Here’s some notes from the recent Vocal Masterclasses…Whilst this blog may focus on ‘the vocalists,’ I know this will help all the Creatives on the HopeUC team!
Vocalists are so much more than simply singers. Their bodies, faces, and presence on platform all factor into the task of singing. So before we think about our tone, warm-up routine or blending with one another (all important things!), let’s focus first on who we are on platform and how we present ourselves.
1. Stage Presence
Sometimes I see singers (not on our team of course) and I think, ‘Have they told their faces they’re happy to be on platform?’ Because the serious look or look of sheer boredom that their faces are giving off tell a story. Our faces matter. And, particularly since the vocalists form that frontline on platform who are there to help engage people in worship.
Next, there’s our movement and body language. I remember a friend of mine, who wasn’t necessarily the most energetic on platform, sharing with me their method of taking four steps forward and then back as another option to the ‘overactive/jumper type’ that I am. I loved that this friend understood the importance of movement and body language on platform and so planned their movements as part of their worship. Again, this helps engage the Church as they are led in worship through song. So let me ask you:
QU: Where do you look when you’re singing? What are your shoulders/body language saying to those you are leading? and Have you told your face you’re excited to be on platform?
Now that we’ve addressed our presence on platform, we can take another step back even further.
2. ON/OFF Platform, who are you?
Believe it or not, who you are off platform matters just as much than who you are onplatform. We’ve received plenty of teaching on this topic across the life of Church. Pastor Mark has spoken so well about this and has encouraged us to make the gap between our private and public lives as small as possible, don’t live a dual life. Simply put; be genuine, kind, loving and Godly when you are seen, and when you are not.
Another good challenge when thinking about the vocalists (and this works for the entire team), is do you know the congregation that you are leading, and do they know you?
One of the questions on the minds of the congregation is ‘can I trust these leaders to lead me?’ If they know you, know your story, see you being the same person off platform, then they will quickly resolve this question and fully engage in worship. I have witnessed services where the rehearsal was excellent, our prep was solid, the team were ready, and then things got difficult as the service started because the Church didn’t know or trust the team they were being led by.
When I look out to the congregation on a Sunday or mid-week, though I may not know everyone, I love the sense of knowing a good majority of the people I am leading. This helps me lead in a way that ministers to their situation, to celebrate with them on the mountain, and to lift their heads in times of difficulty. So, get to know the people you are leading!
I hope you have found this Creative Conversation to be helpful, I love you team and am so excited to be doing this journey with you.