Music Job Search Series: Special Requests for Worship Musicians

In a music ministry job search you still need to have a polished resume and cover letter but you also could be asked for a number of things that are truly specific to the job you are applying for.  I have seen requests for “Worship Philosophy Statements”, A “Personal Spiritual Disciplines Outline”, a brief essay about your “Salvation Experience” or  “Demonstration of Worship Leading Skills: Audio or Video” to name a few.  In this post I want to focus on Audio or Video and creating your own worship philosophy statement.

Demonstration of Worship Leading Skills
I am kicking myself now for not video taping more of myself in worship.  Not having video of yourself leading worship and sharing your musical gifts will not cut it these days when job searching.  So, I encourage you to record whenever possible.  Record rehearsals, worship warm-ups, band practices and entire worship services.  Anytime you are sharing your musical talent in and around the church is a video opportunity.  Pick your best stuff and make a DVD highlighting your work.  Don’t forget YouTube either.  That great solo you did last weekend would be perfect for a short online video and more and more search committees are asking for links of your work posted online. 

Find out if your church records services and if they can give you hard copies of the services where you felt your skills really shined.  You can then put together a CD of your best audio clips or a DVD to add to your resume package.  You can also make those YouTube videos as well by taking a nice picture of yourself or a picture of something that compliments the song and have that be the background while your audio plays if you don’t have good visuals.  This gives you another link that is available and a video you can embed on your website or blog. 

So, one of my goals this year has been to work on making more recordings.  I have a digital camera that takes pretty decent video when close to the subject so I have plans in the next couple weeks to record some of my piano playing and make short YouTube videos.  I also have a few songs I would like to sing and make into videos.  I found out that you can use Google’s Picasa program to make photo montages and layer music over it and then turn it into a video that can be posted on YouTube.  So, now you don’t even have to have special video editing software.  How cool is that?

In the past few months I have collected CD’s of the special music I have shared in worship so that I can begin to create tracks of individual songs and organize them for a sample CD down the line.  I use the open source program Audacity to accomplish that with my husband’s help. 

Think Traffic also shared a great video on how to create video when you’re not sure were to start. 


Four Easy Ways to Create Video for Your Website from Corbett Barr on Vimeo.

Worship Philosophy Statement

Everyone feels strongly about worship in one way or another.  So, when you are writing a worship philosophy statement it’s important to speak from the heart and share your priorities for effective worship.  Once you have explored what your heart says, think about those that worship with you and what you would want them to experience and take away from your time with God each week.  If you are feeling stumped by this process or have never thought about your philosophy before check out this Evaluating Worship Questionnaire to get some ideas.     

Now it’s time to get some of your thoughts on paper.  Start by making a list of words that describe your ideas about worship.   Write down the first things that come to your mind.  Here are some of the words and phrases that I came up with while brainstorming:

Dynamic       Relevant       Multi-Generational             Multifaceted Welcoming “Traditional with an eye to the Contemporary”       “Full of Life”     Healing              God-Centered         Excellent      Powerful          Reflective      Emergent      Restful          History         Biblical         Legacy         Silence         Participation Prayer                   Community   Thoughtfulness        Relationship  Culture         Story     Celebration              “All the Senses”                                   

I then Googled “Worship Philosophy” and “United Methodist Worship Philosophy” and found a few examples to further get me started.  Here are a few of my favorites:
I also was able to take my resume objective statement and pull out a sentence that would then create a personal motto for worship.  This motto can then be used to focus my writings about my worship philosophy. 

 “To strengthen personal relationships with God through dynamic worship and fellowship.”

This post is getting quite long so I will plan to share my completed worship philosophy in a future post.  Join me next week as we continue our journey into job searching in the music world.  Through out this series I will cover Job Searching, Resumes, Cover Letters, Special Requests for Worship Musicians, Selling Yourself to Prospective Employers, and what to do while you wait.   
See you next week for Selling Yourself to Prospective Employers.


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