I was asked to be the choir director in my Church today. I have yearned for this opportunity for a long time, but have always landed myself in wards (groups within our Church) where there were plenty of other people with way more musical expertise than myself, so I figured it probably wouldn't happen. Well, it just so happens that although I'm still in a ward like that, the awesome music people are off doing other things, so there was a vacancy. The great thing is, that if you are willing to learn and serve with all your heart (which I try to), you can learn and grow as you fulfill your "calling" and (hopefully) everyone is patient and supports you as you figure things out. AND, there are training manuals etc. etc. so, while I may not know exactly what I'm doing, I have an idea, and I believe that I will have the help I need to succeed. I believe that music is a gift from God that can touch souls and communicate to us in ways words cannot. I want so much to help the choir members and congregation see through my imperfections as a leader and musician and feel of the testimony and truths in the music.
During a moment of self reflection today, I did wonder, "how am I going to direct a choir where there are several people who are more musically trained that I am?" I thought about the many times in our lives where we may be put in a situation where we really don't have a good idea of how to do things the right way and we have to learn "on the job". How about parenting? How about marriage?? How about life?
I also thought about orchestras and really amazing choirs, and how interesting it is to think about the fact that some of these ensembles are comprised of exceptional musicians who have had years and years of training. And yet, they are still led and follow a director. They may be amazing, but they pay attention to the notes, the dynamics recommended by the composer, and they watch (even during a performance) with focused gaze on their director. They may think they know better, but if they go off on their own, they will end up detracting from the song and kinda ruin the performance. They must play their instrument the best way they can, while still staying within the bounds the director has set. After set practice hours, they practice individually, and they study the music, so that they are prepared and ready to follow instructions during rehearsal and the performance.
The violinist does not compare herself to the tuba player, nor does he feel bad about himself because he does not sound like the drummer. We all have our own instrument, our own song to sing, and each instrument, when played at its best, contribute to the beautiful thing that is the symphony. The maestro knows each of his musicians, and their strengths and weaknesses, and he knows their instruments too. He wants to bring out their best selves, and help the orchestra be all it can be. He requires our focus, our hard work, and our commitment to follow directions and study the music. He understands that we will make mistakes now and again, and
So as I direct my small choir I will be mindful of that great Director who is encouraging me and helping me be my best self. I need to more fully commit myself to following Him and studying the music (the scriptures) so that I can grow in my abilities, and be prepared to play through the hard times, watching Him closely so that I will not waiver. I also believe that while He is giving me this small opportunity to direct, that in the end it is He who I should look to.