Time to L.E.A.R.N.!

TODAY’S CLIP: Today’s clip is “Love Your Magic Spell Is Everywhere” as performed by George Melachrino and the George Melachrino Orchestra. One of my piano students loves the jazz small ensemble version of this song, but, as it turns out, this song has been covered by many, many artists. One of my favorite versions is the big band version with singer Jaye P. Morgan. Nonetheless, check this out. Very movie soundtrack-ish to me which makes it pretty awesome.

As a musician, 90% of what you do is listening. Music is too much of a universal language to get stuck on one dialect. Therefore, today’s blog is dedicated specifically for you to LISTEN (to the clip provided), EXPAND (your thinking on music in a way that you may not have considered before), AND ROCK NOW (with more musical knowledge added to your repertoire)!

DISCLAIMER: I do not own the rights to this song. The video included in this blog is only intended to bring musical awareness to the reader.

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Working In The Shop

Once again I have been blessed with the opportunity to facilitate a music ministry workshop this upcoming weekend. Amidst the hustle and bustle of preparation, I got to thinking, “What exactly is a workshop?” Of course we all know “workshop” to mean a place where items are built (think “Santa’s Workshop”), but what about workshop as we understand it in our modern day language. What is it?

Well, I looked it up and here’s what I found:

http://www.merriam-webster.com defines “workshop” as “a class or series of classes in which a small group of people learn the methods and skills used in doing something”.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com defines “workshop” as “an educational seminar or series of meetings emphasizing interaction and exchange of information among a usually small number of participants”.

http://www.etymonline.com says that the meaning of “workshop” as “gathering for study” has been around since 1937.

With that having been said, here’s another resource to consider:

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” -2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

And for as much of a KJV person as I am, I like this version as well.

“Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” -2 Timothy 2:15 (NLT)

And keeping all of this in mind, I can conclude that the “workshop” as an exchange of information to learn methods and skills to do a thing is to better the worker so they can go out and be more effective at what they do. Therefore I challenge you to better yourself. If you have the opportunity to go out and learn more about what you do as a musician (or any trade for that matter), THEN GO DO IT! God has given us each a measure, but it’s up to us to develop it into something substantial for HIS glory.

The Real Gospel Challenge: WHO and WHY

For those of you who may not be aware of the most recent Facebook trend, allow me to fill you in. “The Gospel Challenge” is where FB members take video of themselves singing their favorite gospel songs AND, afterwards, issuing a challenge to their vocally inclined friends.

And to be totally honest with you… I’ve been loving every minute of it. That’s probably due to the fact that most of my FB friends are actual singers and musicians. That always makes it easy.

But I had a thought about all these Gospel challenges going around. I was talking with my wife and asked the question “What if BET picks this up and turns it into an actual TV show?” (thinking along the popularity lines of “Sunday Best”) Then I thought about it a little further and this is my conclusion.

If BET (or any other network) were to turn the Gospel challenge into a serious TV show, then that disproves the need for auditions. That, in turn, leaves no way to narrow a pool of contestants to vote on, narrow down to just one, and raise to “idol” status only to be ignored and tossed aside once their national popularity has decreased.

The bottom line is that there are more people out there with real God-given talent than we realize. Moreso than that, those same people are more concerned about singing for the glory of God as opposed to the glory of man. So while I am enjoying this Gospel challenge thoroughly, I am issuing this charge to all singers:

Make sure you know WHO you are singing for and the reason WHY you’re doing it.

Time to L.E.A.R.N.! (Wedding Anniversary Edition)

TODAY’S CLIP: Today’s clip is a special one for me. My wife and I celebrated seven years of marriage this week and I would be remissed if I did not post a little something something to commemorate the occassion. I present to you “Wedding Bells” sung by Jessica Luster (my cousin), written/performed by yours truly, and recorded back in 2007 (when my wife and I got married).

To my wife, I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH!

To all my readers/listeners in Blogland, LISTEN AND ENJOY!

As a musician, 90% of what you do is listening. Music is too much of a universal language to get stuck on one dialect. Therefore, today’s blog is dedicated specifically for you to LISTEN (to the clip provided), EXPAND (your thinking on music in a way that you may not have considered before), AND ROCK NOW (with more musical knowledge added to your repertoire)!

DISCLAIMER: I actually do own all the rights to this song (and yet) the video included in this blog is STILL only intended to bring musical awareness to the reader.

The Faithful Few

**This blog is dedicated to the singers and musicians of Untitled Praise.**

And He said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it?” (Jesus speaking) “It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR can NEST UNDER ITS SHADE.” -Mark 4:30-32 (NASB)

One of the things that I’m learning more and more in my old age is that a lot of people doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of success. In fact, some of the greatest successes in life happen as a result of small things. A huge forest fire comes from only a tiny spark. Tall oak trees come from the smallest of seeds. The tallest or biggest atheletes come from the smallest mixture of human genetic material. So on and so forth.

As I get older and older, I am learning this lesson more and more specifically in church music. Whereas I do LOVE a nice, big mass choir, and have spoken about the power and impact of such an entity in previous blogs, I do not take anything away from smaller groups like praise teams/ensembles because there is definitely a place for them as well. There are countless examples in the Bible where God will take the smallest or seemingly most insignificant person or thing and turn the world upside down. Think about having faith the size of a mustard seed.

Now think about how big an actual mustard seed is.

#exactly

So to all the praise teams, praise ensembles, gospel quartets, church bands, etc who make the music happen on a regular basis without a lot of numbers, don’t think that God can’t take what you think of as small and turn it into something that will impact the world for His glory in a BIG way.

In my musical experience, I’d rather take a faithful few into “battle” as opposed to an uncertain multitude.

Time to L.E.A.R.N.!

TODAY’S CLIP: In following with the post from Wednesday titled “Purpose By God’s Design” I thought that today’s song would be an appropriate compliment. This is Maurette Brown Clark and her daughter Jada singing “I Am What God Says I Am”. Listen to the words and enjoy.

As a musician, 90% of what you do is listening. Music is too much of a universal language to get stuck on one dialect. Therefore, today’s blog is dedicated specifically for you to LISTEN (to the clip provided), EXPAND (your thinking on music in a way that you may not have considered before), AND ROCK NOW (with more musical knowledge added to your repertoire)!

DISCLAIMER: I do not own the rights to this song. The video included in this blog is only intended to bring musical awareness to the reader.