Auditioning and integrating new singers and instrumentalists

Discussion in 'Worship Service Players' started by PastorJay, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    We're looking to recruit some additional singers and instrumentalists into our worship/music team.

    It would let our very dedicated instrumentalists get a day off once in a while. And we hope would help us reinforce the idea that this is public worship, not performance, because there would be a rotating group of singers and instrumentalists, not the same folks over and over again.

    And it would let other people participate. I'm aware of at least four people who are likely to say they would like to be part of the team, on a rotating basis, if we simply make a public announcement during worship. At least one of those four sings with a good sense of pitch but probably has a solo voice, not a blending voice.

    We are a small or mid-size congregation, slightly over 100 in worship attendance, but with a pretty high level of musicianship now that we've moved some people around and gotten used to playing together in some different roles.

    When your worship team has brought in new people, what standards have you used? What steps have you used to integrate new people? How did it work? What were the strengths and the weaknesses of your approach?

    Thanks.
     
  2. mRtINY

    mRtINY Tele-Afflicted

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    In small congregations, I always have to play the hand I'm dealt. Arrange songs to fit the musicians and have patience.... Never had a budget for ringers (though the other church in town I play at does pay one - good bassist). It's always a matter of time - you have to know singers' strengths and weaknesses. It's good to have a retreat where most of the musicians can make it and play together in a lot of short sessions.

    If you can find youth with an interest, they are easier to train and tend to have more time to practice.
     
  3. beatnik

    beatnik TDPRI Member

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    I once saw a “ticket” that said something like you should try out for the worship team. And congregants were encouraged to hand them out to people they heard around them or if they knew they played. More of a personal invitation kind of thing.

    It is tough when the church is small to find competent people but they are there.

    Also look for people who are active and expressive during the worship time and personally invite them to come out for a get to know you time where you have music, snacks, and whatever else makes people feel at home and welcome.

    TL;DR Announcements are not as good as one on one. You can do both but emphasize the personal.
     
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  4. 65 Champ Amp

    65 Champ Amp Tele-Afflicted

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    I have mixed feelings about opening the worship team to other participants. On one hand, I need to guard against my tendency toward prideful ownership. On the other, many who think they want to participate have no idea of the work and commitment required. Too closed, and you cut out deserving and talented people. Too open, and you risk chaos and a tangible drop off in quality. Plus, you then have to be prepared to sit people down.

    Volunteer untrained sound men are the bane of musicians, so beware!

    Good luck, Pastorjay!
     
  5. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    As a sound guy, I could say the same goes for undisciplined
    musicians who are eager to quote the "joyful noise" scripture
    to justify their lack of chops.

    In the church I currently attend, there are 3 worship singing groups,
    and some of the members might overlap if needed in a pinch.

    personally, I would open it up to all who would like to participate
    and then categorize them according to ability and give them
    songs to perform at their respective levels.

    But I can see how that is not such an easy task within smaller settings.
     
  6. GoldieLocks

    GoldieLocks Tele-Afflicted

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    Gotta remember that all musicians are different and have differing methods of applying their craft. Or failed methods.

    Some tell me they need a month to learn 5 songs.
    Some say they don't even read the page and play by ear.
    Most don't know how a band/orchestra works or what drums do.
    Some have NEVER DONE IT THAT WAY BEFORE...

    Rule #1. It's not a paid gig - get them to show up and have fun. (it's volunteer ministry after all)
    Rule #2. These are often less than 3 minute songs. Don't turn them into Handles' Messiah. Think like Dylan.
    Rule #3. Learn to find simple songs and simplify using simple chords and repetition.

    If you want true excellence over mass volunteers: take the best of what shows up and move them to the other sundays. (basically: have one throw away Sunday a month or two with lazy unorganized unskilled volunteers given an opportunity to play out of tune with numerous train wrecks and bumbling rythyms.) Laugh during the entire process.

    Thanks to American Idol and the Voice and Guitar Hero: everyone assumes they are a world class musician and ready for the big time with their zero practical experience. And they DEMAND Your respect and appreciation. YES - I've had people with almost zero experience tell me how I should do my guitar parts after my 37 years experience in the music world. You just gotta laugh and roll on.

    Anything happening is better than nothing happening. Have fun with it. Remember that ONE GOOD musician SHOULD drown out the other bad musicians whenever possible. Nobody really cares! Be sure not to scare away the good musicians by dealing with all this insanity. (NEVER let the Pastor's son play the drumkit he recently got for Christmas... but basically that's what your project is doing). enjoy.
     
  7. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    Rule number one: Don't treat musicians like babies. Cuz they will rise to that expectation!
     
  8. mRtINY

    mRtINY Tele-Afflicted

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    Thank God for prodigies...
     
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  9. GoldieLocks

    GoldieLocks Tele-Afflicted

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    In my experience: most musicians ARE... Ummmh? Learning.
     
  10. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Right. Which is more than I can say for most of the Sound "engineers" which I have worked with in the church setting, at least in the last several years. Turns out it's hard to learn when you already think you know everything, and you're willing to tell everyone else just how smart you are (and how dumb they are because they're just musicians), even though they are no longer listening to anything you have to say...……:p. For clarity, "you" refers to the sound engineers described above.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
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