Reaping What You Sow
Have you got choir or band members who drive you crazy, especially at Christmas and Easter?
I used to go home on Wednesday nights gritting my teeth and making a list of all the
ways my ensemble members caused me to lose my mind!
- there’s that bass who is constantly correcting the other singers in the section
- there’s that other bass who can be counted on to ask stupid questions-usually “where are we?” typically right after I’ve given the page and measure number
- there is that “little lost alto” who sits beside the “caregiver alto” who have a constant dialogue over the directions I’ve just given
- there is that self-appointed “detail man” in the tenor section who must point out every misprint in the music and every mistake that I have made in my directing
- there’s that talented colleague who is present in body but “checked out” in spirit
- there’s that soprano who tells me on her way out the door that the literature we’re singing is beneath her ability level
Lord, have mercy!
A few years ago, at the beginning of Lent, when I knew that I couldn’t tolerate another season like the ones we’d been having, I knew I had to make a change. After lots of thinking, I realized
- the only person I had any power to change is me
- the ensemble members are more anxious (and unruly) at Christmas and Easter because I am more anxious at Christmas and Easter!
So, I decided to make some changes in my leadership. I made it a priority to
- calm myself before each rehearsal
- be fully prepared for rehearsal
- be realistic in my expectation of what we could accomplish in rehearsal
- state out loud what kind of behavior I expected during rehearsal and asked people to commit to a new standard
My choir members actually seemed relieved to hear my expectations and responded very well to my self-regulation. It made for the calmest, and most enjoyable Easter yet and has set a new pattern for each subsequent high, holy season.
I learned this lesson the hard way, dear colleagues: anxiety is contagious. How much are you dealing with in your choir rehearsals? How much is a reflection of your own anxiety?
Be calm and carry on….leading worship!
© 2015 Creator Magazine All Rights Reserved