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Author Topic: Advice Please!!  (Read 1785 times)

Offline MsRo

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Advice Please!!
« on: September 28, 2011, 12:28:13 PM »
I need a bit of advice from other Directors/ M.O.M's regarding how you guys handle correcting your musicians during choir rehearsal? I try not to put anyone on the spot- especially in front of the choir....but sometimes its necessary to fix things immediately. Any suggestions for how to do this- and possibly avoid any unnecessary attitudes, and disruption to the choir?
 

Offline under13

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Re: Advice Please!!
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2011, 12:33:42 PM »
Just do it. And if they get an attitude call em out on that too.

Offline LaylaMonroe

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Re: Advice Please!!
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2011, 01:30:10 PM »
I say it's all in your tone, attitude and intentions. Some people just don't like being corrected at all, by anyone, no matter what, so it doesn't matter whether there's an audience; some just don't like authority.

But, if you are dealing with mature professionals, and you correct them with the right tone, the right attitude and the right intentions, I'm sure everything will go fine.

Remember that the Bible says "harsh words stir up anger," so be sure to check yourself.
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Offline betnich

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Re: Advice Please!!
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2011, 02:00:23 PM »
All of the above. A loving attitude is essential when giving this kind of 'open rebuke'.

And try to make very clear that it is the notes/rhythm and not the person you are correcting - something like -

"Could we go over that part again? I think that chord is a Cm7"
 - rather than -
"Eww, that stunk - can't you stay on the beat???"

Offline MsRo

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Re: Advice Please!!
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2011, 04:17:51 PM »
I definitely make sure to check myself- and make sure that I'm delivering any correction with love- and in an inoffensive tone. But I do have a few music staff members that can't stand to be told ANYTHING- at all- EVER....I have one that will hear what I say, but not do anything about it.

I'm working with a pretty varied group age and style-wise. Our drummer, bass, guitar and organist are all younger, more contemporary musicians...all very talented...But I get the vibe they think they do/play no wrong. Our pianist is older, traditional, and only plays what she feels she hears.....it's not an easy group to reign in and get on the same page.

I honestly dread having to address things like this during rehearsals. I always feel like the bad guy :/

Offline LaylaMonroe

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Re: Advice Please!!
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2011, 04:24:06 PM »
I definitely make sure to check myself- and make sure that I'm delivering any correction with love- and in an inoffensive tone. But I do have a few music staff members that can't stand to be told ANYTHING- at all- EVER....I have one that will hear what I say, but not do anything about it.

I'm working with a pretty varied group age and style-wise. Our drummer, bass, guitar and organist are all younger, more contemporary musicians...all very talented...But I get the vibe they think they do/play no wrong. Our pianist is older, traditional, and only plays what she feels she hears.....it's not an easy group to reign in and get on the same page.

I honestly dread having to address things like this during rehearsals. I always feel like the bad guy :/



Are you the MOM or the director (or both)?
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Offline MsRo

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Re: Advice Please!!
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2011, 05:10:27 PM »
@ Layla, I'm both. I've been directing here for a little over 13 years, and just stepped into the MOM position this past January.

Offline JoanHall

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Re: Advice Please!!
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2011, 11:48:02 PM »
Is there any possibility that you could have a separate musicians rehearsal to iron out the instrumental parts before the choir rehearses?  Would they be more open to instruction if no one else was around except musicians?

Offline betnich

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Re: Advice Please!!
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2011, 12:19:15 AM »
I honestly dread having to address things like this during rehearsals. I always feel like the bad guy :/

Know how you feel. Tonight at Choir Practice we went through songs off-mic, with background tracks. Then we set up the mics and tried the one for Sunday live, with keyboard and drummer. Immediately the cry went up from the choir members, "Drums too loud!" And the teen PK was the loudest, and Pastor was the one on drums! So I stopped the song and told the PK to complain, loud as she could, INTO the mic, while I told the sound tech to get the Choir into the monitors, so they could hear themselves.

Then I had each section repeat their part from the song we were doing, over and over, into their mic so levels could be set. Once they were closer to the mics and could hear themselves we started again, with drummer playing a little softer. Pastor was pleased with the improvement in their sound and energy level, and told them so....


The difference IMO was that today I prayed for help and a good rehearsal...

Offline MsRo

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Re: Advice Please!!
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2011, 06:30:29 PM »
Is there any possibility that you could have a separate musicians rehearsal to iron out the instrumental parts before the choir rehearses?  Would they be more open to instruction if no one else was around except musicians?

We've tried seperate musicians rehearsals- which I really like- when I can get everyone to come out consistently. Most of the music staff feels that an additional rehearsal for them is too much...so they'll come for a while, and then start to slack off. Next thing you know- musician practices have stopped. I don't want to force mandatory reherasals on them (if it really is a strain...). I'm in a rough spot with that.

As far as being more open to instruction when its just us- honestly, I'm afraid they'd start bickering with each other. They keep me in prayer....I love them all, their personalities are all just VERY different.


Offline MsRo

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Re: Advice Please!!
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2011, 06:38:57 PM »
Know how you feel. Tonight at Choir Practice we went through songs off-mic, with background tracks. Then we set up the mics and tried the one for Sunday live, with keyboard and drummer. Immediately the cry went up from the choir members, "Drums too loud!" And the teen PK was the loudest, and Pastor was the one on drums! So I stopped the song and told the PK to complain, loud as she could, INTO the mic, while I told the sound tech to get the Choir into the monitors, so they could hear themselves.

