Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Music Notes

As I mentioned earlier I send out a weekly email to everyone on the worship team. It's fairly well received (at least based on the feedback I get) and thought if there are any other music directors out there reading this you might get a couple ideas from what we do at Lifepoint.

I'll post an explanation of the format here and then post one of the more recent music notes email here as an example (with annotations in color).

I start of with a general introduction usually with a quick overview/recap of the previous Sunday. I also attempt to make the occasional witty comment (That I indicate by use of parenthetical notation like this) One of the challenges of email is that so much of communication is either non-verbal (through body language cues) or intonation and timing, neither of which translate well into typed format I try to express myself as best I can (occasionally using little directive within the confines to express things like grins, smirk or maniacal laughter).

I then move onto the worship sets, listed by date, I do so every week because songs selection occasionally (read often) changes at the programming meetings. (SIDE NOTE: I aim to send my music notes out Monday evening after our programming meeting, in practice they normally go out some time on Tuesday.)

Finally the music notes: I try to address everyone with quick (and sometimes quirky) notes to all the band members and directly related staff. (Namely Our production manager, Media Director, Worship leader, Vocal Director, my worship planning coordinator and all the band members, I lump messages to the vocals, but leave individual messages for the vocal director.) Then I have a spot to address information to everyone as needed.

Here's one that was written during our Drive Series, hopefully this will explain itself much better than I did earlier. (Again annotations will be in color)

Wow, what an amazing service today was, I haven't seen the official count, but last I heard we had 11 people accept Christ as their Savior. I feel it's important to communicate things like this to your (or my in this case) people, so this and the following paragraph which is basically commentary on my part is letting the team know hey here's why we do what we do. It helps build a sense of purpose and really it's something to take pride in. Especially seeing what God is doing around us. What a Mighty God we serve!

Make no mistake people, this is what we're about, this is why we do what we do, everyone one of you should take immense honor in this, (at least) 11 people have forever changed their eternal destiny, I know I am humbled and feel invigorated, as Pastor Daniel would say, life change is a win for us, and this is a big one in my book.

Awesome job today, and I mean awesome. Having reviewed that sets today, almost everything sounds great. Kimberli your vocals on (well everything, but especially) Torn are just... honto sugoi! If you're wondering, I'm of Japanese decent and have a light grasp on the Language, Kimberli who's one of our vocals, my worship planning coordinator and something of an older-sister figure in my life also knows a bit, I'm basically saying seriously awesome in Japanese.

Addendum (Well it’s rather obvious that this was written over a two day period, just stick yesterday where the word today appears) It ended up being a three day period, thankfully no one called me on it. This was also done before I started sending these out AFTER programming and as direct result there would be subsequent addendum's during the week about this or that has changed. Changes still happen but much less frequently.

Looking ahead to next week we start Drive, did anyone else think that the video that Josh MADE was totally amazing?

This week's set is The Aforementioned Set List, I also send out everything I have prepared in advance now, it gives people more time to prepare. I usually have plans for two full weeks out, with specials (occasionally referred to as anthems) for the entire series if I have that information.
You Are
Let God Arise
Holy is the Lord
Life is a Highway (Rascal FLats) Special One thing we try to do both at worship planning, and programing is to find music that really helps the people in the service connect to Pastor Daniel's message. Sometime this "anthem" will be a secular song as was the case of this message. The series was drive and this was the kick off Ignition (I think), but don't quote me on that.

We'll be having a guest guitarist in this week as well, so we'll be having an optional practice this Saturday at 11:30 (again at the Schlee’s see the note at the botto ack tyop!), Bill if you can make it I'd appreciate it. Jeremy I know you'll be there so I'm not worried on that front. For everyone else it's completely optional.

Music Notes:

Everyone: Okay So Jeremy’s got us reading Doing Church as a Team, and this is something that I took away from it that I’ve never really thought about before. (hey this week’s deep thought is in a different Location, just making sure you’re paying attention) Wayne Dordeiro (Pastor New Hope Christian Fellowship) is talking about his worship team, and notes that they are preaching the gospel the best way they knew how, through their singing and playing. I’ve always thought of my playing as a spiritual act of worship and perhaps helping to create an environment for the gospel to be preached, but the words I read suddenly gave me new meaning to what we do on Sunday morning, we’re not just singing a song, We’re preaching the gospel the best way we know how. (By the way, from personal experience I’d like to add that eating should be listed at least three more times in the things locals enjoy) Occasionally I'll share a bit of wisdom I've picked up from somewhere during the week. In the case of this week it was from a book.

