I was thinking bout all this recently, because I was thinking about teaching some newbies how to play for worship more effectively, and the answer I was given was this: "Let them get some confidence first..."
Which leads to my question: wouldn't confidence be a natural result of knowing what to do and why? Does telling people to be satisfied too easily at the beginning really help them in the long run? *sigh*
I agree, and you naturally think, "If I help them, then they will get better"...however, what they hear is, "He/she thinks I stink. Why did I ever try??" Of course, some of that comes from 'he-that-lies' as this form of deception is just as strong as the 'ego' direction. I've always found that if you share with members of the team, a)the difference between serving & volunteering, b)the Biblical foundation for excellence in worship, and c)your own personal fears/issues, etc....then most will respond more positively when it's time for a critique or guidance, if you will.
Just my 3 cents worth (inflation)
I always try and temper my correction with something positive and end with an encouraging word.
I'm thinking of those "well meaning" people who might just come up to them after church and point out the time they played a wrong chord, rather than the awesome lead-in they accomplished on another song...
and I agree with you junjie - you gain confidence by knowing what is expected of you, and meeting or exceeding those expectations. By teaching how to play for worship more effectively, you are giving your team expectations - this is the level you strive for...it's ok if you don't reach it right away, but it's much easier gain confidence when you know in which direction you need to go - then every step up along the way makes you stronger :).
" I'm thinking of those "well meaning" people who might just come up to them after church and point out the time they played a wrong chord, rather than the awesome lead-in they accomplished on another song..."
My usual reply to these people is "You think you can do better? Rehearsal is at 7.30pm sharp Saturday..." I have this attitude "no one criticizes MY musicians... except ME!" :)
I believe that too many people are encouraged when they participate in worship and rarely are they critiqued which has led to a large amount of people who really believe they are gifted when in fact they are not. Have you all not heard someone sing a solo that was so hard to listen to and out of the goodness of your heart went up to them afterwards and said "Good job!" I know I have because I felt it took great courage to stand up there and sing or play. How do you think all those very misled people on American Idol got to the place of thinking they were good at singing when they obviously are not? It doesn't take much to be misled because so many people want to be good at singing or playing.
I am always the first to tell a worship team or soloist that I enjoyed what they did and I think that it's very important for us as worship leaders/musicians to build each other up. But I really struggle with being honest with someone when something isn't sounding right. I haven't found the courage to say hey guys the harmonies were off or someone's guitar was out of tune. I can make corrections when I am leading but haven't found a way to graceful critique others when it is under par. Can anyone relate to this?
As I implied early, I am one of those born with a diplomacy deficiency disease, so I am even more aware of this problem. Two ways I handle this: 1st ) Use recordings. The MP3 don't lie. 2nd) I ask "what do YOU think about it?" it usually opens the door to conversation on what went wrong... Post mortems, I think that's what they are called... :)
Though it isn't everything, confidence is crucial for ministry in general and worship ministry in particular, that's why I thought of getting the thoughts of everyone here on this topic.
Honestly Bizzy, I have never lied to anyone about their performance -
If they ask me how they did, (and it was painful LOL) I will an answer something like this..."I loved the emotion you put into the chorus, but did you have some difficulty with that bridge?" ...it's not a criticism, but it does open up communication....because oftentimes, the answer will be "oh yeah, I really messed that up!" and then you can lift them up by giving them a similar experience you went through on your journey.
I agree it's difficult to criticize...however, during practice I have no qualms saying "ewww...those harmonies are off - not sure where it's coming from, but let's try it again" because oftentimes, I can't really pick out who it is...everyone is tight, we all know we want to do our best, so it's taken in stride.
Our drummer is brutally honest, and if you're offkey, he'll tell you LOL...it's a bit startling if you don't know him, but once you get to know him, you realize the guy doesn't have a bad bone in his body, and he's just well...brutally factual :-D, and you take it with grace and love, because there is absolutely no malice behind it.
I wish I had that gift!
The ones that are difficult to criticize are usually the ones doing it for the *wrong* reasons :)
"If they ask me how they did, (and it was painful LOL) I will an answer something like this..."I loved the emotion you put into the chorus, but did you have some difficulty with that bridge?" ...it's not a criticism, but it does open up communication... because oftentimes, the answer will be "oh yeah, I really messed that up!" and then you can lift them up by giving them a similar experience you went through on your journey."
Gonna practice that myself. Trying to get that as a reflex action. :) Great tip!
Your drummer reminds me of the drummer of the first worship band I ever played with. Hyper cool dude with a great ear for music. We had loads of fun those years! :)
I once had an experience with a woman who is a very gifted singer who decided she wanted to learn to accompany herself so she could lead worship and she pretty much insisted on playing when I asked her to sing with my team. Not have a great deal of backbone I let it happen and she was doing pretty well but mid set I made a mistake with my capo position and didn't catch it until I was too deep to gracefully retreat so I leaned over to this woman and asked her to stop playing because she was the only one who didn't hear the key change and was plowing ahead in the correct capoed key while the bass and electric guitar and keys all just followed my lead.
Well this woman was livid after the service because I embarrassed her! Well that was the end of my asking her to join me on the platform.
Did you think of telling her what key you were all supposed to be in? I mean, I am quite hard to offend (comes from being handsome, intelligent AND humble at the same time) but I don't think I'll take it well if i was asked to stop playing. :)