Monday, February 8, 2010

The Nervous Conductor

So one day at church I volunteered for what I thought would be a one day stint leading the music during Priesthood. But now it has turned into, what I would like to call, and "un-sustained calling". Where you do all the work but don't get any of the perks. Like getting your name in the program.

Let me pause here to say that my parents taught me some simple strategies for leading music, let me emphasize the word “simple”. They taught me that whenever you lead you have two choices, you either draw a sail boat with your hand or a triangle, and that will help you if the time signature is 3/3 time or 4/4. Sooo simple.

So as an adult I have followed that strategy and I have had much success because in Priesthood meeting we only sing one of two songs. Either it’s “Ye Elders of Israel” or “High on a Mountain Top”, which I have mastered with my leading skills because they are both in 3/3 and 4/4 time.

So yesterday they asked me to lead and I didn’t happen to look at the song we were singing before I got up, which was a huge mistake.

So as we started the song all was well, and then all of a sudden once we hit the chorus it went into a 9/12 or 9/72 time signature, and I was like…What in the what?

So right away, I am way off and everyone was looking at me like I don’t know what I was doing, because I didn’t, but I couldn’t let them know that, so I just started flapping my arm vigorously, but that wasn’t helping, because I was still off the beat.

And then I thought back to how my parents taught me how to lead music by drawing pictures. So I started drawing with my waving hands.

I started with some nice seascapes and then with much panic transitioned very nicely into some cresting mountains, hoping that with some luck, I might find away to get on beat. But what I found is that peoples heads were following my hand so well that their heads were going up and down, and all around because, bless them, they were such good followers. I am afraid I may have caused a concussion when two older brethren knocked heads and then slid off their pew.

Finally around the fourth verse, I started to write, with my out of control arm “H-E-L-P M-E!”

It was just a whole lot of ugly going on up there, and that just isn’t a good color on me. So, mid-song, I just sat down because sometimes at church we are told to stretch ourselves, but what happens when you stretch so far you break… and then you break good members in your congregation? It’s hard to say…

6 comments:

ShEiLa said...

I have been there... done that!

and its not a good feeling... and I have more training supposedly.
Yesterday...after singing Master the Tempest is Raging... I leaned over to the brother and sister sitting next to me and said 'Wasn't that TEMPO just a bit out of control?' The brother said 'NO, that song is always fast and that's why I hate it.' I felt so rushed. A member of the bishopric referenced the song and that it was designed to make you feel like that. Watch out for that song... its not 3/4 or 4/4 but 6/8. I don't think that matters though it just made me feel like a nervous wreck!

ToOdLeS.

ps. thanks for the laughter and the smiles

Heidi said...

Two words: brill yant.

Elise said...

A friend of mine told me I had to take a look at your blog...let's just say I think I have finally gained rock hard abs from all the laughing I've been doing. this may have to become a morning ritual...

p.s. wish I could have witnessed this experience...I can only imagine how much joy it would have brought to my heart. haha
Thanks for the comic relief!

Nathan said...

I have that "un-sustained calling" as well, and the only comfort I can take is knowing that every single person in the room is glad it's not them up their waving their arm like a fool.

Just remember the immortal words of Nephi: "And it came to pass ..."

Someday, you'll be able to sucker some other poor sap to take your place up there.

Rachel K said...

You kill me.

heidi said...

This is a nice, refreshing change from the restroom commentary . . . don't get me wrong . . . we all need to keep up on the social etiquette required in public restrooms - so keep that comin'. . . but your handling of other significant subjects, such as un-sustained callings and such . . . it also much appreciated! Speaking of appreciation, all competent ward choristers just got a huge stock boost. Way to go!

Heidi Weed