Don’t wing it.
Good advice in general, but today I’m specifically referring to vocal harmony parts. One of the weakest areas that I see in worship rehearsals in many churches is the prep of the vocal team.
Part of this is because there are proportionally fewer people in worship leadership that can read music proficiently than in days gone by, but the main reason is that many times the vocalists are simply asked to “find their part,” and are left on their own.
One of the key roles of the worship leader [or music director] is to provide clarity for their team. This starts, of course, by defining the structure of the song. Where in the song are there vocal harmonies? Who sings which part [and is that vocal assignment the same on every song]? Then there needs to be some way to get the actual part across in a way that’s understandable by the worship team vocalists. There are just too many tools available these days to punt on this, including pre-recorded tracks of each vocal part that are available in some cases. Making this one change can sometimes help a team to go from good to truly excellent.