The closer you get to your annual Big Event—whether that is a choir tour or mission tour or some other big event— that is the exact time when rehearsal time is at a premium.
At the same time you should be learning notes and phrasing you are having to answer questions like “What time are we leaving?” “How are we getting there?” “Where are we staying?” “Where are we singing?” “How do I get to pick my roommates?” “What about work assignments?” “Can we take cell phones?” “Are we going to have any free time?” and on and on.
This year, for the first time, I am using the church’s web site as the primary information source for every detail of the tour. For the life of me I have NO IDEA why it took we so long to try this. Now, whenever anyone asks a question—student, parent, adult sponsor—my standard answer is “have you checked the web site?” At the bottom of the page there is a place where they can enter a question that I can answer and post to the site the next day.
We estimate that it has reduced the number of calls coming to our office by more that 70%, and parents can find any detail of the trip with just a few clicks! They still have to call us about money issues, since we don’t put that on the web.
Recently, the day approached when students determine the work team assignments they choose for the trip. In the past, I had taken many precious minutes to thoroughly go over all of the choices and why they should choose this place or that place. I had always thought that if something was IMPORTANT then we had to take rehearsal time to deal with it. That was SO wrong. It is more than possible for something to be important and find a creative alternative to get the information out.
This year, instead, I asked them to read them all for themselves, pray about where their choices should be and come to rehearsal prepared to make write their decision on the card provided in their chair. To my surprise, every student was ready to fill it out. Rehearsal was about MUSIC not choices.
It has significantly reduced the time consuming questions in rehearsal, too. Last week, during the rehearsal someone asked a question about a detail of the mission trip and the entire bass section said, “check the web!”
You can use this link to check out the kinds of information that parents and students can find on the web site.