My Story, Praise and Worship, Voice

Perfection to Praise – Part 1

Worship Thread

Years ago, God challenged me to reconsider my motives for leading worship on stage. Some might be surprised that I would write on worship because outwardly, it doesn’t look like I have much to do with the worship community. However, I’ve been connected to it here and there throughout the years since high school. More recently, I’ve been involved through teaching voice lessons to many worship leaders.

So, as I reflect on my past , I see the connections woven throughout. I’ve been on the church stage my entire life. My earliest known solo was when I was a pre-schooler! From there, I’ve been involved in as many weekend services and special events as children and teens are welcome to participate in. Those were all fun and I loved being on the stage. But, my true ‘praise & worship’ participation began in high school. I was already a performer at heart and so it was natural to join the youth worship team as one of the singers. I LOVED singing with this group. When we went on our mission trip, I got to sing with the band there too! What a thrill. Truly, I would be happy to sing anywhere and at any time.

Singing onstage at church as a pre-schooler

Studying Music…

When I got to college, I didn’t sing on a praise team anymore, but I was constantly on-stage. Most of my time was spent studying music and performing with my academic groups rather than doing music recreationally or with my church. I spent hours practicing solo and chorus songs. I applied technique and really got to know my voice and how to manage it and make it go where it needed to go. I thoroughly enjoyed this process, but my performance mindset was shifting. The world of musical study is often associated with working towards perfection. I still experienced great joy in singing, but a lot of it was filled with being constantly aware of how ‘on target’ I was in my tonality. Of course, I didn’t notice the subtle shift happening inwardly, but I did know that every day I wanted to work towards improvement and get better and better.

My college choir singing in Europe! (I’m in the middle front)

Life After College…

When I graduated, I received my Bachelor’s of Music in Applied Performance: Vocal Emphasis. After my choir toured in Europe, I got married and moved to a new state to prepare for my next stage of life: being the wife to a Physics PhD student! I had already been teaching voice lessons during college, but stopped for the first year of marriage as I adjusted to what my new life would be like. I worked full time in a non-music job for the next four years. After a year of not teaching, I had to get back into it. A part of me really was missing without it. So, I started teaching again and little by little grew my voice studio to a part-time business. At the same time, I got involved in my local worship community by co-leading the praise choir at our worship leader’s invitation.

Perfection to Praise…

During this time, I became good friends with a worship background vocalist. I talked with her about being on the worship team as a background vocalist and what that would be like. The only thing I remember from that conversation was her remark that ‘leading praise and worship is not about perfection (self-focus), but about bringing people into the presence of God (God-focus).’ This really got me thinking about my heart behind wanting to be on the team. Was it for worship and praise to God or for perfection and praise from people?

more to come on my heart journey of worship…

3 thoughts on “Perfection to Praise – Part 1”

  1. Love the picture of you singing on stage as a pre-schooler! And I loved hearing you when you sang in the Bethel Choir!


    1. You’ve been around for so much of my musical journey at this point. I’m really glad for that. Thanks for always supporting me as a musician and music teacher! Also, I’m glad you enjoyed that picture from my childhood. I also like that one a lot.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s