This is a new page still in embryo form, it will be written properly soon...
When I was in year five, I tried out for the school choir. I could not sing one note. My class teacher happened to be the leader of the primary school choir, and she really did try to give me every chance she could. By repeatedly playing different notes on a piano. And I could not sing even one anything like remotely in tune. I was so sad that day!
And many other days, when I would sit with the other kids who weren't in the choir, doing whatever uninspiring thing they had us doing while we waited for all the other kids to sing. And while we heard them singing. And they sounded so inspiring. And happy... And I did not feel so happy. The way I felt reminds me just a little of the story of the rich man and Lazarus. Where the rich man is in hell — and the Bible says that
Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that none may cross over from there to us. (Luke 16:26)
I get the impression that (at least in some ways) schools are not as performance-oriented as they used to be. And there may be more opportunities for children now to join in with the other kids than there was then. I don't know? But I feel that in churches there's still an aura that things must be done just right. Or else people may not attend as much. Some may even leave. New people won't be attracted to the church, if its style of music (among other things) does not closely enough match that of the world outside the church — which we are supposed to be aliens and strangers to.
I noticed this a lot on YouTube. People are very picky about things like how much does your microphone cost, what type of (insert any item involved anywhere in the sound chain) do you have, and is it good enough? I noticed it much more on YouTube than in real-life church. Which is one of the main reasons I stopped bothering to upload anything to YouTube a few years ago.
But even in real-life church there seems some feeling of pressure. Even if it's not that much, comparatively. I'm never fully sure how much of it is from my past as a non-Christian guitar player (and the need to do everything very, very well if there was to be any hope of success in the music industry), and how much of it is really there at church. But I'm sure there is some of it really there at church, too.
All of this has caused me to really think a lot about why we even do "church music" at all. And in particular, why I even do it at all. I don't mean it so much as a rhetorical question (in the sense of just meaning that perhaps I shouldn't be doing it any more). I mean literally why — what are the specific reasons that motivate me and other Christians to serve through music?
More on this topic to follow later...