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Confident and Productive Rehearsals – Part 1 – Why They Matter

Whatever else we do as church musicians, directors must know how to solve musical problems during rehearsals and help get our players ready for service music every 7 days or so. Over a series of several blogs, We will unpack the subject of leading rehearsals and deal with it in detail.

Confident and Productive Rehearsals – Part 1 – Why They Matter

Why Productive and Efficient Rehearsals Matter
Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
Psalm 33:3, NASB
“…I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.”
2 Sam 24:24b, ESV
God is worthy of costly sacrifice. When you consider the priests playing music in the Tabernacle, then in the Temple in Jerusalem, it is difficult to imagine them singing or sight-reading music during worship or giving pieces a quick run-through before playing it in a service. They took their calling seriously, and they brought their best efforts to bear. They would not dare go before the almighty God unprepared.
Fast-forward to the present day. In many ways, modern church musicians are similar to the Levitical musicians in the Old Testament. We are still charged and called to present music before God’s people to give to Him the worship and praise of which He alone is worthy. It is not a spiritual practice to 9come in with little or no rehearsal and say it is the heart of the people that matters, not musical performance.
In one sense, there is truth in that idea. Our hearts and hands do need to be clean for the Lord to empower and use us. But a heart right with God knows that His transcendent glory is worthy of skillful playing and that requires preparation. In worship music there is an element of performance, in that we are playing in front of people. We know, however that the music is not for their approval nor enjoyment but for the Lord’s worship and pleasure. It needs to sound like we know that our audience is the one true God, and we would never come before Him with less than our best skill.
Skillful playing also includes confidence – players knowing that they are prepared to play well. Unprepared players have weaker tones and are prone to more mistakes which erodes confidence even further. The players are focused on nervousness, rather than on giving their worship to God.
Rehearsal is vital for the growth and improvement of players. Professional players continually practice to improve and sharpen their technique. How much more volunteer players need the same. With home practice time often difficult to come by, group rehearsals become all the more important.
With the proliferation of livestream services for many churches, there is an even greater importance of players playing well. There are some in worship ministries today that expect church services to sound like professional recordings. While that standard is not reachable with humans in live situations, excellence a biblical standard. Rehearsal is vital to help players sound their best each time they play in a service.

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