Technique or Restriction?

Clapping hands
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We have a blast in RESONATE, our youth choir at FBC-FH.

At Sunday’s rehearsal, we began to put some finishing touches on It All Belongs to You by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. We are memorizing it so that the choir can feel more free with their worship.

To that end, I gave them a clapping lesson.

When singing in a church with high-powered microphones, a full-on CLAP can cause all sorts of audio chaos. Shrieks and squeals to no end.

I explained to them that, if they felt led to clap, they should do so with a cupped hand. Less noise.

Once of the teens immediately asked, “Isn’t that restrictive?”

I replied, “It’s not a restriction: it’s TECHNIQUE.”

I wrote about standards a while back. Standards are important in any endeavor. Educating these singers about technique is my way of setting a performance standard… a small but important one.

We won’t change the world with a cupped-hand clap. But we might avoid the creation of a large, ear-splitting distraction.

And the kicker? The next standard I set will be a little higher. And the next higher still. And so on.

Is technique a restriction? I’ve heard this argument before. I’ve heard guitar players that are glad they didn’t take lessons because allowed them to be the guitarist they want to be. Well, the fact is they LEARNED technique… the hard way. Or, they THINK they can play and don’t have enough technique to know the difference. Either way, the technique they learned was a self-imposed restriction of sorts.

I’ve heard pastors without seminary education say similar things. While seminary could, in some cases, be a restriction, it would be hard to argue against the value of the techniques, study habits, and in-depth Biblical study that seminary has to offer (I’m in the no-seminary-yet camp. But I hope to go someday.).

Learning how to do things correctly isn’t a restriction. Technique is a means to more effectiveness. It cuts down on trial and error. And it elevates whatever is being attempted.

What techniques have you learned that seemed restrictive at the time, but were beneficial?

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2 thoughts on “Technique or Restriction?

  1. I love the in-deoth study of God’s Word. I love to discover the details and the big picture of God’s plan for creation. Sometimes I “get it” on my own yet other times I come across an awesome thought in a commentary. My excitement in wanting to share “everything” when I teach Bible Study can be overwhelming for the student. I have learned a technique (and am still refining) of sharing truth while still allowing the student to discover the awesomeness of God for themselves. At first it felt restrictive to not share it all but know I get a thrill when I see someone else jump for joy in the discovery of God.

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