Out Of Memory

Last week at my parish, we hosted the Gospel of John Live Performance by Brad Sherrill. It was a well attended event, and Brad’s performance was outstanding. The link to Brad’s website is HERE.

As the music ministry teams gathered this weekend for practice, everyone was sharing their thought’s about the performance. The one common remark was how amazing it was that Brad had the Gospel of John memorized. I admit, that is quite a feat.

As the teams were sharing this, I reflected on how many lines an actor like Brad had to memorize. I thought back to all the broadway productions, live band performances, and speeches that I have seen done from memory.

Why does the choir need music?

So that brings me to my next question. Why do we as worship leaders and music directors hide behind a security blanket? How many times do we need to play “One Bread, One Body” before we have the words, melody, and chord structure memorized? How about the mass setting we use. It’s probably safe to assume that we use the same setting through ordinary time. Do we really need the charts in front of us?

Experiment. Next Sunday, ask your choir to close their hymnals and music books on a song they already know well.

Here is what will happen….

  • Your team will sing louder, without even realizing they are doing it.
  • The blend will improve instantly
  • They will begin listening to each other

I am familiar with these results, because I have tried the experiment.

Try this with your teams, on one song at rehearsal.

Come back and share what happened in the comments. I’d also ask you to share if you have plans on implementing memorization into your music ministry after your hear the results.

Let me know what happens!




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