OK. I know that we don’t all play by ear and even if we do we like to have the security of the words in front of us when we lead worship (and not all churches have that great system where words are shown on floor based monitors). But why do so many people insist on having their music stands set so high?
Maybe they’re shy and just trying to pretend that they aren’t up front but it creates a physical barrier between you and the congregation – your’re trying to lead people on a journey of worship but all they can see is a big metal screen and a mess of cables at your feet . I find that singers can be the worst offenders – they aren’t generally reading chords or music – just the words – but they seem to have their music stands about six inches from their faces. And are you really still struggling to remember the words to Here I am to Worship, Blessed Be Your Name and Everlasting God – surely they are etched in your brain for eternity given how often we seem to be singing them?
Its really nice for the congregation to see the musicians without the barrier of a music stand so please do try to keep the stand as low as you possibly can. Being able to see other people engaging in worship helps others engage and its much better for you to see your congregation’s responses to the music clearly too.
Apart from anything else, those black metal music stands with the holes in them are just an accident waiting to happen. Mike Pilavachi of Soul Survivor in the UK was absentmindedly fiddling with one while preaching only to find that his (then rather substantial) finger got stuck. Matt Redman had to finish the sermon (he’d heard it several times before so that wasn’t a problem) while Mike went and got the music stand removed with an electric saw. All would have been fine had the sounds of sawing not been clearly audible over the ministry time…..