Monday, September 26, 2011

The Voice

Worship leaders often have a lot of responsibility.  Depending on the size of a church, a leader may have to:

  • lead programming meetings
  • implement programming decisions
  • create stage designs 
  • design stage lighting - for multiple songs
  • facilitate projection of lyrics for all songs
  • chart & distribute music for band/vocals
  • schedule and rehearse music team
  • practice his/her instrument

With all of these responsibilities (and more!), there is a tendency to neglect what can be the most impactful part of their contribution to a service, THE VOICE!  Vocals will often be the last thing to be rehearsed because they seem easiest.  We rationalize that as long as we listen to the song enough times in the car that we'll have it for the weekend.

Three thoughts:

1. Work Out Your Voice - Practice your vocal outside of what you are preparing for a given weekend.  This means exercises that you can do regularly to keep your voice in shape, particularly connecting your breath to the tone you are producing.  So many worship leaders have vocal problems because of too little breath support.  I highly recommend Vocal Artistry for CDs with exercises you can do daily to grow your voice.

2. Record Yourself - So critical to listen yourself self sing, not just with the recording of a weekend, but to isolate your voice and listen for tone, pitch, style, etc.  Use a camera phone or a memo app to do this.  Find a karaoke version of a song and sing along.  Critique yourself as any judge would on "The Voice" or American Idol.

3. Practice Singing WITH Your Instrument - If you lead from an instrument there is a whole different set of brain functions happening that need to be practiced so that you can feel free to worship while you're up there.  Especially if you're trying to break bad vocal habits you'll need to do this because your instrument takes your mind away from the vocal.  You can also record this to critique as well.

Hope this is helpful.  Next, we'll take a look at the importance of song choices.

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