5 lessons younger worship musicians can learn from older members
Younger worship musicians learn important lessons from their involvement in the worship team and their interactions with veteran worship team members. They look to the experienced worship musicians as role models, advisers for musical inspiration and to grow in confidence.
Indeed, they learn so much from interacting with, and watching how you lead your music program. Here are 5 lessons that younger worship musicians learn from all you seasoned veteran worship leaders.
Have patience. How many times have you uttered this advice to your spouse or children? It’s great advice. Younger worship musicians also learn to have patience through their experiences in playing, and leading, music.
They learn patience by watching the more experienced worship leaders in how they handle themselves. They learn by watching how you react when musicians are late to rehearsal (or church!), when they make mistakes repeatedly, or when something just needs extra attention.
Some may be keen to start leading worship themselves. That’s a judgement call for your existing worship leaders and church to make but we’d suggest they start in a less pressured environment such as home group, youth work – where there are smaller numbers – and learn their worship leading skills there rather in the main service on the week the rest of your experienced team are all off at a conference.
When they do lead in a larger setting, have an experienced worship leader alongside – maybe playing a second acoustic guitar and singing backing vocals. This can give confidence and also provides a back-up should it be needed.
Patience is not a skill that’s inherent for most of us. Developing patience takes watching a good role model. And, well…a lot of patience!
It’s OK to make mistakes
We all mess up. Admit it. Even an experienced worship musician can make mistakes. For example, you have probably miscued a musician, started in the wrong key or played the wrong chord.
Younger worship musicians need to see that it’s ok to make mistakes. We are not at all perfect. The grace with which you recover from your mistakes and move on is the key to success.
When you are able to recover from a mistake, they see that it’s ok to make a mistake and to take responsibility for fixing it and moving on.
Sometimes it is better simply to stop the song and start again. The congregation will be sympathetic and everyone can relax once again.
Enjoy the fellowship
Your youngest worship musicians live in a world of fast-paced technology, instant likes and shares, the online interactions. Because some younger people are so engaged in socializing online, some experience a bit of shyness in person!
And it can also be quite daunting for a young person to join an established team of older musicians.
Worship musicians benefit from a great support system. You enjoy fellowship with other leaders who can offer you spiritual guidance, families from within the church, and the musicians who you work with every week.
Let younger worship musicians see how much you enjoy the company of the rest of the team. Let them see that having a network of live people in the community – regardless of age – is more powerful than 1,000 virtual friends. And there is a special connection when people are friends over a shared interest such as music – even if they have little else in common.
Roll with it!
Let younger worship musicians know that they need to roll with it! What does that mean?
In live performance, things go wrong. Strings break, a team member gets sick at the last minute, a singer trips over a cable, a guitarist has forgotten their capo. You know that anything can happen…and probably has. Being the experienced worship leader, you know that these things are out of your control. Make the best of them and remember there are more important things to focus on.
Younger worship musicians need to see that the service will go on; and, it will be just fine!. Make adjustments, adapt, and roll with it!
In fact, the congregation may never know there was ever a challenge if you don’t tell them.
When in doubt, ask for advice
This is perhaps the most important thing that you can teach a younger worship musician. In their careers, they will face challenges. They will gain valuable experience that will tell them how to handle anything that’s thrown their way.
Until they gain that discernment, be there for them. Let them know that when in doubt, ask for advice. Whether it’s related to music or interactions within the church family, be open to offering guidance.
You have already taken on a role as a mentor, so express that it’s really ok for them to admit when they need help.
In conclusion, remember that whether you realize it or not, you are a role model. Younger musicians are looking at you. How you handle things will inspire them as they grow as a person and musician. These lessons that you teach them are valuable to their growth.
So whether you wanted to be a role model…or not…guess what? You are! Congratulations on taking on a very important role in mentoring a younger worship musician.
AUTHOR BIO: Deborah Tayloe is a professional writer and blogger for Musical Instruments Expert. When she’s not writing, you will find her relaxing listening to music.