With National Music and Gospel Arts Sunday being March 11, we thought it especially apropos to focus on the latest Crest Book, The Beat Goes On! Music in Corps Ministry, by Dr. Harold Burgmayer, territorial music and gospel arts secretary. Here Josh Turner and Beth Malovance, music and gospel arts staff members, interview Harold, giving insight into how this extensive new resource can help your corps.
Who is this book for (corps officers, local officers, soldiers, musicians)?
The Beat Goes On! Music in Corps Ministry is designed to be a comprehensive overview of music ministries within the corps setting. A significant segment of Salvation Army life—from present and future lay leaders to cadets and officers—will benefit from some portion of this instructive resource.
What is the framework of the book? Is this just another book about banding?
It’s far from just another book about banding. In fact, the book is divided into five parts:
Part One: Music Ministers (chapters 1-5) addresses the relationship of officers to their musicians. These chapters should be read by every Salvationist as we address our intentionality in planning and implementing weekly music programs and worship services, including the fundamentals of song-leading.
Part Two: Youth Music Ministry (chapters 6-9) seeks to equip and encourage the training of youth choruses and youth bands.
Part Three: Adult Music Ministry (chapters 10-15) systemically unravels the mystery of learning to read a musical score and takes a thorough look at leadership of songsters and bands.
Part Four: Worship Leadership (chapters 16-19) will profit pianists, worship team members and song
leaders—whether novice or seasoned veterans—with insights on music and chord selection.
Part Five: The Conductor’s Toolbox (chapters 20-23) concentrates on communicating through effective conducting patterns and gestures, as well as facilitating effective rehearsals.
The mere size of this book could be daunting. How can I use this as a tool immediately if I don’t have time to read it from cover-to-cover?
I don’t imagine anyone reading the book cover-to-cover, but rather emerging and present leaders choosing to focus on their interests first, and then exploring the chapters outside their expertise. For instance, you could go directly to the chapter on conducting if that’s your need or interest.
Can this book also help nonmusical officers and local leaders?
The first five chapters relate to every officer and leader, whether a musician or not. Most chapters begin with specific aims, include a situational story and conclude with a resource list for further reading. Several sets of questions in each chapter, identified as “Bars Rest,” allow for further personal reflection or group discussion. Non-musicians can glean much, especially relating to worship design, song leading and improving their leadership.
What resources are available with this book?
One of the features of The Beat Goes On! is the gamut of cartoons, photos, graphs, musical examples
and sidebar definitions to aid in the understanding of concepts. Cross references create opportunities to dig deeper through the online Appendix and Audio Resources, where the reader can quickly reference supporting materials or audio demonstrations of musical examples while studying a chapter.
How might this book benefit a smaller corps in developing their music ministries?
Making Things Happen at Your Corps (chapter 3) is a good starting place to consider for growing a music and arts program designed for your corps. Then I would recommend moving to more specific chapters on how to better equip your corps music sections, be it a praise band, singing company or youth band.
If I’m in a larger corps, how can this enhance my music ministry or take it to the next level?
Though most Salvation Army musician-leaders are very busy people, they desire to be more effective in their corps ministry. In some cases, people might be unexpectedly thrust into music leadership. To help address a specific topic or question, peruse the Table of Contents or search the handy Topical or Music Index. After studying the chapters related to your leadership responsibility, I would recommend going through some of the leadership and Sunday worship planning chapters as a ministry team. Then venture into the four conducting chapters, which will benefit music leaders at all levels.
Finally, how might this book help the territory achieve its ambitious goal of Live Music in Worship in Every Corps by 2020 (LM2020)?
This book is designed to equip more leaders to see and believe in another’s potential for bringing a pleasing musical offering into their own corps’ weekly worship which is the focus of LM2020. It is a blessing to witness Salvationists doing their part in the harvest at their home corps. Every musician starts somewhere, and hopefully over time passes those skills on to another. As the prophet Zechariah wrote, “Do not despise this small beginning, for the eyes of the Lord rejoice to see the work begin” (4:10a, TLB).