Ever have to lead a group sing-a-long? Ever have to lead people in singing? This deep conversation between Ben Kramarz and Jonathan Malone looks just at this: how to lead people in singing. And yet it covers more than just the “how.” Jonathan and Ben also talk about the why and the what it means and the were it should happen. They do a great job covering all of the questions that one is supposed to ask when writing an article about singing.
For those who do not remember Ben from the previous episode, he is a music educator, Jewish community organizer, research, author, and… song leader. Check out his website! And… he wrote a book: A Guide to Songleading and Communal Singing. Buy it, gift it, and let others know about it.
The Deep Conversation
There is a fine line that one walks between leading others to sing and performing. You want to be able to sing well, you want to be proficient at what you do, but at the same time it is not necessarily about you. It is not about showing how well you sing, but about bringing people to a place where they feel free to join in a collective effort of singing. When all people are singing together and participating in something that is greater than just one person, then something amazing and powerful is happening. This is what a good song leader is trying to help create.
As Ben and Jonathan discuss, this approach of not being center-stage is not something just for song leading, but for leading worship (prayers, etc.) in general. Worship is not meant to be a moment of just observing and taking in stimuli, but being a part of the experience, creating something and being a part of something that is greater than one’s self. It is not easy for a worship leader to step back from the limelight, but when one does so much more room is made available for the divine.
Ponder that, and then go and purchase Ben’s book!
Next Episode – Jerrod Hugenot is back to discuss a years worth of reading and other such disappointments.