Thursday, April 3, 2014

I Am Retiring



I am retiring. 

    Not from ministry and not from working, but retiring all the same.  Last Sunday was my last day as a musical worship leader.  Although I have been singing all of my life and have been involved in choirs of one sort or another almost since I could walk, I am no longer able to lead singing.

    A year ago, I quit singing in the church choir because of my hearing loss.  As I lost more high frequencies, I could no longer hear the sopranos, and the piano often sounded out of tune.  I had always been able to “find” my note in the accompaniment several measures before my section began to sing, but as my hearing loss progressed I just couldn’t hear the notes.  Even so, I have continued to sing in our church praise team.  I could still hear well enough to find my pitch from the lead guitar standing next to me and since we were all singing the melody, I didn’t have to hear any harmony parts.

    Knowing that my hearing continued to decline, I told Patti (my long suffering wife, as well as the leader of the praise team) that she had permission to fire me when I could no longer stay in tune or was making too many mistakes.  That day came a couple weeks ago.

    Even when all I do is sing the melody, it had been getting harder and harder to get it right.  Much of the music that I “hear” I hear in my head and is not actually information that is coming from my ears.  (Perhaps now, I better appreciate how Beethoven continued to compose long after he had gone deaf.)  I can sing along, but whenever we make any changes to the music, in tempo or style, I continue to sing what I remember and not what the instruments are actually playing.

So, the time has come to let someone else lead. 

    I will still be here, and I will still sing along to the songs that I know but I just can’t do it well enough to be the leader.

So will I be back up front after I get my new cochlear implant?

Maybe. 

But that is a subject for another day.

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