Music Program Survey Summary

  • 1.What ways do you enjoy or participate in music at First Parish?
    • 44% of the people who responded participate actively in some way in one of the groups.
    • a large majority of respondents (83%) participate by singing on the hymns.
    • 15% of respondents either have a child in a music program and/or volunteer to provide music.
  • 2. What are we doing well?
    • People are generally very pleased with our existing music and music programs.
    • We are doing well in a number of areas: Senior Choir (87%), Organ/piano preludes/offertory/postlude (86%), Meetinghouse Ringers (84%), Hymns (74%), Youth Choirs (72%), Carol Choir (72%).
    • General Comments: More use of piano and other instruments with church music. Our Interim Director brings upbeat music which is also diverse in its variety and in the type of music – this is good.
  • 3. What is the most important to least important to you as far as the music at First Parish (FP)?

    People had trouble “ranking”. The responses show a balance and preference that is fairly representative of the amount of music we currently have as provided by certain ensembles. The responses show a consistent overlap with what people think we are doing well.

  • 4. What could we do better? AND/OR Is there anything we should be doing?

    There were a wide range of responses, but a number of common ideas or themes did occur: More variety in the type of music, more intergenerational, use or bring in different instrumentation and/or soloists and small groups. More congregational music-making that is participatory but not limited to singing from the hymnbook. Music should be tied into sermon/service. More joyful music – upbeat, lively music. Take our music groups and perform outside of church more. More youth and children involved in the music for services. More handbells. Again – there were a number of positive comments about the work of our Interim Director.

  • 5. Rank in importance as to the purpose of music as part of the spiritual life at FP?

    All of the responses were rated relatively important and within the same general range. No clear winners.

  • 6. Instrumentation: More, less or same amount?
    • More piano, guitar, instruments, acapella and use of drums or percussion instruments. A little less organ.
    • More folk and spirituals. Less country music was encouraged.
    • Strong support that music plays a role in RE. Would like more exploration of music and instruments in RE program but be sensitivity to kids who do not want to participate in music.

    There is definitely interest in there bring more or other opportunities for people or children with limited time to participate in music-making in some way. This could be periodic one-hour choir, more teaching or rote-singing in service with melodies that are less challenging to sing, inviting guest performers from the congregation to play or sing at services or other ideas.

  • 10. What else would you like to share?

    There were numerous comments in this section that repeated some of the ideas already stated, such as: more diversity of music, instruments, intergenerational, etc. From the survey there were a number of suggestions that to add additional activities or responsibilities to enrich our music program would likely take additional hours unless there were other changes in the current list of Music Director responsibilities to accommodate these new activities. There were quite a few positive comments about the music and work of our current Interim Music Director.