I spent the last two years leading worship for our church's youth ministry. We have now formed a new student only worship team - all of the team members are students from the church. It is so awesome to now be directing these students as they learn to lead others in worship. We've been blessed with lots of willing participants with varying skill levels. Here's the struggle I'm having: our best vocalist (really the only GOOD vocalist) is pretty shy and doesn't sing very loud. We have to turn her microphone almost all the way up, and force her to hold it directly to her mouth. Yet, she still can't be heard. I'm sure that as she gets more comfortable with this role, she'll get louder. In the meantime, our youth group seems lost and the rest of the team has no idea where we are in the song. I would use one of the other singers, but they have a hard enough time staying on key, much less trying to lead.

Suggestions?

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well with this i would have told you to never ever put singers up there that can't sing. just because they feel that they want to be apart of the worship team does not mean they should. God has given everyone different gifts, maybe they are called to music ministry which could mean powerpoint or something of that sort, but its your job to cause as less of a distraction as possible when doing worship. having people lost in the song, or having singers sing off key is going to cause major distractions for your youth. here are some things that my youth team does things and how we run our worship team and maybe you can apply this to yours. If someone feels that they want to try and be apart of worship team, we take them and practice them for 4 weeks to see if they gel well with everyone and if they are good and what they do. if after 4 weeks we feel that they are ready(the whole regular worship team discusses this at another time), then we put them into the rotation, if we feel that they are ok but need some more work, then we continue to work with them until they are ready. sometimes though we get people that just aren't good, and we lovingly let them know that maybe the worship team is not what they are called to or we find a way to use their gifts to benefit the youth team in some way. Also our youth team has a 1 1/2 practice during the week, and an hour practice before the actual service. also we pick one day out of the month as a Skill Building Practice, and we take that practice to just work individually with the kids to hone their skills and a musician or singer. hope this helps, god bless.
I would work with her one on one. She needs to know that what she is currently doing won't cut it, but you're willing to work with her provided she tries to improve.

I lead both adult teams and a youth band. With the youth band I find that I can be quite direct. It's like they're used to adults telling them what to do! So if my guitar player is using the wrong sound, I'll suggest a different one. If the singer is off key, I'll point it out matter of factly and then work with them right away to find ways to improve. They generally seem to appreciate the advice and try to make the changes required. The adult team is much more "sensitive" to correction. :)

For the sake of keeping the band on track, you might have to sing along with them for a while. In the meantime, have someone (preferably a female) work with this girl to improve her vocal technique and her confidence. Sometimes I have pointed out to the team in general that acting shy on stage really ends up drawing attention to ourselves, and that's not the reason we are there.

Some other thoughts: tell her to memorize the songs and sing with her eyes closed. Also, turn the mic DOWN so that she is forced to sing louder.

Good luck!
Another reason why people are too soft - maybe they don't have the correct singing technique in the first place. They may have a pleasant voice, but breathing correctly is a different matter. And let's not forget that the mike can really amplify our mistakes if we sing out of tune! If you are not a trained singer, have one look her over. And make sure that she can hear the instruments also, if she can't hear them she may not feel confident enough to sing out. :)
The worst thing to do is to have a shy person not feeling comfortable out in front of people. The best thing to do is for the time being have someone who is more comfortable for now, and work with this young lady and start inching her out there slowly...

Also, make sure she's able to properly project...it could be just teaching her to breathe and execute properly

I hope this helps.

God Bless
This is very common, with young people or full grown adults.

Are you using a separate house speaker and monitor system? I hope so. This is why.

Turn UP your other vocalists (NOT the timid one) in the monitor mix. Keep the timid girl barely if at all audible.

Turn DOWN the others (since they aren't all that good anyway) in the house mix. Keep anough of them in to make her not a soloist. And bump her up in the house. She will wind up singing louder than she thinks she is, reflexively.

that's the technical answer. It fixes the problem a bit short term. Meanwhile, you need to build her up. compliment, compliment compliment. If she makes a mistake, laugh it off and talk about the mistake you made twice as bad. Get others who you can rally to help you (with discretion) to be very lavish in their praise as well. And when you compliment, don't just say you sing great. Let her know the spirit was in her voice. You could hear her conviction. That God touched you because of her ministry. THIS not only gives confidence, but a sense of purpose and fulfillment. You both get a better vocalist AND you are ministering to her as well.

I reread your post. Try using two other voices, in particular a couple other girls in the same range. Pack them on the platform tight so they can hear each other. AND let her know you are counting on her to help the others - as much as discretion tells you to do so. Keeping them close gives the other girls a fighting chance of getting the notes right.
Many good answers here. My input: Training. Vocal lessons to learn how to project and use her diaphragm correctly, and technical training in good microphone technique. And above all else, encouragement.

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