point, the one song we’ll be learning from this cantata is “Taste and You’ll See” a nice upbeat piece on the Christian’s experience  of God’s salvation.

I’m sure I’ll be sharing other resources for Easter offertories and vocal specials along the way as we look towards an effective Easter service for God’s glory!

So…start getting ready now for your Easter service while you have ample time! 🙂   Not counting the last week of December….Easter is 15 weeks from now.

Sounds like a long time but not when you’re preparing new music or a cantata….even if it’s an easy program.  Have fun as you seek out Easter music!

Easy Christmas Program Ideas!

Monday, November 14th, 2016

music christmas ornament icon

Many church pianists have already been practicing for their church’s Christmas program.

In many cases, the church pianist IS the choir leader and has the task of deciding what to do for a Christmas program.

My son is our choir director. He works at least 50 hours a week and the father of three small children. Needless to say,  I help out by coming up with a simple program to fit our 40 minutes per week choir practice time. (this accounts for starting roughly two months in advance; which may vary from church to church depending on your choir’s ability)

My son and I have about a 40 minute commute to church so we’re very time conscious!

Our most-involved Christmas program back in 2011 was entitled “Christmas at Home” by Ron Hamilton. We used the “readers theatre” version due to limited time. The main actors were acting their first play ever. (Part Two sampler of our Christmas at Home)

In recent years, we have experienced a much more pleasant, relaxing time through having easier Christmas programs.

I have written two VERY easy Christmas programs…one of which is FREE HERE.  I’m still editing the second FREE Christmas program.

Now…ideas for enhancing your Christmas Program

  • Lyrics taken from cantata books make for great narration when coordinating a chronological list of songs together for a short choir concert. (That’s what we’re doing this year)

  • Include congregation by having them sing a song in the program. ( the choir could sing a descant taken from a hymnal while the congregation sings the melody) Another neat idea…have Pastor lead congregation in  reciting Luke 2:14 at the appropriate time during the program. Very effective! (Tip: Include Luke 2:14 in the Christmas program bulletin)

  • The congregation could also stand and sing a song following their verse (Luke 2:14) Song suggestions: Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World (include lyrics in the program bulletin)

Easy Christmas Program Suggestion:

  1. Several different adults recite the Christmas story(Luke 2:1-19) in microphone off stage while children in appropriate costume act out the narration.

  2. Stage setup:  Only two scenes: Manger scene center stage, shepherd scene on left or right of manger scene. (props for shepherd scene not necessary).

  3. Songs can be inserted appropriately throughout the narration.

  4. Extra tip:Remind children that they must listen to what’s being read so they can act accordingly…to avoid appearing mechanical

Also a good idea to remind narrators to read with conviction! It brings the story to life!!

Hopefully this will help church pianists or choir leaders trying to find last-minute ideas for an easy Christmas program.

Please feel free to leave comments or ideas below.

A reminder: I do have over a dozen FREE piano and vocal Christmas arrangements available HERE.

Sharing a few links that may give you an idea as well (don’t fully endorse all the ideas at these links… but you can sift out what you like)

Possible lyrics for poems

Creative Church Idea Attic

 

 

Going Live on Facebook!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

I’ve provided the recent “broadcast” from facebook.  *See written article below for essential information that goes with the video.

On a lighter note….”Don’t you just LOVE my piano?!  It’s one of a kind…..treble is at the bottom…bass at the top!  (Just kidding)  *The dilemma was a front facing camera.

Jenifer Cook is going live on Facebook this Thursday at 8 pm EST. (November 10, 2016)

Ever notice how a lot of Christmas hymns have frequent
accidentals…the makings for awkward hand movements…

Hear Jenifer’s suggestions in dealing with accidental passages. She’ll be showing her note changes on the handouts listed below…feel free to either print them or have them on a screen for viewing purposes for tonight’s session. So much to share in a short time span!!

