Thursday, November 27, 2008

Backseat on the Bus: Serving and Sacrificing

On each "Backseat on the Bus" blog, I will write about our family's journeys and learning experiences as the Great Adventure Gospel Band.


Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a singer.

I grew up listening to Christian contemporary music and dreaming of microphones and radio singles. As the years have gone by and musical abilities have flourished, the dream of becoming a "singer" has become true. Our family has started a music group with its own instruments and sound system, and we have begun singing at some venues over the course of the year.
But I wasn't born a singer.

My parents have been blessed with wonderful music abilities: my mom has a beautiful alto voice-right on pitch usually-and my dad sings and plays guitar extremely well. My brother Ben was in the Minnesota Boychoir for several years, and my older sister sang a few solos in church and had been playing violin. But I was not gifted with an ear for the correct pitch when I was a child. Let me give an example: one day I was singing to the radio in my room when Mom walked by. She called my dad over to listen. After listening a while, Mom and Dad looked at each other and said,"Oh dear, let's hope she doesn't want to become a singer; this girl can't sing." You see, I could not carry a melody and sing the tune as it was being sung. Now of course, I did not realize this and continued to sing.

Our family particpated in our first jam this summer.


Over the last year or so, God has, well, opened up my ears to music. I now can sing pretty much on the correct pitch-though this is hard to do-and I have learned several instruments.

It is a blessing to be able to sing as a family! Leesha, Sam, Jayme, and Caleb (my younger siblings) have wonderful voices and can sing on pitch pretty well, we all play instruments, and there is nothing that beats the family harmony.

But being a minister of music, so to speak, is not easy. Ministering through music requires time and energy. You must be devoted to your work or you will not succeed in anything. This is true in music. First we have to practice, practice, practice to create a song that is pleasing to the ear, to keep our voices and playing warmed up, and to keep ourselves familiar with all our songs. Generally before a concert, we try to practice every night of the previous week to keep in top shape. Of course this is time-consuming and we sacrifice numerous things to accomplish this practicing. Second, ministering at concerts can be wearisome. To be honest with you, although it is fun to travel and sing, this often leaves our family worn out. We arrive, we set up, we sing, we listen and talk, we tear down, and we leave.

The Garms family at King of Glory Lutheran in MN, October 2008

Music ministry is a serving ministry: you really don't get a lot for yourself, you give a lot to others. It is our purpose to encourage people and to minister to them through music and message. I enjoy listening and talking to new people (even though I am sometimes shy) and it is great to hear that the Lord has used us for His work. Those families and individuals out there who minister through music know exactly what I'm talking about.
It is a blessing to be an ambassador for Christ through Great Adventure Gospel Band; I hope you didn't get the impression I don't love this ministry, I do! I'm just sharing some of the unique struggles of this calling. If you know of any singers ministering in your community, don't forget to thank them for what they do and keep them in your prayers: Satan tries to dicourage those doing the work of Christ and all ministers need the support of fellow Christians.

Thank you!


kathryn grace said...

Did you have to train yourself to hear correct pitch or did you "grow out of it"?

This is a very interesting post - I wonder sometimes what it is like for families who have musical groups, to be always traveling and performing. Thanks for giving us a glimpse!

Miss Taylor said...

I think it was mainly a "grow-out-of-it" process, though Mom and Dad always encouraged me to sing the note and hear the correct pitch.

I am not saying I can sing on key the entire time; I have my difficulties! It is a challenge to sing the correct note and not be a little off (a little goes a long way, so to speak), especially when you have a cold or haven't practiced for a while.

Thanks for asking!

Blessings, Miss Taylor