My Song Writing Approach

Here I am in a writing session with Miriam Webster at EMI Studios in Brentwood. 

I am so excited to finally be writing songs for my new CD…..or whatever it will be called by the time I finish! LOL!

My method of writing has changed a bit over the years. I used to write from an “artist” standpoint instead of from a worship viewpoint. The difference is one that song is more congregational and the other is more for listening. I enjoy writing both, however, because for the passion of worship that burns in my life, I am now crafting songs that engage those who will sing along with me. My focus is to draw the congregation into worship as they sing.

The more I lead worship, the more I want to stay fresh at it. New songs, new ideas, and new melodies all work together to create new pathways for people to enter into a personal exchange with Jesus….to experience His presence in a new way….and be changed by it.

I would agree with most song writers that the “melody is king.” That’s why I like to write simply, so that anyone can understand the lyric and I want to write melodies and lines so that they can be grasped easily….even by an “unmusical”  person. Hooks and fresh catchy phrases are key to the memorability of a song. I want the “take  away” to be a truth bonded to a melody that sticks in a person’s heart and mind long after it is heard.

I enjoy  co-writing with my husband, Carl, frequently and on occasion I write with other people. When I have a specific topic or scripture on my heart, I will devour the Word for other verses and translations that give greater expression to my thoughts. Typically, I’ll compile all those thoughts on my computer, then give a copy of it to my co-writer so that we can be working from the same page.

I usually have a “feel” in mind before we start writing ie: a ballad or a driving tempo, etc. Since I am not an accomplished piano player, I may get pieces on my own but then show them to a “real” player so they help put shape to it.

A song may take months to write…especially if I only get pieces at a time.  If I do, I simply put them on the Garage Band program on my computer and revisit those ideas later. However, many times, a song in completed in one or two sessions.  A session usually runs 2 – 3 hours long. Then my creative juices are spent….and I’m toast after that.  LOL!

I’m so looking forward to birthing these new songs that will open the gateway of heaven for others to join me on my journey into His Presence.

Here’s a song I enjoyed writing with Carl and Ed Kerr. It’s the title cut, Pour Your Spirit Out from that “live” CD. [audio:|titles=02 Pour Your Spirit Out]

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Free Lead Sheets of Pour Your Spirit Out




  1. Oh Leann. I LOVE this song! Luke 11:13 is one of my favorite verses and one of my constant prayers. I praise God for you and Carl! What a blessing to the body of Christ!

    • Hi Jean…..I think we got the kinks worked out of the last Ustream post on my website. Try it again and see if it works now.
      Sorry for the inconvenience!!
      Thanks for your sweet post!

  2. Sheri Dohner says

    Leann, this song has been on my heart again with the coming of Pentecost, and this morning I had it running through my mind as I was getting ready to come to work, then I open your blog, and here it is!! I would think that might be a sign that I’m on the right track!

    • Thank you, Sheri…you are a dear! We’re praying and singing in His presence for the world to see His glory!
      Bless you today.

  3. Mike Caviness says


    I am a Worship Drummer at a large Baptist church in Arizona. Our Worship Team plays a lot of great songs by Baloche…and as a drummer of 30 yrs, I relate to Carl’s techniques, pholosophy, and “heart” he has for the Lord. Now, we have become acquainted with your music and song writing thru the website…..
    you are blessed, and show a true presence of God in your work.

    Praise and Glory to God.
    Verde Baptist Church Praise Team.

    • Thank you, Mike. We are all in this together and it takes all of our talents to make the beautiful sound to heaven. Thanks for all you do for the body of Christ….playing and worshipping skillfully to the King!
      Thanks for your kind post.
      Many blessings to you.

  4. Marty Nystrom says

    Thank you Leann. Rich advice here from a seasoned musician and whole-hearted worshiper. So grateful for your faithfulness to God’s call on your life and for your years of investment into the lives of His people. Can’t wait to hear and worship with these new songs. I love this quote by British preacher Charles Spurgeon – 1850s

    “If I might choose my vocation on earth, I think I would choose above all things to write hymns and psalms, such as the Lord’s people might sing when they praise Him; and my highest wish would be to be one of heaven’s poets, to write psalms for the spirits before the throne, and compose celestial sonnets for the blood-bought ones who praise Him day and night. Oh to praise the Lord! Oh to bless him, and to magnify Him, to spend and to be spent in the praise and glory of my God!“

    • Hi Marty…..great to hear from YOU…..a seasoned and accomplished writer!
      I love this quote…thanks for posting it!
      I hope you and Jeanne are doing well.
      Much love to you both!

  5. Marina Perly Ramen says

    Dear Leann
    I am so blessed when I read about your songs writing and you new CD. Last year I have taken a course in song writing and have written a song in our Mauritian language (Kreol) from 1 Corinthians 13. At the same time, my daughter wrote a song for our children from Sunday School to take up and the title is “Jesus you are my great friend” and I will send it to you with the music sheets. It is simple and easily sung by one and all.
    God bless you.

    • Thanks for your post, Marina. Keep writing those songs from His heart….the world needs to hear them and sing along.
      Many blessings to you.

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