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Minister of Music

The Minister of Music should have a close, personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  The Minister of Music coordinates, rehearses, and directs all choirs of the church as appropriate.  The Minister of Music assists the pastor in planning the congregational services of the church.  The Minister of Music should be skilled in choral directing and in leading the congregation in worship.  As God leads, it is our hope that the Minister of Music would become a full member of the Saltillo First United Methodist Church.

General Knowledge / Qualifications:
The music minister must be proficient in vocal pedagogy (teaching/instruction).  He/she, knowing that singing incorrectly can damage the vocal cords, must understand the child’s voice, the teenager’s voice, and the adult voice.  The music minister should be competent on the piano and understand music theory.  The music minister should have a wide knowledge of available and trusted resources and be able to apply that knowledge skillfully.  A music degree from a reputable university is preferred.

Discipline:
The music minister, knowing that steady practice leads to musical growth, love, and harmony within the group, should encourage the choirs to be faithful in attendance and disciplined with their time.  Of course, the music minister is expected to be of high moral character, while leading his choirs to be the same.        
 
Responsibilities:
Worship Leader
  1. Lead music during worship services.
  2. Motivate congregational participation during worship and in our music ministry.
  3. Be present at all worship services and special programs.

Music Ministry Leader
  1. Prepare and teach music to the choirs for worship services, special programs, and funeral services as requested.
  2. Choose and direct appropriate, meaningful music for various choir and music ensembles. Special attention should be given to ensure that the music is well-written, is age appropriate, and the text is Biblical. 
  3. Provide direction to both choir members and musicians.
  4. Provide voice lessons to choir members as needed.
  5. Be able and prepared to provide special music in the worship service on short notice in the event that the prepared selection cannot be performed.
  6. Assist with other church-wide activities, such as Vacation Bible School and community Thanksgiving service, as needed.

Music Planner / Administrator
  1. Coordinate the planning/implementation of a comprehensive music ministry for the congregation, pastor, and community.
  2. Study and select seasonal programs for Advent/Christmas, Lent/Easter on a regular basis.
  3. Maintain and organize the music catalog and choir room/office on an ongoing basis.
  4. Work closely with technology volunteers (sound system).
  5. Maintain a timely announcement system for all music groups to keep informed of ongoing events.
  6. Maintain a calendar of music to be performed such that the Liturgical season may be well-organized and music/anthems are well-coordinated.
  7. Make new purchases of music and supplies as needed within the annual budget provided by the Administrative Board.  Additional expenses are subject to approval.  A requested annual budget amount and description shall be provided to the Finance Committee for approval for the upcoming budget year.
  8. Develop a relationship with local school music and band educators.

Current Ministries:  
Adult choir
The adult choir presently meets weekly and provides an anthem for each worship service in the sanctuary.  The members are talented and dedicated singers.  We have an excellent repertoire of choral anthems of different styles.  The choir also enjoys singing with the handbells and children’s choir.
Adult choir is also a time of fellowship.  We wish to continue our practices with prayer for one another and our ministry.  We support each other with love and encouragement, especially new choir members.  We welcome choir members with diverse abilities.
Adult choir practice will be held at least weekly with additional practice as needed for special productions.  Choir will have occasional breaks from practice for conflicting events, rest, or other necessary reasons.
 
Youth Music
A small group of youth is presently leading a weekly worship service. The music minister should guide and support them, recruit more members, choose meaningful music, work with the youth minister, and have a designated time to work with all the youth.  

Children’s Music
The children’s choirs (preschool/early elementary and upper elementary) should be organized by the music minister. We would like to begin an after-school program. This will allow for more instructional time compared to our present 30 minute weekly practice. This has been successful in the past. Individual leaders of the choirs should be recruited, trained, and given the weekly lessons and materials in advance.  
The children do well and enjoy singing an anthem with the adult choir or handbells or both.  We have several anthems/collections arranged for this.
The present leaders have striven to teach the children to sing using the correct singing voice. They have also worked towards building a repertoire of appropriate anthems for children.  
Leaders have made an intentional effort to teach the children:
1. songs that are Biblical.
2. songs that express God’s love for them.
3. songs that are joyful.
4. and warm-up songs that are just plain fun!
 
Handbell choir
The three-octave handbell choir is thriving.  They have filled a huge gap during the pandemic when it was dangerous for group singing. They continue to regularly provide music in our worship service.  The handbells also join the adult choir and children’s choirs for joint anthems and programs.  These have proved to be very effective.  To date, the handbell choir has learned to perform with minimal direction from the pianist.  This is a difficult arrangement which takes away from the focus of the pianist and overall dynamic nature of music and worship.  The minister of music will direct practice and performance.  

New Music Ministry Opportunity:
Promote and recruit new musicians, especially current or former music/band students, with the ability to play additional instruments (at any level of ability) such that we may begin to utilize these instruments in our Christmas and Easter productions and then also in our weekly worship music.  Many of our anthems have optional flute or violin solos that greatly enhance the performance.  Currently these solos are often incorporated by the organist.

Continuing Education and Leadership:
Former children’s choir directors have led students to Mississippi All-State Honor Choir annually.  We would encourage our director to become a member of MS Music Educators Association so that our children and youth have this opportunity.
At the appropriate time, the Minister of Music may complete training to become a certified lay speaker in the United Methodist Church.

Future Goals:
Saltillo is home to many talented musicians with no local, organized community music program.  It is the hope of this Music Ministry to lead the way and organize a community choir and accompanying orchestra for the glory of God and the enjoyment of the local community.  As stakeholders in the community, this entity would strive to support fine arts programs in our local schools with the eventual goal of helping our local high school obtain a much-needed fine arts facility.  Implementation of this program is needed as soon as possible once the acute needs of SFUMC are being met.

Private Music Lessons:
The Minister of Music is encouraged and permitted to teach private music lessons to tuition students in the church facility during hours which do not conflict with regular worship, fellowship, or scheduled music practice.

Salary and Benefits:
Commensurate with responsibilities and experience.