Joint Byline: Darice Jill Ng
To kickstart the year with a worshipful heart and draw near to the presence of God, the youth zone CK Zone invited City Harvest’s assistant music director, Teo Poh Heng, to conduct a three-part series on the art of leading worship, titled “iWorship 101”, in January this year.
Over the course of three Thursday evenings, about 120 guitarists and song leaders turned up each time at the Riverwalk, excited to learn from the man they so often see leading in song at church. At each session, Teo led praise and worship before commencing with the teaching.
At the first meeting, Teo emphasized that, when one song-leads, striking a balance between skills and spirituality was vital. He also stressed the importance of a good relationship between the song leader and the musician, since it is this duo that work together to lead a group in praise and worship.
During the second session and third sessions, Poh talked about the anointing and the dynamics of a contemporary worship band. He gave the members some take-home lessons like learning to sing and play songs like ‘Shout It Out Loud’ and ‘My Life, Your Song’. The class constantly rang with laughter as Teo entertained with endless jokes, playing off beat and singing off key to demonstrate what not to do.
Teo also incorporated values into his teaching, telling the class to “not be bitter, be better” and “train hard, fight easy; train easy, fight hard”. From the examples he gave, it was easy to see that Teo himself hungers for the presence of God and has a spirit of excellence. Before leading any song, he would practice it at least 50 to 100 times.
At the third and final session, the class had an interview session with Teo. He shared about how he started playing in church, and is now entering into secular music, having been offered opportunities to play tracks for movies and television commercials. All this came because of his hard work and faithfulness over the years.
|PHOTOS: Nadia Wong|
Cell group guitarist Cavin Tan, 16, a Hwa Chong Institution Student, told CityNews after the sessions that “Poh’s sessions were deeply motivational and reminded me not to be complacent. I have also learned that spirituality and skills are equally important. Both must work together to usher in a strong atmosphere of faith and power.”
So well-received were Teo’s sessions that he has been invited back to teach intermediate and advanced classes on the art of worship later this year.