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Tips for preparation

Hello, Song Leaders!  Here are some tips to help you prepare for song leading at a service.

If you are a first time trainee, listen to and learn one or two of the songs for the current season.  (We recommend you wait until you’ve led a few songs during service before taking on the acclamations.  Though the acclamations sound simple, they are slightly more demanding than the songs because of the back and forth with the presider.)

Pick a song that feels relatively easy to sing.  That will allow you to focus on learning how to teach the song.  The recordings of the songs often include specific teaching suggestions, and your rehearsal leader will help you with this during rehearsal.

As a trainee, you will be paired with a more experienced Song Leader, someone who can step in if you feel like you’d like a little more practice.  That means you can relax and enjoy the process of learning the songs without feeling rushed.

If you are a trainee who has already led songs in a service and you are ready for more, listen to the acclamations (and if you want, see the acclamation preparation tips below).

If you are a veteran Song Leader, review the list of song options for each slot in the service so that you are familiar with the material.  It always helps to brush up on the current season’s acclamation, too.  (The previous season’s acclamation setting may still be in your ear, so listening to the current acclamation will help you absorb the new setting.)

If you are learning the acclamations . . .

You might practice starting everyone off on a drone, using a big gesture of invitation that will be visible to those on the far side of the room.

You might also read through the script and familiarize yourself with the lines that come right before your singing.   The acclamations are a communal prayer, and the more seamless the transition from presider to song leader/congregation, the more everyone has a sense of praying together.

The lines are in a script, so you won’t have to memorize the acclamations, but a little familiarity with the cues always helps.

–Jacob Slichter

Find more Resources for Song Leaders and Song-leader trainees here!

Posted in: Songs We Sing

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