I bet I already know what you’re thinking: Musicians are the most disorganized, tardy and flaky people on earth! Well, if you are a musician I mean no disrespect. After all…I am a musician myself. But, I do have to say that if we are all being honest, there is a reason why we have this stigma attached to us. I think we sometimes chalk it up to it being the creative “Artist” and therefore a little bit flaky. So does it matter? Well, yes – it does.
People in general are looking to work with people they can count on. If your boss wants a job done in a certain time, it’s in your best interest to get it done in that time frame. The same goes for musicians. If we are expecting our music groups to be on time, then we need to model being on time. If we expect them to be prepared then we need to be prepared.
One of the best ways to organize ourselves, if organization is not our strongest quality, is to seek out someone who possesses that skill to help us. Put an advertisement in the bulletin for some office help. I have always found success in finding an organized person to come into the office and take care of filing, copying, printing worship aides and some other general tasks that are not my forte. There may be some people in your parish that want to serve but don’t necessarily have musical talent to join the music ministry. Those people may be more than happy to help out in a support role.
Consider having your volunteers organize your weekly music for you group into binders so that when your group shows up, everything is ready for them and you can begin to rehearse right away. It may seem like a simple idea, but I have played at numerous Masses where the director had little or no music for the group and other Masses where I was flipping through 3 or 4 different hymnals. Be aware that you will need to get them a list of the music as well as access to your files when they need it or they may become frustrated.
It’s also funny to me that we have so much technology now with smart phones, personal PDA’s, voicemail, texting, electronic calendars, etc. and we can forget to return someone’s call or to show up for a meeting or, worse yet, forgetting a rehearsal or even a Mass! Technology is supposed to help to us and yet sometimes it detracts from our organization. The bottom line is that some of us may just need to get better about returning calls and showing up on time. As we begin this New Year, let’s really try and make it a priority to get more on top of some of these things we may struggle with. Let’s make it our goal for the people in our parish and in our ministries to say that their musician not only leads us beautifully in prayer and is a great musician but they also show that they care about the ministry by their discipline and organization.