Some churches have many options for musicians to use during offertories. Others, have just one — you! If this is the case, chances are there is more on your plate besides just offertories. I have found that in the hustle of preparing for choir specials, congregationals, and other special music, sometimes choosing and practicing the offertory can become a last minute occurrence. Today we’ll discuss a few brief tips and tomorrow we’ll finish up with some more planning tools. Here are a few thoughts that might help lighten the load.
1. Plan – Look at a whole month and determine how many offertories you’ll be expected to play. Write out a plan using congregationals, intermediate pieces, and songs you’ve already prepared. (More on this tomorrow)
2. Do not feel that every offertory has to be astounding – It’s better to be prepared with a more simple selection than to wing it with a more difficult song that really needs more practice.
3. If possible, employ the help of other musicians. Anyone who plays an instrument, helps out occasionally, and especially children or teenagers who are taking lessons are fair game to involve in the offertory schedule.
Planning an offertory schedule eliminates last-minute anxiety and guilt. Even twenty minutes a month can really make a difference. Keep your list by the piano and practice when time allows.