The Mix Musician (Who is this person and where does he/she fit in the church?)

When the Lord was training me for my “calling”/vocation He gave me a job title for the person mixing the sound in the church, which is “THE MIX MUSICIAN”.  Mixing sound in the church for praise and worship is entirely different from mixing sound out in the “world” especially a touring show, a corporate event or even in a studio.  The most obvious difference is the audience for the mix.  In the world the “mix engineer” is mixing with a mindset toward creating an exciting experience for the audience so they will feel like they got their monies worth.  In the church we mix for the glory of the Lord.  When a Praise & Worship service is mixed properly God gets the glory and the sound does not inhibit the working of the Holy Spirit.

 Who is the Mix Musician?

I recently saw a documentary on human brain development and function in which the scientist discovered that there is a certain place in the brain that is developed when a person learns music in their formative years.  They discovered that people who did not learn music as children did not have this part of the brain developed. (Ref#1)  It has been common knowledge for many years that the vast majority of the more accomplished mix engineers were all good musicians as well. 

Learning to play a musical instrument such as taking piano lessons, guitar lessons or violin lessons in early childhood and later participating in Band or Orchestra in High School can make a huge difference in the cognitive development of the student. Music has been shown to enhance the “hard-wiring” component of the brain, particularly in regards to spatial-temporal reasoning, which is the ability to visualize and transform objects in space and time. Learning to play a musical instrument wires the brain to visualize more effectively, involve ratios, fractions, and proportions

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For years we have advised churches to recruit Mix Musicians from the musicians within the congregation that don’t have a position on the platform.  If a person understands the subtle nuances of music composition and the sounds of the differing instruments we can teach them the technical aspects of the job in a relatively short time.  Conversely, if a person is technically skilled and not a musician it is very difficult to train them to properly hear and their mixes are often times mediocre.

Where does the Mix Musician fit in the music ministry?

The mix musician must be considered as much a musician and music ministry team member as any of the musicians on the platform/stage.  He/she must be held to the same standards, have the same requirements and be given the same honor as all the other musicians and singers.  The musicians as with the rest of the church must realize that we are all bound to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ and must prefer each other. (Romans 12:10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor)  The musicians on stage and in the audio booth must work together as a team.  For this to become a reality a trust relationship must be established.  The Mix Musician must trust that the Music Minister / Worship Pastor/Leader has the vision for the service and submit to that authority for the service.  Also, the Leader, singers and musicians on the platform must trust that the Mix Musician is capable of playing his/her instrument (the mixing console) and has worked to perfect his/her proficiency with the instrument. (Psalm 33:3 – Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy; 1Chronicles 25:6 – …all of them trained and skilled in music for the LORD…)

The only way the Mix Musician can hone his/her craft is by mixing the praise band, singers, orchestra and choir.  For this to happen the music ministry team must rehearse on a regular basis as this is the only time the Mix Musician can explore the limits and nuances of the instrument.  Unfortunately, most Leaders do not understand this and do not schedule enough rehearsal time for the music ministry team.  The added bonus to regular rehearsals is a tighter more in-sync music ministry team who will have a better opportunity make themselves heard with one voice to praise and glorify the Lord.  (2 Chronicles 5: 12-14 –  …one hundred and twenty priests blowing trumpets  13in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the LORD, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the LORD saying, “He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting,” then the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud,  14so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God. )    Selah



ScienceDaily (Nov. 5, 2008) — A Harvard-based study has found that children who study a musical instrument for at least three years outperform children with no instrumental training—not only in tests of auditory discrimination and finger dexterity (skills honed by the study of a musical instrument), but also on tests measuring verbal ability and visual pattern completion (skills not normally associated with music).

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