Anyone who has followed Jenifer Cook’s The Church Pianist blog knows that she is a gifted pianist and teacher. Her ability to communicate improvisation and arranging techniques to aspiring pianists is unparalleled in my opinion! It’s one thing to be able to play and improvise well, but a whole different thing to be able to teach others how to do it. Jenifer excels on both counts.
Jenifer’s piano book, Showers of Blessing, released this year by Soundforth is a welcome addition to the rather sparse material available for intermediate level church pianists. The book is a wonderful collection of familiar favorites for a variety of occasions – Patriotic (America the Beautiful), Christmas (What Child Is This?), duet-playing (Stepping in the Light), Thanksgiving (Showers of Blessing), a rainy day (A Shelter in the Time of Storm ), and everyday (Come Thou Fount, It Is Well with My Soul, and Onward Christian Soldiers).
Each of the 2-3 page arrangements begins with a fitting introduction, followed by a melodically and harmonically pleasing rendition of the song. The pieces stick to the keys of C, G, or F, and contain straightforward rhythm patterns, making them very accessible to the intermediate level pianist. Yet the arrangements are musically attractive enough that I wouldn’t even mind playing them as a simple offertory or prelude for church.
You can listen to audio samples of each of the arrangements on Jenifer’s blog. You can enter to win your own copy of Showers of Blessing by leaving a comment below! And…for double entry, just post a link to this giveaway on facebook, twitter, or your blog and leave an additional comment on this post indicating that you did so. Feel free to let any of your intermediate-level students enter as well. The drawing for the winner will be held on Friday, November 26 at noon (CST) (since that Thursday is Thanksgiving!), using a random number generator.