Then I had each section repeat their part from the song we were doing, over and over, into their mic so levels could be set. Once they were closer to the mics and could hear themselves we started again, with drummer playing a little softer. Pastor was pleased with the improvement in their sound and energy level, and told them so....


The difference IMO was that today I prayed for help and a good rehearsal...



hahah! Loud drums and bass always seem to be the source of complaining at my church...it never usually bothers me, but we've always got cranky church members that want to sit right by the band....then complain about EVERYTHING. Our sound system isn't very good at all either- so we can't do much about getting everyone's levels right. Hopefully if everything goes well, we might have a new sound system soon....I'm praying for it!! I think if we get a better system- where everyone can hear themselves and each other- there might be fewer issues. (Wishful thinking :D)

I'm staying prayed up for sure. I know that regardless of what people say/do, if my attitude and spirit is right, maybe others will feed off of it....and the outcome will turn out okay. 



Offline musallio

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Re: Advice Please!!
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2011, 05:24:11 PM »
They've said it all.
All the best MsRo.

Did you say it's the younger chaps who are untouchable? Then I would most likely trace the root of the problem to the "recruitment" process. I believe in a recruitment process that assesses certain personality traits besides the talent.
At some point you realize that talent alone is just not enough, and you are forced to ignore it if you are to have peace in the music department.

We are exercising exactly that at church- today three really good musicians [drummers/ bassists, & pianist/drummer, other] came to church today after our rehearsal- [mind you our drummer is still learning and we had to transport his teacher before and after the rehearsal]. We did a couple of songs- everything flowed so well and the level of worship went to another level. These guys even wanted to play tomorrow.

I had to tell them, 1st things first -
1) You need to be born again [they all are],
2) You need to be around for bible studies and arrive on time for church even if you are swarming the pews [still to be tested....by the way, this is the test that I've seen most musicians fail in the church I attend when I go home. This test shows you who has a humble/ teachable spirit [amongst other things]

this is just for future in case some musician gets unruly and decides to leave because of your correction.
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Offline BEEJAXX

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Re: Advice Please!!
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2011, 09:27:25 PM »
Sounds like you have it under control as best as you can.  I have a guy who would argue with the girl who used to be the md(sort of long story) but now when I tell him stuff he rarely gives me any trouble because I am more knowledgeable about the music aspect and can speak to him as a musician would speak to him. (Thank God for this site and sites like it)  Sometimes some ppl who play get kind of beside themselves and forget to be humble and you can't tell them anything unless you are a musician yourself.  When you are in a position where you can not tell them to get to steppin you have to put up with all kinds of (excuse the expression) crap.  Not an easy job.  Love it though.
Love a word that comes and goes.. But few ppl really know, what it means to really love somebody.

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Re: Advice Please!!
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2011, 08:18:15 AM »
The biggest issue here to me is a lack of teamwork/chemistry. The way you described your band makes it sound like they would never do anything together outside of playing for the church. As their leader YOU need to address that. How?
1. Start with a get together at your home. Throw in a Fred Hammond Concert DVD, watch it together and discuss a a team what it will take to get to that level. Do something at least 3 times a year like go bowling or play spades... Do a super bowl party... Go to a professional gospel play or concert...
2. Make the younger musicians lead prayer as the musicians prepare for worship.
3. Designate musicians to be prayer partners with each other.
4. Develop their ability to lead a musician's rehearsal. If you're developing them and training them then they will be loyal and dedicated to you. That time in front of everyone will help them be a better follower.
5. Develop a REAL RELATIONSHIP with them all. Do you talk with them about more than just the next week's rehearsal numbers? Can they talk to you about their life issues? Do you know their birthday dates? Do you celebrate their out of church achievements? Do you go to their kid's plays and games etc...

Try these and watch the level of respect they have for you grow as well as the level of your leadership and their musicianship grow.

MrSparrow

Offline melodic_keyz

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Re: Advice Please!!
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2011, 12:19:42 PM »
I definitely make sure to check myself- and make sure that I'm delivering any correction with love- and in an inoffensive tone. But I do have a few music staff members that can't stand to be told ANYTHING- at all- EVER....I have one that will hear what I say, but not do anything about it.

I'm working with a pretty varied group age and style-wise. Our drummer, bass, guitar and organist are all younger, more contemporary musicians...all very talented...But I get the vibe they think they do/play no wrong. Our pianist is older, traditional, and only plays what she feels she hears.....it's not an easy group to reign in and get on the same page.

I honestly dread having to address things like this during rehearsals. I always feel like the bad guy :/

My question is "Is the entire music staff being paid?"  If the staff is being paid then they are obligated to listen and improve because any time there is a "hire", there can also be a "firing."  Just saying lol, not suggesting anyone be fired.  However, something has to give...even if it means shortening your staff to ppl who will listen and respect your authority.  God bless  :D

Offline musallio

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Re: Advice Please!!
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2011, 08:49:00 AM »
Good advice guys. I like that idea MrSparrow....you made an interesting point BJX..
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MrSparrow06

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Re: Advice Please!!
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2011, 10:29:52 AM »
Thanks

Offline dfwkeys

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Re: Advice Please!!
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2011, 03:32:28 PM »
I'm not an M.O.M. but I have managed other bands.  I usually let them know that at home is the hours and time for practice. At rehearsal is the time to put it all together and iron out the wrinkles.  I let them know ahead of time that positive critique is needed.  I think of it as one band one sound.  If the sound is off somewhere i would address the entire band to see if they can correct it and will address individuals, to try this and see if this works (with a smile) 
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