I’m Tommy Tush. I wrote this below from my wealth of experience as a Choir Director for a while now and also because I know 85% of Music Teams in Nigeria are filled with people who don’t do music full-time because they work a 8-5 or do business. And also many can sing and play but have refused to join a choir because they are now “busy”. Yet they were active singers and instrumentalists in school. If I’m describing you, read the following 9 grenade points.
1. If you find it difficult to be effective in the choir while you’re single, if getting trained, building capacity, rehearsing personally or with the team, scoring songs, vocal training, reading is difficult for you while single or as a student, it will be extra difficult or impossible when you start a home or start working, well except you go into music full-time. There may he exceptions to the postulation above, but this postulation is bae.
2. Singing in the choir is not a Ministry per say. What I mean is if you claim to have a music calling, go a step further by discovering what exactly it is. Singing in a great Choir is meant to sharpen you and help you discover something deeper. The real areas to engage in are Education songwriting, publishing, media etc. If your choir is not teaching all these and many more, that choir isn’t doing her job and fulfilling her purpose.
3. It is very very possible to be 100% effective in a great choir while you are working a secular job as a banker, teacher, entrepreneur and the likes. I have done it, many people have done it and are still doing it. Its about PURPOSE, PASSION and PRIORITIES being set right.
4. Thinking you’ll be more committed to Choir and music or that you’ll improve if all you do is music for a living is a LIE and FALLACY. Go and ask those who do music. Research has shown that making Music producers to be MD of a choir can be the worst decision a Church can make or singer who travels always to Minister. When studio work clashes with Choir rehearsals and team events you may not see them. Many have even reduced number of rehearsals per week and length of rehearsals so as to accommodate their music business. Same goes for singers who travel and sing- Itinerant Musicians with tour dates and always on the road . So while you work a secular job find a balance and produce fruit don’t procrastinate.
5. Don’t ever join a choir because you will be the best in the team. If everyone around you are below you musically, they will soon drag you to their level. There must always be a mix. There should be people at your level, below you and above you. There’s really no trophy for being the only star in a choir. You will soon get tired by the time you’re always leading songs 4 times every week.
6. Stay away from Choir Drama. Stay away from “beefs”. There’s NO trophy in earth or heaven for fighting others and winning. If you keep on giving people a piece of your mind, soon your mind will have been completely distributed and you’ll have nothing left. You can be in a choir for years and you won’t grow because your emotions have been channeled to proving you’re right and telling people how they stepped on your toes. Gossips and fighting to settle drain the energy of a choir.
7. If you are Head of a Choir, let me share a secret with you. MANAGING WOMEN in the Choir can be the most difficult. Single women many times” beef” one another. The married ones can be stubborn and unwilling to change and adapt. MANAGING INSTRUMENTALISTS is the next most difficult. And after that is MANAGING HIGHLY SKILLED SINGERS. If you can safely master the skills to manage these 3 groups of individuals you will have peace to build a great choir.
8. There is POWER and there’s AUTHORITY. Authority supersedes power. Your Choir leader has authority. He may not know as much as you but wisdom demands you submit and obey. Anyone who rebels reminds God of Lucifer who was the first rebel. Remember Moses, Aaron and Mariam?? All leadership was constituted by God hence your HOD is CONSTITUTED AUTHORITY. Grace is given to people in authority not people with power (This is deep. I’ll try and explain sometime later.)
9. Any Choir that lacks structure will not grow. Pray from now till next year, fast and pray all you want. Hire the best instrumentalists and have the best singers;- Until you put a structure to your music and how its done, how the team operates, how people are recruited or expelled, how people can be trained etc.. Your team can have many talented people yet your music will not be great and the choir will not grow in any way.
My name is Tommy Tush and I’m your Music Coach and Choir Director.