Use Your Smart Phone in a Music Rehearsal

You Said What?

If you are reading this in disbelief or as a skeptic, please bear with me...this is actually a neat thing. But first, the set up...

As a worship music professional, my idea of rehearsal is get as much work done in as short a time as possible. I'm in charge (or at least I like to think so), and the idea (or sound) of a mobile phone ringing in a rehearsal does more than drive me crazy. But, as I've said elsewhere, once I went through the process of staying in touch with an aging parent, I began to understand that a phone is a necessary evil nuisance that can be a lifeline to members of my ensemble.

But, as they say on late night commercials, there's more...

A few years ago, I was speaking at a conference where one of the other clinicians was noted composer Joseph Martin. As you may know, Joe is always on the move – his schedule takes him on the road upwards of 200 days a year. His phone contact list is enor­mous, as you might imagine. But I thought it was odd that at one point in a reading session at that conference, he did something that turns out to be such a smart idea.

The Smart (phone) Idea

Here’s what I saw in action: while he is working with a choir at a conference or during a festival weekend, he’ll pull out his phone, dial up a composer, or a lyricist, or somebody who is celebrating a birthday, and have the group sing into the phone. Everybody gets a kick out of being part of a personal flash mob, and he stays in touch with people in a special way.

Want more smart phone ideas? You can find a YouTube video for an on the spot example of the sound you want (or don’t want) from your group. You can make a “scratch” recording to play back so the group can hear exactly what problem you are trying to fix. Just make sure to turn off the phone part of your phone though...

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