Often times, a director has the most difficult position of the choir. Besides the regular planning and preparation for Sunday liturgy, unseen obstacles will surface. In the past 15 years, no two Masses have ever been the same for us.
This page will discuss how to address those obstacles, while maintaining the proper direction of the ministry. But first, share your experience in music ministry with us. How has your direction been challenged in Catholic music ministry?
There are times when musicians and religious do not see eye to eye. We can recount a handful of times when we arrived at a parish to provide music for a wedding, and the available parish staff were less than hospitable and even disrespectful at times. Thank goodness those times did not influence the Mass, and all went well for the special day. Thank goodness we have been fortunate to work with many more clergy members who are very supportive, respectful, and communicate well.
This category of blog posts will give some insight to musicians on how to best work with clergy of the Catholic Church. We will also provide information to clergy on ways that they can better communicate to musicians the requirements and suggestions for Catholic music ministry.
The most important aspect to keep in mind in relation to each other is that we are all in service to God. None of us are in this line of service for the riches on this Earth. We must respect one another’s role and be wise to only be of service to the Body of Christ, the people. We are here to help children of God encounter Christ. We all must be the hands and feet of Jesus, and do better every day to work joyfully together.
We will soon post the 5 Tips every priest wants Catholic musicians to know. Follow our blog to get these tips and other great information in relation to Catholic music ministry.
Ever feel like your throat feels extra dry right before it is time to sing? Many vocalists do not know how much time it takes for water to actually hydrate your vocal folds. People in general do not even know how to tell when their body is letting them know that dehydration is near.
Water of Life
Some say it takes 20 minutes for water to reach your vocal chords, while others say your body actually takes almost 24 hours to really hydrate. Then, you also have to incorporate how much caffeine you have had within the day and the amount of sweating from physical activities. In reality, the most important organs, such as the heart, gets first dibs on the water that you drink, so the vocal chords have to wait their turn.
Regardless if it takes 20 minutes or 20 hours, you can not simply drink water right before you sing or as you sing, and it actually help you sing easier. Also, it does not matter if you are a part of a choir or a soloist; it is still just as important for you to hydrate your instrument.
Drink small amounts of water frequently throughout the day for the best chance to keep your voice ready for any singing or speaking engagements. Keep in mind that room temperature drinks are best to allow the muscles needed to sing to function at their highest level.
Now, tell us what your singing tips and tricks are for healthy singing! One of my favorites is to drink warm (not hot) honey chamomile tea throughout the day. Be sure to check back often for more insight on what it takes to be a vocalist in the Catholic Church.
Many Catholic musicians have either not heard of Musicam Sacram or have not taken the time to read the document. It is such a resource for Catholic musicians, and yet many have not utilized these instructions written by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. Before you schedule a rehearsal, take a few moments to read through this document! A music ministry will not grow if it does not have a solid foundation.
Musicam Sacram, Instruction on Music in the Liturgy, March 5, 1967
The titles of this document include:
I. Some General Norms
II. The Singing of the Divine Office
III. Sacred Music In The Celebration Of The Sacraments And Sacramentals, In Special Functions Of The Liturgical Year, In Celebrations Of The Word Of God, And In Popular Devotions
IV. The Language To Be Used In Sung Liturgical Celebrations, And On Preserving The Heritage Of Sacred Music
V. Preparing Melodies For Vernacular Texts
VI. Sacred Instrumental Music
VII. The Commissions Set Up For The Promotion Of Sacred Music
The full text can be found here at the Vatican Site.