PHILADELPHIA, PA — The MJAA is pleased to announce the launch of a new long-distance tele-workshop for up-and-coming Messianic worship coordinators. Run by a team of current and former YMJA worship coordinators, including Jonathan Salkind, Michael and Nicci Katz, Mykie Collins, and others, the workshop will cover the skills needed to hold a band together and make the worship sound awesome.
“This workshop isn’t really for worship leaders,” explained Mykie Collins, “Though of course, worship leaders are welcome. Leading worship is about choosing songs, casting vision, connecting with the congregation, and being the lead singer. Worship coordination is about providing musical structure and communicating among the musicians, and it’s really a different skill set. Guitarists and bassists make excellent coordinators, or pianists if they aren’t leading. Drummers mostly spend their time pounding rocks together, so they might be less of a good fit. And backup singers just live in their own world.”
Jonathan Salkind agreed. “Most of the worship coordinator’s job is to translate the worship leader’s vision into something that can actually be played. Worship leaders know what they want but have no idea what they’re doing. Every weekend, I walk in, set up my bass, and get told, ‘I want this song to sound exactly like Shane and Shane.’ And then I’m the one who has to translate that into something workable. We don’t have a cello, people! Anyway, the worship coordinator is the one to work out what the chord progression actually is, how to make the dynamic transitions flow smoothly, and how to play a reggae version of ‘Shabbat Shalom’ because that’s apparently where modern Messianic music is heading.”
“And don’t get me started on the Rabbi’s requests,” Salkind added. “If the Rabbi calls the band up and asks for ‘that song I like,’ the worship coordinator had better be ready to launch into ‘Every Praise’ with no chord chart. That’s my job.”
“I was in a rehearsal once for a YMJA morning worship time,” recalled Nicci Katz, “And I had chosen a great set list, but the chord charts weren’t in the key I wanted to sing for any of the songs. I can just clip a capo to my guitar, and I remember the keyboard had a transpose wheel, but the bassist and the saxophone player were totally lost. If my worship coordinator hadn’t stepped in, the whole set would have been ruined.”
The workshop will cover musical arrangement, volume dynamics, transposing songs on the fly, keeping the drummer from speeding up, keeping the drummer from slowing down, and keeping the drummer from adding too many splashy fills. It will also address some of the essentials of tech setup and mixing. “Knowing how to run a sound board is really important,” Collins explained. “I found this out the hard way. If your tech person that day is a teenager who got volunteered because he’s good with computers but not so good with music, the coordinator needs to be able to jump in and explain how to make the sound actually sound like music.”
Messianic worship leaders all over the country have expressed their excitement about the new coordinators’ workshop. “I have a doctorate in music, so I can actually lead and coordinate at the same time,” said Dr. Greg Silverman, “But every other worship leader I’ve ever met is in desperate need of a good coordinator. Or a doctorate.”
When reached for comment, singer-songwriter, Joshua Aaron, appeared confused by the idea. “I play the uke,” he said, “And the whole band comes together. The Holy Spirit just flows, right?”
For Messianic worship leaders, the ARCH Training Summit and other already-established events provide excellent opportunities to grow in their skills and ministry.
Donate to Support The Meow: www.patreon.com/messianicmeow