We’re all born with every skill we will ever need imprinted in our DNA to be called upon at any moment from our endless knowledge database with all the muscle memory to perform said skill at the level of a virtuoso.
No, I guess not.
In which case an opportunity to learn new skills and be given the tools to develop and grow is something we should jump on, especially as musicians. And that’s exactly what our worship teams did this past weekend.
I’ve run a few worship team training events and they’re a little different every time. I feel like this past Saturday was our best yet. Here’s a rundown of how it went.
I planned it as a 2 hour event (the poster above is a lie). I figured if we keep it short we’ll have an easier time getting them out to the event and keep them engaged throughout.
There was candy (everyone loves candy) and coffee as people arrived. We started off with 10 minutes of chatting about stuff that had to do with everyone, some reminders on in ear monitors, reminders about being on time for rehearsal, small stuff like that.
From there we transitioned into an instructional video on stage presence put together by Gateway Worship. It’s a fantastic video and if you’re looking for something to help teach this important concept to your teams I would highly recommend it. You can find it here.
The next hour and a half was devoted to individual instrument instruction. Since I’ve been involved in the Worship Victoria project I’ve gotten to know some incredible musicians from other churches. I made some phone calls, sent some emails, and asked some of those individuals to come and do some instruction time with our players. For a few honorarium dollars I had a room full of some of the best musicians in our city ready to spend an intensive hour and a half with our team to help give them some new tools in their tool box.
Leading up to the event I had given the instructors some ideas about what they could spend time focusing on with their instrumentalists. Every section had different needs. We covered off electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, vocals, audio, drums, and piano. They all had a pack of 6 chord charts with a CD of those songs in matching keys to use if they needed some examples.
The sessions were a huge success. The place was buzzing after the hour and a half and I received a lot of positive feedback from members of the team.
That’s it. Not really a magic formula but if you’re looking for somewhere to start with your next training event maybe this will point you in the right direction.
My humble advice?
1. If you choose the instructors route then get musicians your players will look up to and respect, not to mention make sure they’re good teachers.
2. Plan something for the whole group. The stage presence video applied to everyone, not just vocalists and so everyone was engaged with it.
3. Give them something they can put to use right away. Teach them something new, but make sure you don’t go too far past their capabilities or they might just get discouraged.
4. Have fun. This is an awesome community building opportunity. Laugh lots.