5 Spiritual Dangers To Praise Teams

There is a certain glamour or prestige associated with being on the praise team; at least in many people’s mind. Praise teams have become the it thing in churches, it seems. But with their popularity comes many challenges.

While doing some research on the subject I came across a powerful article that dealt with some of the “spiritual traps” many praise team members can fall into.  The title of the article was 5 Spiritual Dangers To Praise Teams. I’ll list the 5 topics covered in the article and give you a little snippet. Then I’ll post the link and the author’s info at the bottom so you can read the article in full.

Danger #1:  Ego issues

“Musicians take pride in their craft. Whether vocal or instrumental, most have an emotional investment in what they do. Being a part of a team effort places you in a position of having your pride challenged. Consider the vocalist who at times tends to let their pitch drop just a bit, or one who isn’t getting the correct rhythm. Being corrected by the worship leader in front of the others can be a blow to our ego. Some musicians are far more impressed with their talent level than are others and can tend to want to push their sound to rise above that of the others. What can you do about that?”
Danger #2:  Addiction to the spotlight

“This is closely aligned with the ego/attitude problem.  Being in front of people on a weekly basis can become addictive, and tends to give an unhealthy balance in how a member views themselves and their life. A person’s identity shouldn’t be defined by being on a stage.”

Danger #3:  Being a performer rather than a worshipper
I personally read this one with great interest. If you know me you know that I do believe in the importance of perfecting and honing your craft. But I believe that’s important not so that you can be the center of attention. In fact I believe the opposite. I think the most important reason to perfect your harmony and musicianship is precisely so NOBODY will be paying attention to you. The objective is to remove all hindrances, not to focus on the importance of the performance itself.

However when you spend that kind of time and effort on perfecting and honing your delivery there is indeed a danger of  beginning to place too much importance on the performance itself. The author does a great job of addressing this in danger number 3.

Danger #4: Burnout

“Rehearsals and multiple services can drain our time and energy. If you are naturally active, you can be so involved that you grow to resent the time drain of the team.”

Danger #5: Ignoring Spiritual Disciplines

 

“You might assume that serving on the team gives you all the spiritual nourishment that you need. Well, it doesn’t. Like every believer, you need to practice the spiritual disciplines if you expect to have any vital spiritual strength.”

Ok is this great stuff or what?! I gave you the highlights here, but they’re only excerpts from the full article. The Article was written by Thamuss. Originally I included a link to it but unfortunately it has been removed. I’ve been unable to find the author to properly credit and link back to him. If you happen to know him or how to connect with him I’d love to know so I can update the link to point to his new location.

You can find more helpful articles like this one in my e-book Praise Team 101.

75 Great Altar Call Songs

Someone sent me an e-mail recently asking me to give her some suggestions for Altar Call songs. Every music ministry needs altar call songs. Well, the Fan Page family loves making song lists, so I took it straight to them. And as usual, they delivered in a big way. There were over 80 comments in this thread at this writing. I chose 75 to allow for some possible duplication. The actual thread is below. Allow a couple of seconds for it to load if you don’t see it. It may not work in Chrome.

Just click the comment button below to be taken straight to the live post. If you haven’t already, please click the “Like” button in the top right corner and join the family!

4 Possible Reasons Your Congregation Didn’t Like The New Song

So you hear this great song and think it’s great for your choir or praise team. You go to all the trouble of learning it and teaching it. You perform it in the front of the congregation next Sunday and…. (insert cricket sounds here). The song bombs! It’s a very peculiar thing, isn’t it? Sometimes you’re just sure a song will bless everyone, because it blessed you! And then sometimes a song you don’t really care much for will tear the house up. It’s a very hard thing to predict sometimes. The good news is there are some pretty common things that can cause this to happen. Knowing what they are and making a couple of slight changes to your song selection process can dramatically increase your success rate with new songs.

