Monday, July 21, 2008

You Want to Start Somethin', Eh?

I was recently asked, "How do you feel about starting a (fill in the blank) music group?" Great question! There are several elements that need to be in place for any new group to be jump-started and then sustained for a duration.

First, God must set up the environment for the group by raising up a leader to lead the group. I've learned the hard way that music groups need one leader. Not two. And definitely not a democracy. Most groups might sustain themselves through a honeymoon period, but not any longer if a leader is not established.

Second, it must be a group that serves a real purpose, beyond simply giving musicians a place to sing/play (remember, I use the term musicians to describe BOTH vocalists and instrumentalists). You should be able to state the purpose clearly and briefly.

Third, it must be the right time for the group to exist. For example, it may be too soon or too late for a group to begin. Or it might be just the right time. It could be a great concept for a group, but maybe the timing is off. It's got to be both the right time and the right group in order for it to have the highest potential to be sustainable.

Fourth, starting a group as a pilot or test group is the best way to begin. Rarely do I jump into starting groups with the notion that it will last long term. Everything has its own S-curve life-cycle. Starting groups and setting a time line to regularly evaluate makes for healthy groups overall.

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