The following is a guest post from Yancy, a creative and talented musician, #kidmin aficionado and Song Track producer at WorshipHouse Kids.
Controlling Soundtracks As You Lead Worship
Often in the #kidmin worship world we use sound tracks and live lyric videos. You know, pre-recorded music as opposed to a live band. The pro is that it’s high-energy music to get your group excited and ready to participate in worship. Plus, it’s ready to go, no waiting on people to show up, tune their instruments, and play it well. The downside, however, is that there’s no flexibility. How the artist recorded the song is the arrangement you’re stuck with. (Unless you use a program like pro tools or garage band to edit the song… but that’s a whole other discussion.) Although that’s the reality of using tracks, the thing is this: even if you would have chosen to do it differently you don’t have to be controlled by the soundtrack.Think of it like this: the soundtrack doesn’t control you, you control the soundtrack.
So how does one control the already created and pre-recorded music when you have an intro or outro that’s too long? Here’s how:
1. Tell your sound guy when to start the track.
Does the song you’re about to do have a really long intro? Is there enough time to get up on stage, grab the mic and say something to engage the audience if the sound guy starts the track immediately following the previous segment? If so, do that. Don’t waste time by getting all in place (in silence) and then, once you’re all set and have already talked to the audience, ask them start the track. Use all that music from the “really long intro” to do those things. Always think through the length of the intro (and what is coming before it) to be able to tell your sound guy when to start the track and thus have the very best transitions possible.
2. Use the intros, turnarounds and instrumentals to engage those you are leading in worship.
Instead of being up on stage looking like a deer in headlights, staring down the audience probably awkwardly, use that music to LEAD your audience.
- Share a scripture.
- Ask a question that demands a response.
- Give them something to do.
- Encourage them to clap their hands, jump up and down or lift their hands in worship.
Is there a long instrumental or outro? Use that music wisely. You can say a prayer over the music to end the song. Or ask your audience to repeat something, even a prayer after you to close out that time of worship. As you do that the music plays, it ends, and you can end and transition to the next part of your service.
Once you get these couple of ideas soaked into your brain you can use them as a tool to help you engage others in worshipping our God. You may not have created the arrangement or recorded the song, but you can be in control of how you lead that song for your group. Take control of the song instead of being the one controlled. As you get in the habit of doing this you’ll be amazed at how easy and natural it will become and how you are able to more effectively lead your group in worship.
To check out Yancy’s awesome Song Track videos (and try your hand at some of the skills above), click here. For more info about her music ministry, go to yancynotnancy.com.