Man’s Skill Resources – Spirit Music Meet-Ups
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All skill levels are welcome!
All skill levels of musicians and students are welcome in our mission statement to provide holy spaces to fellowship & learn together how to play Anointed, Prophetic, even Spontaneous music. That’s because our human-derived skill, an internal resource of “power” in Zechariah’s 4:6’s prophecy of God doing away with the “might and power” of religion in exchange for the “By-the-means-of My Spirit” power through relationship, is actually quite irrelevant to our Spirit-practice and Spirit-performance of music and drums.
In fact, man’s skill resources can actually be a roadblock to our learning to surrender control to play “by the Spirit” for Anointed, Prophetic, and even Spontaneous music! It’s actually much better to be like a little child, the “least among you,” and simply take obedient steps of faith to be “taught by God,” as was promised under the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant. Human-based skill and professionalism are simply not necessary in the kingdom of God, but surrendering control to the promised Spirit is! In fact, Christian and church “might and power” is actually a significant part of The Great Wall that is quenching the move of the Holy Spirit.
Musicians have been taught to be obsessed about acquiring skill and being professional in their sound and showmanship. They’ve invested so much time and money in their equipment to sound and look good – these external resources are their “might,” and of course lessons and practicing to be powerfully-able is their “power.” Together this is exactly what Zechariah 4:6’s “might and power” speaks about!
But the ‘goal-post’ is never reached, but instead are always moving. Musicians are always having to upgrade their gear to meet the demands of the music venues and their competition. I’ve invested many 1000s of dollars on drum-sets, sticks, music stands, microphones, amps, speakers, lighting, studio insulation, recording devices and software, and performing outfits. I’ve spent many 1000s of dollars on drum lessons, drum books, videos, DVDs, downloads, and countless hours practicing and preparing for 1000s of performances. It’s what I do for a living, along with passing on my trade to students as you can see on my Drums page. Although I feel like I’ve done very well, I’m constantly aware that there are 1000s of drummers that have far more “might” resources and far more “power” abilities. The ‘goal-post’ keeps moving!
This has depressed me so many times that I’ve wanted to quit 100s of times. I’ve heard the same story from every professional musician I know. So many students and musicians have quit, because this road is really tough to walk! There have been 1000s of ‘bad days’ of practice and 100s of ‘bad days’ of performances because “everything that can go wrong often does go wrong,” but we have a saying in showbiz – “the show must go on!” As thrilling as performances can be, afterwards as everybody is packing up their gear, musicians often slump back into disappointment over their own performance or that of their band, hearing that “accusing voice” within them, slump back into tiredness from the performance and their packing, and the disillusionment of “Is that everything there is after so much work?” Lots of musicians hit the bar or drugs afterward to feel better. But the Lord has come to set these captives free with The Truth from Himself! See the Might and Power and Promised Spirit pages.
I’ve learned to disregard the ‘skill evaluation’ of others. I’ve had students that the parents told me “had issues” and that I would “struggle to get them to perform.” Because I ignored their advice but impartially treated them like my other students, they “came up to speed” with the other students because I didn’t “lower the bar” but believed in them and continued to encourage them. I saw them struggle but I didn’t give up on them. I’ve seen extreme Autism students make great strides after a lot of patience and specialized training. I trained an Asperger’s student to get accepted to the University of Arizona music program with a $2000 scholarship. I’ve had a depressed ADD student keep plodding along until he made it into the U of A Jazz All-Stars band! One ‘off-the-wall’ 5 year old student went onto be a studio engineer for many famous bands. Pre-judging is dangerous!
It’s really not about what ‘skill level’ you start out at! It comes down to “your calling” or “the resounding ‘Yes’ within you” because “without why you have no power.” If you don’t have it, you will find a 1000 reasons to quit! If you have it, I haven’t seen anything that can make you quit, though 1000s of things will try! My experience is that “calling” is from God, even if a person isn’t aware of it. I wasn’t fully aware of my identity for 30 years though I had felt God’s ‘calling’ since I was 8 years old and sensed it was unusual, mysterious, and oddly-intense many times. Even after taking the action in 1998 of teaching drums full-time, it took another 10 years for me to hear from God more about this ‘calling’ and another 10 years to hear God specify that my identity was actually based on His “anointing” and not my acquired skill – see My Story.
Why so long? Because I wasn’t listening in proseuche conversational-prayer but “being the captain of my own ship” and “doing it my way!” I had not completely surrendered to the will of God for my life!
So whether you are presently aware or not of the identity of your ‘calling’ or even ‘anointing,‘ what Jesus said is still absolutely true: “With man it is absolutely-in-fact-NOT possible, but ‘together-with or beside’ God all things are possible” (a). It all goes back to whether you ONLY have “might and power” or sarx flesh with its “inherent weakness, feebleness, impotence, worthlessness, uselessness, and failure” (b) type of skill or you are tapping into Zechariah 4:6’s “[the power] by-the-means-of My Spirit, says Yahwah of hosts [of angel armies].” <Notes> a) Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27, b) Matthew 26:41; John 6:63.
I’m going to quote one of the great Jazz drummers and teachers that hit this almost on the head, John Riley about The Gift: “Occasionally I hear someone say that they’ll never be able to play as well as their idols do, because they’re not ‘gifted’ like their idols are. To that I respond what’s the ‘gift’ that those people have and you don’t? Sure some people are born with superior reflexes or perfect pitch, but those things are meaningless if not cultivated. I think the ‘gift’ our idols possess is really more a matter of disposition rather than physical attributes. The ‘gifted’ are the lucky few who have found something that they’re passionate about – so passionate in fact that they’re compelled to investigate whether anyone else is interested or not! Their temperament allows them to spend countless hours and years refining their craft by practicing the things they can’t do simply because that process is the thing they find most enjoyable in life. That’s the gift!”
I’ve also seen overconfident students and parents brag about their ability, but I found them to be some of my worse students. One older adult woman said she was a “master-level” drummer on the “Band Hero” video game and she was one of the most uncoordinated students ever – she just wouldn’t do the basic exercises I gave her to be able to play drum-set beats and so she finally gave up and went back to her video games. I haven’t seen much good come from video games!
I had one student complain about such pain that he couldn’t play for more than 5 minutes. So I video-taping him for an hour to point out the many flaws in his form that were working against physics instead of with it. I didn’t see him for a long time, and he told me finally had to have surgery!
Some students insist on the Frank Sinatra song “I did it my way,” refusing to take “the short cut” I am giving them from 52 years of drumming and 22 years of teaching, so they end up with the futility of “reinventing the wheel” and going on the time-killing “scenic route.”
Proverbs 16:18 is true that “pride comes before a fall!” Look in Isaiah 14:12-15 where Satan, the Day Star, son of Dawn, said “I WILL” 5 times: “I WILL ascend to heaven; above the stars/angels of God; I WILL set my throne on high; I WILL sit on the mount of assembly . . . I WILL ascend above the heights of the clouds; I WILL make myself like the Most High.” However, the true God says: “But your are brought down to Hades, to the far reaches of the pit.”
Please follow the BLOG Etiquette Guidelines for these Man’s Skill Resources BLOG Topics:
BT6: The Lord can teach you to practice and play by the Spirit with His skill – Watch these videos: Part 1a, Part 1b, Part 2a, Part 2b
More to come!
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