3 Valuable Goals for Band Practice
You want everything you do to be done with excellence. I look at the time I get to practice with my band as an opportunity to pursue excellence in a craft with a group of like-minded people.
No matter how my band practices may look in different seasons, my overall goal for them is always threefold:
1. Make them Efficient
I want my practices to be efficient in that I steward people’s time wisely and actually accomplish what we set out to do. I find that the best way to avoid wasting time, while still respecting my band members as individuals with distinct personalities, quirks, and struggles, is to have flexibility in my structure. I usually have a plan going into a band practice, but I don’t want to be so rigid that I don’t allow for flexibility as other ideas or needs arise. If there’s life on a conversation, or if an arrangement is really coming together and you’re all feeling it, then by all means, abandon your plan and go with what feels good in the moment.
2. Make them Lighthearted
I want practices to be lighthearted. I don’t want to be so stringent that people feel like they can’t be themselves or have fun. There may be times when less was accomplished musically than I had planned, but the relationships and community were strengthened in ways that I couldn’t have scripted when setting the agenda for that practice. Practice should be about loving God and people–not just achieving musical goals. Have freedom and don’t take yourself too seriously.
3. Make them Sacred
I always strive to make our practice times sacred by seeking to keep our conversations mutually respectful and edifying. Being lighthearted doesn’t mean we should step into coarse joking or inappropriate speech. It’s on you, as the worship leader, to steer the band in the appropriate direction. You want to choose your words with care and diligence, both on and off the stage. Few things sabotage a team more quickly than negative speech and sarcasm, so be on your guard against them.
What are your goals for band practice? Post your comments below.
Huge thanks to my friend Jordan Vanderplate for letting me use this photo of Corgarff Castle in Scotland. Check out more of his work here.