Keeping the ministry team motivated is one of the most important responsibilities of a leader. If you are bored with your rehearsals your musicians probably are, too. This week I am sharing some tools to help keep rehearsals energized and fun for your ensemble and for you! These are techniques that continue to help me in church, professional, and studio settings. Do I fail at doing all these? Yes – on a regular basis. But having goals helps keep the standard high and rehearsals fresh.
- Be prepared. Know the score, the tempos, the lyrics, etc., backward and forward.
- Don’t just ‘go through’ the music – rehearse.
- Change seating arrangements occasionally.
- Rehearse in a different location than the regular rehearsal room.
- Hide prizes or coupons under chairs and announce at the end of rehearsal.
- Show a video or audio recording of a significant (and relevant) performance.
- Teach something with an object.
- Use visuals (blackboard, whiteboard, computer projection, etc.) often.
- Read a new or obscure piece of music that you may never perform.
- Once a month event – birthday recognition, attendance recognition, etc.
- Don’t be afraid to stop during rehearsal for a non-musical reason (side story).
- Change the rehearsal order regularly.
- Make your tradition “there is no tradition.”
- Section rehearsals. Yes, take it apart and put it back together.
- Have a “hot” seat or section at the front of the choir. Move different musicians into that position for small portions of rehearsal, then switch around, keeping people moving regularly.
- Tell them (demonstrate) what effect you want musically rather than telling them what you are hearing. Pull them to a higher level, don’t reinforce their level.
- Never be negative. Never bring your personal mood to the rehearsal. Never tell your group you are tired or don’t feel well. Be the head cheerleader.
- Have a backup plan – for everything.
- Make rehearsal a musical and spiritual experience. People show up for more than the music, whether they realize it or not. (Really, this should be at the top of this list. If you make this first priority, for yourself and to pass along, many other things will fall into place.)
- Laugh! Proverbs 15:13 says, “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”
Keep the bar high – we’re working for the King.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9
A regular contributor to discoverworship.com, Keith Christopher is actively involved in music as a composer, arranger, orchestrator and producer. His music has been performed worldwide by choirs, orchestras, and bands at places including the National Christmas tree lighting and the Hollywood Bowl. In 2003 he received a Dove Award for the choral collection, “More Songs for Praise and Worship.” In addition, he has produced over a thousand recordings for music publishers. Keith and his wife, Tammy, reside near Nashville, TN where he is active in the local music and recording industry.