Music and the Brain Step 5
Easy Basic Steps on How to Be a Good Worship Leader
Step 5: Introducing New Music to the Brain
Prayer is the number one key on how to be a Good Worship Leader. Our second step was Evaluation of our congregation. The third step was Selecting a Team the fourth step was about making Good Transitions. This fifth step shares How to Introduce New Music.
Some church people would love it if you never sang another song than that which was from the hymn book. They love these, have known them since they first became a Christian; furthermore, their ancestors sang them. They simply do not like any type of change to their music including instruments, praise teams, or new music. To sing new music is unsettling, not religious, and certainly not making good usage of the good doctrine from the lyrics of the hymns. Then, I have been personally told that the Spirit is not in the worship service when the hymns are sung in an upbeat tempo.
Are these people wrong? Not completely. God did anoint many of our song writers years ago to include the doctrine of the Word and to write songs that spoke from their heart. He also is continuing to do that today. There are many good hymns that I enjoy, however some of them I do not. The hymn “How Great Thou Art” magnifies our God in heaven. The hymn “Amazing Grace” (there is a newer version that I enjoy singing as well) gives us the Salvation message that is still popular even today.
Some years ago, I served on a Brain Committee for a College. I volunteered to do the research on brain learning and music. David A. Sousa has written a good book on how the brain works. The more active we are in our worship the greater it enhances our learning. If we are standing, raising our hands, reading the PowerPoint, hearing about the authors of our songs, engaged in singing, thinking about our words, we can experience an awesome worship between us and God. I am not saying that it is necessary to do all these things either. Explaining meanings of lyrics, repeating songs, all assist in memory retention and usage of synergy in our worship.
Our emotions are either positive or negative in regards to the way we worship. A powerful experience will leave a lasting effect. It is so vitally important that we are working hard at preparing good music and lyrics and teaching our people new songs. The best time to do this is when they are present – and that is Sunday morning. Using a theme song that will take a whole month to learn through repetition is a good way to experience a new song that the brain will remember and learn and retain. Learning involves the brain, yet retention involves long term memory. This is why we need to give time when introducing new songs. One time singing a new song is not enough to really learn it.
Repeat again, repeat again, and repeat again what you teach. The amount of time devoted to learning new songs allows the worshipper to experience learning new music on Sunday morning without hardly realizing what you are doing – they will learn.
Music may help lower the blood pressure; relax tight muscles, boost the immune system, and stimulate parts of the brain to produce emotions that are important to tap into. Using imagery in music is another way the mind can learn new music. The mind has no limits to what a wonderful experience of music can do for an individual.
People need to get up using kinesthetic movement engaging in music. This may include the clapping, tapping, and raising a hand. This is the way some people will learn best. We cannot judge the learning style of others in worship.
Include one new song a month – sing it over and over. Enjoy it, share why you selected the monthly song. Tell about the author. Add a new song the next month – keeping the old one, but not singing it as much. Continue adding a new song each month. There will be times that they are responding so well that you can add an additional short chorus along with the new song after it has been introduced for a week or maybe two. Take it slower to begin with. Eliminate any song that does not work after a few times. Try it again at another time. If is still does not seem to work, remove it from your library of music.
You have to be careful not to overwhelm people with too much new music at one time. I know I have gone to churches before, and when they have sang so many new songs that I did not know, I found that I did not enjoy the time of worship as much. 1-2 at the most is enough for me. But I love to sing some that I know as well. You feel confident and will sing out if you know it. Otherwise, you sit there attempting to sing but since you do not want to make a mistake you are reluctant to sing out as you would normally. Think about this in regards to others when you select too many new songs in the same service. I love – absolutely love learning new songs, just not too many at the same time.
Involving more sensory input from your congregation will keep their interest longer in worship. Standing, parsing God, seeing words on Power Point, clapping, all are part of worship to God.
©kidzminstry.net Rev. Jeanne McIntosh April 29, 2011.