Many churches have difficulty finding quality musicians to play for their church services. “We’ve put up notices,” they tell me. “And no one responds!” Even worse, they find themselves stuck with musicians with addictions or attitudes who don’t like to be backstage or that don’t like to go to their rehearsals. It’s my job as a musician to help these church musicians find the musicians they want. Here are some guidelines for the musician recruiting process.
First, the people need to know you are available. Maybe a church musician knows you personally and is inquiring about playing for their church services. You need to give them a recording of your music so they can know what to expect.
Be honest. You may offer to pray on their behalf. Think of this appointment as an audition. Anyone can sit in on your performance but you have to have confidence in your abilities and be willing to go in and do your best. Be prepared to answer their questions truthfully. The best musicians are qualified and ready to play for any church event. When speaking to the musicians you find, mention your level of ability and why you would be the right choice for your church.
More than likely, a church musician will already know what people are familiar with. They will be able to help you find musicians who are especially for your event. The best musicians are patient, hard-working, and keep your audience interested. These are the most common traits found in the majority of successful church musicians.
How long will it take to find the right church musicians? It all depends on the situation. The musicians will come to you initially and in small groups. As your events date approaches, you will need to find a larger group of musicians. These groups are generally recruited by the music director of the church. I recommend that you make plans to visit as many churches in your area as possible. Managerially these groups will need to know you and introduce you to the people. In the beginning, the people will mainly be excited to have such a talented musician playing for them. You will get Somerby calls from people you had not met before and will probably be approached by several people inquiring about playing for their events. These people are also likely to know the people in your church and might be able to help you with the process.
It is unfortunate that most people cannot afford musical instruments or have them at home. The cheapest way is to ask the people who already play and introduce them to the people you are trying to get. At the very least, these people will be able to introduce you to the musicians who are already playing. If these musicians are not willing to spend time with you, however, you will need to find someone else to pay for their services. These services will cost money but are often worth it in the long run as many people will recognize your talent.
If you cannot find the musicians to play at your event, you should start looking for church musicians who could fill in as soon as possible. If you cannot find any suitable musicians within a week, however, you should start looking for individuals or groups who will come after a week or two. Invite the people over for a cup of coffee or to their own rehearsal space and figure out if this is the right musical group for your event. These are generally the musicians that will come to rehearsal with you or your guests the next day.
Musicians that you see regularly performing will generally be worth the additional cost. These are often the kinds of musicians who will already know the venue and other general details for your event. You will probably spend a great deal more money if you pay a musician more money if they bring a whole lot of special equipment with them. These kinds of musicians are reasonably priced but you will sacrifice their comfort level. Make sure that you are certain you know what it will sound like when your guests listen to them play.
All in all, you will spend between $200 to $1200 for a decent group. There are musicians that will work for much less and still get full performance if needed. Chose wisely and know what you are paying for in advance.