ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Manage a Young String Ensemble in Church - Lessons that I Learned Along the Way Pt 2

Updated on April 19, 2012

In my previous hub, I shared about my privilege of arranging music for a string ensemble. It was such a precious experience I have decided to write a hub about it to share my joys and to prevent my mistakes from being committed by someone else hopefully! This hub is a continuation of it.


In my case, I learned about Noteflight - an online notation software that allows you to share your music with anyone you choose. It is an amazing software, and is available free online. You can upgrade it to a more powerful version called Crescendo - but Noteflight works great for most occasions.

Noteflight allows you to hear what you have written, and it is really handy for those players who need to hear what they are supposed to play in order to play it well. I would strongly advocate this software if you have music needs. It’s like Finale or Sibelius - not as sophisticated of course, but sufficient.


One of songs that we were singing had a very epic chorus. In my imagination, I could hear soaring strings playing running notes to accompany the congregation. Happily, I wrote it down. And told my players to play it. It was the only ‘hard’ part in all of the songs we had to play, and I genuinely had thought this would be the only part they would need to practice.

The older players were mostly fine with it. Yes, they did have to practice a little, but that was fine. The younger players however, were not as able even though they tried.

I learned that the easiest things for string players to play would be

  • melody lines
  • sustained notes
  • easy things (yes, if you can sing it easily, they could probably manage it easily)
  • scales, when not played too fast

So what did we do with those who struggled with what I had wrote?


Well, I honestly felt quite bad that they had really tried to play, but couldn’t keep up. But I also realized that this was really God’s string ensemble, not mine. So that gave me the assurance that however good we sounded, was really by His grace and because we were obedient in allowing Him to multiply the little that we had.

Being encouraging to the little ones really helped. I told them that I admired what they were doing cause I had not done that so young, so I honestly didn’t realize the steep learning curve they faced. I apologized about the small score, and I think their mom explained to them why I had originally written such small notes.... so there was no residual sadness or misunderstanding on anyone’s side.

And for the epic chorus that had a challenging part, I joked with them to say that they could just play the first note of each bar, play the melody, take a break during that chorus, or start to sing. Haha! Basically, I just wanted them to know that it was alright, cause God saw their heart more than anything else, and I really wanted them to experience the joy of serving God and making music for Him without feeling stressed by a particular section that they couldn’t keep up with.


One amazing thing about children is that they rise up to the occasion. You might want to rehearse the transitions of the songs and tell them when to be extra alert, so they are able to react accordingly.

In fact during rehearsals, if the string ensemble is playing while people are singing, you should ideally have someone sing the song while they are playing, so that they realize that they play an accompanying role, which is different from playing exam pieces where you count in your head how fast or slow you ought to be playing.

In your rehearsals, always try to remind everyone that they are playing for God - and we want to serve in such a way that He is pleased with our musical offering. This is especially important when we are working with young ones who are serving for the first time. It is not a performance, but it is a musical offering that we are bringing to God in praise.


Now this is so important. Whether in known or unknown projects, we have to have a prayerful attitude. I daresay that in this case, there were particular prayer points that had me on my knees, but committing this entire project to God in prayer really helped me to stay joyful throughout.


Indeed, God is in control, so we just need to do our best, and commit the rest to Him. Yes we are sensitive to the needs of those we are serving with, but when we have done all we could, we can rest in His promises with the assurance that God will take care of our concerns.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I love your final thoughts, pray and know God is in control. It is wonderful that we have technology to add to the easy of music programs. Good ideas and suggestions.

    • Charlotte B Plum profile imageAUTHOR

      Charlotte B Plum 

      6 years ago

      Hi MsDora! Thank you for dropping by! Yes I did write a part one hub - decided to break up my hub into two as it was too long. =P

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      I feel like I caught the tail-end of a very informative steel ensemble workshop. Thanks for sharing!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)