expressive worship

The Definition of Insanity

Albert Einstein said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” He was a smart dude.

I don’t want that definition to apply to how you approach what you do on the platform. I want you to get out of the thought process of “singing songs,” and into the thought process of “creating moments.”

So does it have to be a song full of special meaning for you in order to create a moment?

I mean, sometimes I like a song just because it has a great melody or fun music. Other times I like a song because it has a great message or something with more meaning to me.

Can I still create moments either way? Absolutely! In fact, that’s perfect. What you need to do is think about why you like the song!

Let’s say you have a cool vocal arrangement that you love, but the song is just frivolous and doesn’t have much meaning. Golly, that’s dessert!

Sometimes artists think every song has to have deep meaning. After three or four songs it becomes Chinese water torture. It’s constant message, message, message. The pressure never changes.

It’s kind of like having bites of meat over and over. You need to have a bite of something different so that you can go back to the meat and appreciate it again.

People send me their songs to listen to before they go out on tour. And I look for all kinds of things – a cool vocal arrangement, for instance. And those same artists assume that everyone hears that cool vocal arrangement just like they do. However, audiences are ignorant.

Audiences do not understand musical things the way musicians do. Unless you point it out, separate it, make it obvious (without changing who you are), they won’t get it. You need to rearrange the song so the audience recognizes what’s important about it. They need to know what to listen to.

And more than just point it out, we might actually develop that part of the song for a live show and make more of it than on the recording. Because when we perform live we’re not restricted by time like we are when we submit a song for radio play.

We can be creative onstage and pull out the great part of the song that makes it special. If you share with your audience what YOU like about the song, and help them hear that special part, you’ll make an emotional connection with them!

Next week I’ll share with you how I’ve created some moments for artists, and I’ll give you some insight as to how I listen to the songs to find the moments inside them.

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Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson, world renowned Live Music Producer, helps musicians and worship teams develop songs into “unique worship moments.” His Live Music Methods help create freedom in the room so your congregation can express their worship more freely and passionately than ever before! Tom has worked with nearly every genre from rock to pop to Christian Gospel, impacting major artists and worship leaders such as Jars of Clay, Casting Crowns, NewSong, Sidewalk Prophets, Chris Tomlin, Francesca Battistelli, Todd Agnew, Phillips, Craig & Dean, Parachute Band, The Martins, plus a multitude of independent artists.

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  1. Charles Gray says:

    My 13 year old daugther told me the other day that a moment ,defined by the original old english definition, is a 1minute and a half. I’ve found in my time as a musician that this is about as long as it takes to make an ally or an enemy of your audience. Even if things are going down hill, in a moment you can turn it around. In a moment you can encourage,amuse, brighten someones’ day and even change a life eternally. It is amazing what can happen in a moment. And, as worship leaders we are blessed to have moments of connection with the two things we deeply love simultaneously: God and music. Now add to that the love of the people you serve in your church family. I believe this approach is the beginning of enjoying moments in worship.

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