Mid-Course Correction…

by vernsanders on December 31, 2009

Two things today…

First a personal note. As part of my end of year re-evaluation of how to make this blog more interesting/valuable I have been doing more thinking than writing lately…and that’s about to change. In the next week or so I have some consultations with folks who have agreed to give me some honest feedback, and ideas about what to do better. I know I’ve been saying “stay tuned” a lot lately (mostly it comes from now having the Reverence channel as part of the Creator Leadership Network family) but the plans we are discussing are, I think, exciting.

Secondly, as you all know, tomorrow is New Year’s Day. With the new year comes a whole different set of plans and goals (and, no, I’m not talking about your resolutions…by the way…have you read mine?). For many church musicians and worship leaders this week is well-deserved “time off.” But before you dive back into the frenzy of rehearsals and meetings, this is a perfect time to consider whether a mid-course correction is in order. Think about the following things:

  • How did my ensemble do, in general, with the music that was scheduled during the fall season?
  • Was there anything in particular that consistently gave my ensemble trouble musically?
  • Were there spiritual or social issues that unexpectedly needed attention?
  • What is the ensemble’s current “state of the community”?

When you have answered the above questions, think about what you have planned for the spring season:

  • Based upon what you have learned, do you need to make adjustments to your musical plans?
  • Do you need to emphasize and develop a response to a specific musical challenge…perhaps by changing your warm up routine?
  • Is the balance of time spent on music, spiritual, and social things a healthy one for your ensemble in light of what just happened during the fall? If not, how can you change the balance and still achieve your long-term goals?
  • Do you need to spend more time developing community?

Finally, even though the temptation is to just get on with the new stuff…now is the perfect time to think about your next fall season. It may seem like a drag, but there is never a better time to write down your impressions of what just went well and what didn’t. As part of that process, jot down some ideas about what music might be put on “do sooner,” “do later,” and “never again” lists. If you regularly do a big work at Christmas time, spend a few minutes thinking about what you might do next year and write those ideas now (for instance…the other night I heard a stunning performance of the Respighi Laud to the Nativity on Sirius/XM. It is a piece I hadn’t thought about for years, and yet I think now that it might be a good challenge for my group next year).

I’d love to hear what went well for you and your program this past fall season, and what didn’t. Please leave a comment below and use this opportunity to do the exercise outlined above. You’ll be glad you did, and so will those who read the comments after you.

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