Musicianship is the innate or acquired concept that a musician, no matter his sphere of activities - religious, secular, and educational - must be family oriented to uphold and succeed in his endeavors. I am glad you asked, what do I mean by family oriented? Family is a basic concept of society from the onset of humanity, when God created the first man and woman. The original plan was for the family to bring a mutual understanding of happiness, joy, and harmony. Fast forward to our topic at hand, the role of the musician is to bring different entities together in harmony. The musician has at his disposal various families of instruments, his duty is to put together the best combination of sounds for worship, entertainment, and relaxation. Musicianship is an integrated concept that can be transferred into other universal disciplines, with the same goals in mind.
Musicianship is the outer appearance of every musician, the impression that is left on others. it is described as everything that is expressed in words, actions, interactions, decision making, with people in the immediate environment. Musicianship is projected to be the silent level of scrutiny every musician is subjected to, most of the times without self-awareness.
A musician, a church musician, a music therapist, a choir master must be the embodiment of therapy. The form of therapy that uses music, and the singing of songs, as the source of mental, physical, and spiritual healing. Acknowledging God as the ultimate source of healthy living. The latter is the reason why the ministry of music is one of the best ways to bring people closer to God, in peace and harmony.
Christian Church Music - When musicianship is at work, music literacy is no longer seen as a burden per se, but is understood to be another level of knowledge, with a personal touch. One of the most effective and lasting forms of teaching is modeling. God is the original teaching who, throughout the ages, has modeled to the human race what to do to develop a close and personal relationship with him. I chose two examples. The first is recorded in Exodus 31: 18 and Deuteronomy 9: 10 - Exodus 34: 1 and Deuteronomy 10: 4. What did God do? Twice he wrote the Ten Commandments with his own fingers and gave them to Moses. The second example was the presence of Jesus-Christ on earth to demonstrate how personal a relationship with God can truly be.
Musicianship is the art of conveying, to musicians and non-musicians alike the words of Jesus found in Luke 10: 27 "----- Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." Then worship and praise will return to Jesus who is the only one who deserves what is written in Revelation 4: 11: Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Musicianship also reveals the honesty and integrity of a musician to the basic principles of church music. For instance, church musicians claim that they work in God's vignard. Granted!! We can see them in front of the sanctuary fulfilling their duty.
However, do they know the basic principles that date from antiquity? Principles that worship is due to God alone, because he created the heavens d the earth.
When a musician claims that a song is inspired by God, the parameters are immediately set. A song that is inspired by the Holy Spirit of God will have words that testify of Jesus the Son of the living God (John 15: 26).
Musicianship is the level of maturity, flexibility, knowledge, and understanding that various style of music is acceptable in the worship of God. Namely, psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, (Colossians 3: 16 - Ephesians 5: 9, 19) teaching and admonishing one another, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
The New Testament was written in Greek, and charis is the Greek word for 'grace', meaning: divine influence.
Musicianship in the life of the church is an essential part of worship. When assigned to have the people of God participate in songs, the musician has to encourage everyone to present their voice (trained and untrained) to God as a thank offering for life, health, and many more blessings.
Musicianship consists in promoting congregants' personal connection to God through singing, not for show but for worship. The question that arises then is, can you identify who the true worshippers are? Only God knows!!!
Musicianship is displayed through the nuances demonstrated by the piano accompanist who is also leading the choir. In College, I learned the Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) 10th and last movement of the cantata Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147. The English excerpt version is famously known as "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring". However, according to the African American Heritage Hymnal (AAHH), Charles Wesley, wrote the text for "Jesus, Lover of My Soul", and the tune was written by Simeon B. Marsh (1701-1800). A music history moment.
Musicianship, in Church Music, is the acknowledgement that: whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant (Matthew: 20: 26). In layman term, a musician and a minister of music know that they have to treat, children, young and elderly people the way they would have the above named do to them. (Luke 6: 31).
A few years ago, one of my subscribers pointed out a very important aspect of musicianship when working with a church choir made of non-musicians. Many of us musicians have been educated rigorously in conservatories, and schools of music, where our degrees on how close to perfection we executed our vocal and instrumental performances. However, when faithful church members volunteer their time to sing for the Lord, we have to rely on our musicianship to build a successful and viable group of singers.
Composing a song or an instrumental piece requires the piano for accurate tone. However, I use any available instrument with the same result. For example, I used a cappella tone, the piano, and the recorder to write the 4-part recorder piece below. It was a lot of fun!
Musicianship is also reflected in the spiritual life of a church congregation. Are children an integrant part of the church ministry? Are they taught how to worship the living and creator God? Musicianship is the art of bridging all the gaps. A church choir can give you a good idea how the congregation worships and praises God.
In my music ministry, I always looked at instances in the Bible where different entities (an hundred and forty and four thousands of all the tribes of the children of Israel, all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, angels, the elders and the four beasts) gathered together to praise the God and creator of the universe. My unique example was found in the book of Revelation 7: 9-14. I delighted in teaching Hyattsville S.D.A Church Mass choir, as I was reflecting on Revelation 7.
Few choir masters, have had the luxury to belong to a choir made of members who dedicate their voices solely to praise God, in the beauty of holiness. For over ten years, every member of the Contee AME Zion Church Senior Choir has always looked forward to coming to rehearsal, fellowshipping, laughing, and rising to the occasion when called upon to do so. The Contee Senior Choir has championed this aspect of musicianship which is found in Luke 6: 31, do to others as you would have them do to you.
When you watch the choir perform [youtube.com/cesttresvrai] you can attest of the passion, enthusiasm, and the dedication of this group of singers. Inspiring!
What does it take for a church choir to be active for over ten years under the same music director? I am glad you asked, and the answer is quite simple. When the reason for singing is to praise God nothing else matters.
Musicianship is highly inclusive because every musician has to keep up with the times. The 21st century has opened up the door to technology. The pandemic that ushered in the year 2020 has sealed the new age of teaching, learning, creating, innovating all manners of knowledge through software and education platforms.