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Home > Articles > Winter 2009: THANK YOU!!!

Winter 2009: THANK YOU!!!
Kevin McChesney

Here’s what we often hear:

You played so beautifully in church today.”
“It was great to hear the bells this morning.”
“Good job! Great music!”

“What a treat to have the bells in worship today.”
“Great concert! Fantastic!”

Here’s how ringers often respond:

It went better in rehearsal.”
“I made mistakes I’d never made before.”

And my personal favorite:

It was like I had never seen that piece before.”

(By the way, directors hate it when you say that. Ringers, PRETEND you recognize the music, ok? :))

Ringers tend to be hard on themselves. It’s human nature to remember the mistakes we made, to zero in on the one or two notes that were wrong instead of the literally THOUSANDS of notes that were right.

Still, it’s vital to remember that our purpose in ringing is to communicate the feeling, the message, and the heart of the music, NOT
to put together something without mistakes and that is perfect. There’s no such thing as a perfect performance anyway, so that doesn’t make for a very healthy goal.

What listeners remember is how the music makes them feel and your enthusiasm for the music. Most listeners don’t hear many mistakes. Some mistakes are evident to those listening - congregations and audiences are not entirely musically illiterate and some mistakes are obvious. Still, you’d be amazed at how few mistakes listeners are even aware of - and I guarantee that it is a number MUCH smaller than the number of mistakes you are aware of as a ringer or director!

Audiences and congregations are on our side. They are cheering us on to do well, and believe in what we are doing. And most importantly, they are genuinely grateful for our efforts and love what we do.

YOU MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY! People appreciate the music we have to offer and the heart that we offer it with. They know of your sincere effort and are touched by the music that you communicate. They love you, love your music, and forgive mistakes easily, because they are not interested in every dot and line that makes up the picture, they take home with them the overall picture and how it made them feel.

So after a concert, after your presentation in worship, it’s very likely that you will hear those comments:

I just love hearing the bells.”
“You played so beautifully in church today.” “Good job!”

These folks are saying “Thank you.” What’s more, they mean it! They are grateful to you and are thanking you for your music and for your effort and for the love of ringing that you show when you play. Even if you don’t think things went very well, even if you did “make mistakes you’ve never made before,” even if it was “like you had never seen that piece before,” know that those listening and watching mean what they say when they tell you “Thank you.”

And the proper response to “Thank you” is.......”You’re welcome.”

Best wishes,

Kevin McChesney