Copy and paste this link in the URL field at the top of your browser page: https://www.facebook.com/Jenifer-Cook-602815303135832/?fref=ts

Print the following FREE music example pages for tonight’s “going live on facebook” session with Jenifer

O Little Town of Bethlehem (verse only)

O Little Town of Bethlehem (verse only w/ application)

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

There’s a Song in the Air

Have a pencil handy too!  writing_pen

Jesus Paid it All: Free Piano Arrangement

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

One of my readers shared this video with me this week…of her son playing my free piano arrangement of Jesus Paid it All. I also enjoyed hearing the cello play along with it too! ( I liked how she changed registers for variety)

What a blessing to hear my music can reach as far as Romania and beyond.  🙂

So thankful God can use me through the ministry of music.

https://www.facebook.com/100011526603284/videos/262168524177366/

Just Published: Am I a Soldier of the Cross (early intermediate)

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

I just published an early intermediate sacred piano solo of “Am I a Soldier of the Cross”.  One of my male students specifically requested this song for an offertory arrangement. Knowing this hymn was rather short…I asked him if he would like a medley with this song in it but he didn’t seem interested in my suggestion….so…I had to add an interesting intro, interlude and ending just to make this arrangement last long enough 😉

You’ll notice more structure in this piece since it was written for the student in mind.

Video Share: Brethren We Have Met to Worship (Piano duo)

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

I also wrote this two piano arrangement of Brethren We Have Met to Worship….years ago for the same student who played “Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy”.

We enjoyed playing this duet. Here is his younger brother playing Brethren We Have Met to Worship with one of our college students.

The simplicity of the piece benefited their minimal practice time 😉

Click on title to see sample page: Brethren We Have Met to Worship

Just Published! Intermediate Sacred Piano Solo “Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy”

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

I wrote “Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy” piano arrangement for one of my former male students who loved playing hymns in minor keys.

He’s now a college student but considers this his all-time favorite. This particular arrangement was written with the piano student in mind…along with ample finger suggestions.

You’ll notice a more structured arrangement here to aid the intermediate church pianist.

Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy
Early intermediate sacred piano solo, arranged by Jenifer Cook, 3 & 1/2 pgs. Written for the student in mind with ample fingering suggestions. Well-structured for easy learning. This piece does have a slight celtic flair. I wrote this for one of my former male piano students who LOVED hymns in minor keys. He's in college now but still considers this his all-time favorite.
Price: $3.50

 

Church Pianist Tip: Storing Music for Special Music

Monday, July 25th, 2016

At this point in time, I’m the only pianist at our church who plays for the special music.  Looking forward to other pianists getting involved in this area as they become more comfortable with playing in the service.

Music can pile up REALLY fast without a place to call home.  For the past several months, I’ve been using a six pocket binder that has proved VERY helpful and thought I’d share it with my readers.

I know this particular binder may not work for everyone but works great for my needs 🙂  (Binders with more than six pockets can be found on Walmart’s site)

Here’s a picture of my binder from Walmart.

BINDER-PIC

Before watching this video…when you hear me mention “floppy disk”…that’s what our digital piano uses to play recordings.

 

Please feel free to share your own organization ideas that work for you!

Free Piano Arrangement: Spirit of the Living God

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

I just stumbled across this simple yet elegant; free piano arrangement when viewing my latest subscriptions of youtube videos.

Love to hear Suyun’s sacred piano videos on youtube 🙂  Thanks Suyun for making us aware of this free piano arrangement for Spirit of the Living God.

The free piano arrangement for Spirit of the Living God can be downloaded at Olive Huisman’s website. (you will find more free piano arrangements as well!)

A big thanks to Olive Huisman for sharing her piano arrangements for free!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day Song by Reece Yandle

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Just sharing the Mother’s day song that my Dad, Reece Yandle, wrote many years ago.

The sheet music is available in our store at:  http://thechurchpianist.com/music-store/vocal/unison/

or….   

My Mother
My Mother
Sacred vocal solo or group special; unison. 3 & 1/2 pgs. *Price covers two or more copies. No audio included; pdf only

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: $6.00

My piano accompaniment isn’t an exact replica of the printed piano score but close enough.

 

 

 

Follow Jenifer on…
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
Article Categories