As your church grows, your worship ministry should grow. As the young people in your church show interest and desire to use their talents in God’s kingdom, your worship ministry should grow! (Check out these 5 ways to include young people in music ministry.)
You should always be investing in and developing new talent!
But this can present some challenges – especially if you feel you have some limitations.
How do I train a new bass player when I don’t play bass?
What about drums or guitar?
Ideally, every music department would have seasoned musicians who are willing to mentor new musicians learning their same instrument. (This is why I believe mentoring is important, plus some tips on how to be a great mentor.)
But, that doesn’t always work out.
Maybe your seasoned musicians aren’t on board with mentoring yet, or with work, families, and other ministry involvement, they simply don’t have the extra time. Maybe you’re in a smaller church or working with a smaller team and other seasoned musicians aren’t available.
Whatever the case may be, in this Friday 5 In Five Video I’m sharing 5 tips for training new musicians. I hope they help you out!
5 Tips For Training New Musicians
1. Take the time to do what you can!
I was about 14 when I started working with some other young musicians because we were in desperate need of a drummer.
I could keep a basic beat on the drums, but that was as far as my skill went. I started off showing the aspiring drummers what I knew, then I would meet them at the church at least once a week for jam sessions.
It wasn’t long before they far surpassed my limited drumming ability and became great drummers.
You can always use the excuse that you don’t play this or that instrument, but if you’ll the excuses, take the time to share what you do know, and practice with the new musicians, it can go much farther than you might think.
That might mean you have to do a little research and learning of your own. Maybe you learn 3 or 4 notes on a bass yourself, then teach and practice songs that use those notes.
Just make sure you do what you can!
2. Reach out to other seasoned musicians!
If you don’t have someone at your church who can mentor, maybe a church in a neighboring town does! Or you can bring in someone a few times a year who works with your new musicians. They can work with your current band, too, and that’s always a plus!
Remember, a financial investment is always worth it! It’s an investment in others and in the Kingdom of God, so don’t be afraid to spend some money if it comes down to it.
3. Provide new musicians with resources!
There are so many great resources available online! Search YouTube, find bloggers, and online lessons. Song tutorials are a great resource for new musicians!
There are several subscription services, like the UPCI Music Ministry or Mark Condon’s iWorship, that have different instrument tutorials available for the worship songs we use in our churches. A service like would be a huge help if you’re working with multiple musicians outside of your comfort zone!
4. Put new musicians on the schedule!
Experience is one of the best teachers and motivators that I know! I can say this from personal experience because I was put on a piano at 13 as the lead musician and it made a big difference.
If you’re able, set up additional instruments, like keys, bass, or guitar, and let your new musicians play along without running them through the main monitors or house speakers. They’ll get used to playing in front of the congregation and with your team, plus you’ll minimize distractions if they’re not quite ready to heard.
If your new musician is ready to be heard, it’s ok to sacrifice perfectionism and give your new musicians a chance. I believe your church will be more thankful (and proud) that you’re investing in their friends and family than if you stick with the seasoned musicians and hit everything just right.
5. Don’t forget the spiritual side of worship ministry!
Being a part of the worship team, whether it’s playing an instrument or singing, is much more than being the best and hitting all the right notes. As you train new musicians, make sure they’re developing a heart of worship and service.
Let them know there are some things required of them spiritually, and then hold them accountable! They’re not just a musician, they’re a worship leader – on and off the platform.
I hope one or all of these 5 tips for training new musicians helps you out!