The Church Pianist: What A Friend We Have in Jesus (Interpretation)

Audio of lesson…What_a_Friend_We_Have_in_Jesus_Interpretation 

The interpretation of a piano solo is of upmost importance.

In my younger years, my dad always reminded me to play as though I were speaking the song.

He told me to “feel the music” and learn to breathe just as a singer would breathe when singing the same song.

To this day, I always sing the words in my head while playing to focus on the message.

Some words may need to be slower for a special emphasis…while other words can be sped up

to portray a sense of urgency or importance.

To stress the importance of interpretation…I will play an excerpt of my arrangement

“What a FriendWe Have in Jesus”.

The first time through…I will play in strict time with no ebb and flow.

Hear the difference in the second time as I play in a more conversational style.


Notice the treatment of the inner voice movement (notes under the melody) and fill-ins (notes between held words).

Fill-ins are played with a softer touch then the melody.

Fill-ins are always meant to be softer than the melody to avoid distraction of the message.

The next time you play or sing a solo….just remember to interpret the music just as though you were ‘speaking’ the words.

The message will be so much more affective!

Free Music:  What_ a_ Friend_ We _Have_ in_ Jesus

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3 Responses to “The Church Pianist: What A Friend We Have in Jesus (Interpretation)”

  1. […] About The Church Pianist A help ministry for church pianists « The Church Pianist: What A Friend We Have in Jesus (Interpretation) […]

  2. Mag Davis says:

    Hello Jenifer!
    I enjoy your music on you tube and now on your blog.
    I was listening to “What a friend we have in Jesus” and I wanted to look at the sheet music for this song, to try to practice on piano(I am self-study piano). I am singing in the choir at my church, and I would like to be able to play piano too, your teachings are great;
    I would appreciate if you have the sheet music for this song; on your blog is an error when I wanted to open it.
    Thank you very much and blessings!
    Mag Davis

  3. Jenifer Cook says:

    Thanks so much for letting me know about the download problem with “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.

    Sorry about that! The problem has been fixed 🙂

    Thank you too for the kind words regarding my music. That’s great that you
    are trying to teach yourself. God will help you in your diligence.

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