David Our amazing Media Team director: Out of curiosity, what am I getting in the mixdown? Is it the feed going to the mains or monitors? Or is it something else? This week's mix down could get by with a bit more bass, and a bit (ok a lot) less acoustic. Still sounded good though, one last note, is that it's very quiet. When Daniel is preaching or someone goes up to do announcements it very loud, but for the worship sets, it's really soft. David handles everything technical and has the distinct honor of being a bigger geek than I am (which says a lot) normally I check with him here for any technical sound issues that we're having, or about the mixdown which is a separate recording of the worship that I review on a weekly basis so I know what needs to be addressed.

Kristen Our deserves-way-more-credit-than-she'll-take Production and Programing Manager: We missed you Sunday! Normally I would ask her if there was anything that needs to be brought to my attention.

Jeremy Technically my Boss, Our worship pastor and all around great guy: MAC, REASON, the magnetic thingy you need for your guitar (just in case you forget about it), also I sent an email to Sweetwater to see if they know of any hardware to connect. Here I'm reminding him about some gear that he had asked me to remind him about. (And I'm still reminding him about for that matter)

Tammie Our amazing vocal director, fabulous voice, great pianist, puts up with me: Lyrics for Mia are attached, (I don't have her email address)

Bill Our ultra flexible bass player, no seriously not only does he play more instruments than I do, he also has an ear for finding harmonies: Awesome Job as always, Lead sheets are also attached, except for Life is a Highway, I didn’t like the ones I found online so I’m redoing them, expect them no later then Wednesday.

Brandon Our Guitarist (occasionally bassist and keyboardist) and also my alter-ego in a way, He's also the Worship pastor/music director for the downtown campus so he's really juggling hats: if you need anything let me know.

Elizabeth Our wonderful Percussionist who really deserves the MalletKat that's unfortunately still not in the budget (sorry!) : First, great job this week, the bells sounded really good for amazing grace, in fact, they sounded, dare I say it… amazing (Ba-dump ching), second: Question, would you be willing to play HiHat this week? (Opening of Life is a Highway) I'm not sure if I can play that and the funky tom breakdown. (and yes, I’m aware that I was still a day late)

Matt Me: There was only one thing missing, we need…. MORE COWBELL Yes, I do notes to myself, and I usually make them offbeat or humorous because (shrug) I don't want to pat myself on the back.

Vocals: Tammie has your lyrics for this week. Here I'm directing them to the Vocal Director it almost always say see vocal director in some form or another.

Everyone: MAJOR CHANGE to next week (The week I won't be here) switching out Real Gone to Crashed by Daughtry. Also practice will be at the Schlee's this week. It's near Breezewood, for directions if you need them you can contact me or Jeremy. Also everyone please give a hand to Jessica Watson, the only person to complete the assignment I handed out last week (So far) So I’m still waiting… Again a note to everyone letting them know a change of location for practice and of the song selection.

A shorter email this week, I’m not sure if I should be apologizing or expecting you all to thank me for not boring everyone to tears. In hind sight it not that short, so I bet you're wondering what a long email is from me now eh?

Furukawa signing off, I have a loop to write.
There are a few more names on the roster that wasn't there when I sent this email (if they read this I don't want them to feel left out, so I apologize now, but I will say I've been very blessed to be given the group of talent I have, have had, and will have in the future, (cue the fake hysterical crying) I love you guys!(end fake-hysterical crying) serious though all of you rock!).

One new issue that I'm kinda learning about as I go is dealing with depth. For the longest time I've only had one musician for each spot, now we're (slowly) building a team of musicians so scheduling and how to collaborate all of this is a learning experience.

Ok, one last note before I sign off now as well is that I try (because occasionally I do slip up, I am after all, only human) to only find things that my team did well in these emails, I want to build my team up not tear them down, and most certainly not tear them down in front of the rest of the team (as everyone gets these) instead if something needs to be corrected I tend to address them privately either in a meeting, or phone call. If its' nothing major I'll send it in email but I prefer to address issues personally to leave less room for mis-interpretation.

Hope this helps someone!


Current Stats:
Listening to: Good Luck by Basement Jaxx
Reading: Jeremiah Ch1
Watching: Zip.

No comments: