Gospel Music Education Pioneer Dr. Robert L. Jefferson has been a lover of Gospel music for most of his life. It was his love for the genre and his desire to teach others how to play Gospel piano that spurred him to pen books like How To Play Gospel Music For Beginners which was followed by How to Play Gospel Music for Beginners Book 2, Gospel Music Performance Practice and Technique Volumes 1 & 2 and Spirituals and Gospel Music Performance Practice: A Dual Curriculum that Bridges the Cultural Divide. A vocal artist in addition to a phenomenal pianist, Dr. Jefferson has just released a brand new single, “I Must Tell Jesus”. The single is currently available on iTunes, CDBaby, and other digital outlets. Earlier this month, he performed the song on WATC-TV’s Babbie’s House, hosted by CCM award-winning songwriter and artist Babbie Mason, and on Atlanta Live.
Written by Elisha Albright Hoffman, also known for composing “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms”, “I Must Tell Jesus” is one of the most enduring hymns sung. Jefferson loves the hymn. “I decided to record, ‘I Must Tell Jesus’ because it has such a timely and timeless message,” says Dr. Jefferson. “During a period in my life when I was going through so many personal trials and difficulties, the Holy Spirit reminded me to look to Jesus for help. Sometimes we forget that Jesus is always there to help and assist us. He is a kind, compassionate friend.”
Dr. Robert L. Jefferson has been blessed with the gift of music since his youth. His early training started with sacred music within the walls of the church from the age of 7. He took piano lessons and also learned to play by ear. Later in life, he was mentored by Alma Androzzo, the composer of one of Dr. Martin Luther King’s favorite songs, “If I Can Help Somebody”. Androzzo helped Dr. Jefferson to understand the importance of sharing his knowledge of music with others. That was the impetus to teach fans of Gospel music how to play. Many years ago, when he searched for books to help teach students, nothing was available. So he decided to write books to assist in the learning process. They are still recognized among as some of the leading books on the market to teach Gospel piano. In addition to his educational resources, he also offers piano lessons, workshops, weekend intensive residency courses, and private lessons and coaching in voice and piano through his company, Jefferson Presents. He has also developed a certification program for Gospel music in conjunction with Nazareth College and Seminary.
Dr. Jefferson holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona, a Master of Music degree from the University of Houston, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland. He has performed with such notable organizations as the Houston Grand Opera, the United States Air Force Pacific Air Command Ensemble in Tokyo, Japan as well as the Soldiers’ Chorus of The United States Army Field Band, Washington, DC. He has also performed with major symphonic orchestras and in concert halls including Strathmore, Meyerhoff, Boston Symphony and Carnegie Hall. For more information about Dr. Robert L. Jefferson, log on to www.jeffersonpresents.com. Connect with Dr. Jefferson on Facebook and Twitter (@HowToPlayGospel).