too many self-appointed directors spoil the church music.......
Date: November 15, 2010
Most of the time I do pretty well with self-appointed experts' comments in my church choir. I have a very capable member who has significant experience in the role of director. She does not hold music degrees, but I respect her work and knowledge. I have asked her opinion on a number of things, and generally welcome her suggestions when they come. The one that came today, however, was not offered in the spirit of a suggestion, but almost as a command. It was in a pre-service rehearsal where there was already some tension.
When the "command" came the first time, I ignored it. At the close of the rehearsal, the command was made again, and quite loudly. The problem she addressed was minimal, compared to some other things I was managing. I again ignored the comment, and perhaps that was the wrong response, but I did not appreciate the manner in which it was made. If it were something like a glaring wrong note, I would have fixed it, but I honestly just let it go and did not acknowledge the command. I also closed the rehearsal with prayer......I needed it!
I don't know that I am looking for an answer or to be helped to feel better. I have 20 years of experience in church and school music (most of those years, I've been an educator and church music director simultaneously) and I hold the PhD in music education. My area of specialty is choral/vocal music. The individual I have mentioned is not a singer on a professional level, but she is a fine musician. I say this because I do not see her as "competition." And I've been around the block enough to know that I have plenty yet to learn. I also know that it's very easy to correct one issue, but to correct that issue IN THE CONTEXT OF AN ENTIRE HOST OF ISSUES is another story. I'm not sure there is much for me to do, but accept and trudge on.....I just didn't see a better way to handle this one, and yet, I feel that I was in the wrong.....
Anybody got a productive way to vent some of this frustration??
Amalie W. Hinson, PhD
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