I taught myself music growing up. My father would look through his set of Cd’s he had, and play them throughout the day. Some said how is it that I taught myself music so well? Only response to them was that the amount of music I used to listen to. I’d grab drum sticks and started hitting whatever I could see and turn it into a rhythm. My mother would always get upset with me because of the damage caused onto the furniture, and therefore I was given a practice pad soon moving to my very own drum set. As I got older, I began to have more confidence to step up and participate with the worship ministry at church. At the time we had two drum musicians, they would take turns, one plays Sundays, the other during the week. I don’t recall what happened, but some issue erupted between them. One started coming in less and less while the other began to be demotivated. We had another newcomer who just joined the team, but with his incredible drumming talent, he was often nervous. This at the time was the beginning for me.
It began right when we started prayer for offerings, I’m not sure what our drummer wanted to do. I think he wanted to use the restroom real quick, but that’s a long walk so he wouldn’t be back on time (I apologize also because I forgot this man’s name. I think it was Mario). My father comes up to me and says “Get up there, you can do this, you’re ready.” Now I’m sure many of you think these are motivating words and I would start getting in the mood, but I really was nervous. It was about the only time I can recall I felt completely nervous and indecisive if I should go up on stage and play in front of a huge crowd. The crowd knew who I was, but standing in front of them with all eyes on you is about nerve-racking as it gets.
Some of those around me started encouraging me, and finally I chosen to go. When I sat down, it was a great feeling, but I still felt nervous because I didn’t know what songs they had lined up. As they started singing, I quickly caught up with the rhythm; a 6/8 drum beat for my readers that are drummers. I began to gain more confidence, and as I finally got through worshiping, I observed around and noticed I had a broad view of the crowd.
This is just a little background of how I started my life playing music, but I’d like to share with you that musicians see everything. They may be distracted by getting so emotional into the music, but we see everything. What do I mean by everything? Everything as in seeing people’s attitude, the drama going on, kids causing trouble and the changes that have been made.
My number one thing; besides looking at our music group if they had failed a note, is I always had my eye on are people loving the way I’m playing? When we look into the crowd we see everyone’s body language and facial expressions. By reading these I had a good amount of knowledge if they were enjoying this or not. Sometimes I would watch the newcomers stand still not engaged at all, and that’s where I would try my best even more. It felt kind of like a ‘let me impress you’ feeling. When I saw them enthused and engaged into the music, I felt really good having the thought they’re enjoying what I’m doing. On some occasions it would be difficult for me to change a person’s attitude if they came in depressed or upset. Normally if they showed up with those signs, I always did my best because it’s what people come to church for right? To look for guidance and seek a positive spirit from others and God.
Being up front seeing when the girl I had a crush on was an advantage also. When I saw her walk in, she’d look at me and smile. I’m sure the whole crowd saw me blush at the moment because I was just madly in love with her at the time. There’s the disadvantage also because you’re looking at the entrance door hoping that some person doesn’t come in and once you know it, they come right in when least expected.
Apart from seeing everyone’s facial expressions, I saw how not solving people’s issues with one another distracted them from being involved at church. Especially with the girls within the youth. I saw one group sitting next to each other on one side, while the rest bunched up on the other side, I knew there was something going on. This is how gossiping started and bullying would go on without their parents knowing. Some women at our church also faced problems, they’d greet everyone except for that one person to avoid confrontation with. Only question I ask myself is why didn’t our musicians say anything? Do they keep it in to not make the issue much worse or do they not know how to address the problem?
Everyone didn’t say much either when big changes started happening at church as well. We knew a few people have made decisions not to be involved in our organization anymore, it affected two members in our music group. They enjoyed being around them but not being able to see or speak with them created motives to leave as well.
In a leadership prospective, it’s most likely you will come to a time where you can’t see what you’re team is doing, how do you make your team address the problem to you? One of the ways we handled these situations was having a sit down meet in the office to discuss matters. Another way was after the service was over, they’d make a personal phone call to the leader stating what happened.
What methods have you used in which your team can feel confident and kept confidential about it? Is there one person that has ‘your eyes’, and mentions every detail to you? These are some of the aspects to think about.