Why small is the new big for musicians

Sometimes the little things have the biggest impact

If you’re bigger, you’re better.

That’s common wisdom in today’s culture. It’s also a prevailing attitude in many church music departments. Many church musicians long for staff positions at large, well-equipped ministries.

But bigger and better isn’t always reality.

59% of churches in America have less than 100 members. While many are drawn to mega-ministries serving thousands of people every Sunday, the majority of churches open their doors every Sunday to a small group of believers.

In a culture where big is celebrated, small is actually the standard.

The same applies to musicians. Whether in the church or the general music industry, the majority of musicians occupy what seems like a small place of influence.

The local organist who plays hymns for the traditional church service that draws only a few dedicated older members.

The guitarist at the jazz lounge who has anchored weeknights for years and knows everyone that comes through the door.

The indie rock band touring the local circuit of clubs, playing to a small group of passionate fans.

The fact that small is the majority teaches musicians two things:

  1. You are not alone.
  2. Your music matters more than you think.

If the majority of musicians are not on big tours or performing on major stages, then you as a local musician actually have more companions that can relate to your story. Your story can inspire other musicians that know what it’s like to deal with unlimited dreams but limited resources. Connecting with your fellow musicians creates a lifeline when you feel alone in your struggle.

Secondly, even if you are reaching a small audience, your music matters to that audience in a big way. You may be their only link to an authentic, quality musical experience. They are listening for a reason. Never assume that small audiences can’t make a big impact. One inspired listener may be the key to your next opportunity.

The Bible tells us, “The people should not think that small beginnings are unimportant.” Your role and career may be small, but you have a big purpose.

Play every note like it’s a big deal. Because it is.

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For more encouragement like this, check out the God and Gigs Book.

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