Live a Catholic Life!
"Our Song" is only as believable as our lives. We must live our faith every day if we are to be leaders and ministers. When we have passion for Christ, the Church and the sacraments, it will show in the performance of our ministry. When we lack the "fire of God" it is quite evident. You can't lead what you don't follow!
Three well-prepared musicians are always better than eight or ten well-meaning, yet musically questionable, "ministers." Start small and strong, and build from there.
Choose Good Music!
Songs that "worked" a couple of years ago may not be successful now. Choose music that is sing-able and well known, but intersperse some new music too! Don't choose what you want, but what works!
The "Key" is the Key!
Just because the sheet music is written in G major doesn't mean you have to do it in that key. Lower it, raise it, or do whatever it takes to ensure your assembly can sing it.
Variety is the Spice of Life!
Try different musical styles and different instruments: reggae, choral, praise, bluegrass, rock, pop, chant: percussion and vocals alone; piano, synthesizer, strings and a soloist. People love variety.
Practice Makes Perfect!
Rehearsal is not optional. We owe it to the people of God. Spend time working out arrangements, harmonies, and tempos. A true minister of music is one who comes prepared.
Tune Your Instrument / Tune Your Heart!
Part of being prepared is making sure we do some very basic things. Tune that guitar, and tune that flute. Make sure the piano is tuned every month or two and... "tune" your heart! Make sure you pray as a group before rehearsals and before Mass and focus on what your role is. We musicians are called to be servants to the people of God.
Get Out of the Way!
Once we have picked solid music (and solid musicians), chosen the appropriate key, tuned our instruments and ourselves... then get out of the way. Encourage the assembly to sing in such a way that you are "drowned out" by their singing. When this happens yhou have done your job well.
Go with the Flow!
The liturgy has a powerful "ebb and flow." The celebrant most influences this flow, both positively and negatively. Work as a team. A good celebrant can sense the need for more reverence, more "spiritedness" or whatever. Listen and watch! You are providing the "music score" for a holy, ancient and beautiful rite.