Let’s start with the 4 most common reasons a song you loved ends up bombing:

1. Great music, weak message.

Gospel music isn’t like secular music. While we love our music, it is in fact still ministry. So if the song isn’t really saying much of anything people will pick up on that. We as musicians and singers love music on a deeper level than the average person sitting in the congregation. So we may grow so attached to a great musical arrangement that we become willing to overlook or justify lyrical content that is maybe more fluff than real message. This one is perhaps the most deceptive of the 3 I’ll give you today, because music just moves music lovers. But if you’re not very careful in this regard you could end up with a song that only moves the people in the music department, while leaving the congregation feeling like outsiders.

2. Great message, weak music

I know it’s hard to accept or even admit (which is why nobody else talks about this) but even a song with a good message can fail to go over well with the wrong arrangement. This one can get more complicated to explain, because of the propensity of songs to speak to people on such an individual way. So I’ll give you a case study. We had a director once who chose a song for us to sing. The message ministered to him in a deep and personal way, and he believed the message was too important not to do. Well, to make a long story short the song just went over like a rock with the choir. None of us liked it. We couldn’t feel it spiritually, and we just couldn’t get into it. The director felt so strongly about the song that he forced us to do it anyway. We obeyed. The song bombed. And we never did it again.

The thing about Gospel music is that it has to have both. It needs a great message AND a great musical arrangement. In the above example the message was a good one, but it was a very personal one. It was a song about God bringing someone back from the brink of suicide. Encouraging, but not something everyone can relate to. But that’s not what killed it for us. What killed it for us was the arrangement. It was a very slow, somber kind of musical arrangement that was very quiet and didn’t really build any sense of triumph until the end. Even the melody of the vocal arrangement had this sad, somber delivery through most of it. We were so depressed listening to that song we just couldn’t get into it. But because it meant so much to him, we did it anyway. You already know the results.

3. Great music, great lyrics, wrong style

Sometimes a song just has it all. Awesome musical arrangement, powerful message….but it still doesn’t go over well. Usually that’s because the style is wrong for your congregation. You should definitely bring variety to your music ministry. The key is being smart about how you use them, and knowing how far to go in either direction. There’s almost no extreme in the backwards direction. Older songs had a tendency to put much more thought into having both the music and the message. Then there’s that old-school sound that takes us all back.

Contemporary songs though, offer a lot more potential to get it wrong. Even with an audience that is receptive to contemporary music you have to be very careful how far you push the envelope. You are much more likely to end up with a song that fits scenario number 1 above when you’re dealing with contemporary Gospel/Christian music. The key is learning, observing and getting to know what your house responds to best. If you’re making the effort to do that and adjusting accordingly, your chances of success increase significantly. For example, even if your audience loves old traditional songs you have to be smart about how you incorporate them. In most churches an old traditional song will have a much more powerful effect if it’s used as a “throw-back” now and then instead of something that’s happening every Sunday. A really edgy contemporary song might bomb if the sanctuary choir did it but get a standing ovation from the junior choir.

One change you should consider if you don’t already do it this way, is to involve more than one person in the song selection process. We’ve done it this way for many years and it works very well. This gives you a system of checks and balances, so-to-speak.  That way you’re never choosing songs based on how it affected just one person.  Allowing a small group to listen, evaluate and vote on a song gives you a much better idea of how well it will go over.

4. Great Lyrics, Great Arrangement, Bad Performance

Let’s face it guys. Sometimes a song has everything it needs. It’s a great song, from front to back. Perfect for your audience, lines up with you Pastor’s vision, everything. And we just don’t pull it off.

A great song, no matter how amazing it is, can not overcome a bad performance. That’s why I’m such a big advocate of doing two things:
1. Choosing songs appropriate for your group’s skill level
2. Perfecting those songs to the best of your ability.

It takes a lot of honesty..and frankly, a lot of time…to realize a song is just not right for your group. It may be any number of reasons. And the thing is we often won’t know until we try it by learning it. But if you’ve tried it several times and just can’t get it down, it may be one you have to let go of.

Sometimes though, a great choir learns a great song but is still a bit unsure. But because they learned it they sing it anyway. Mistakes happen and it doesn’t go well. So don’t sing it until you have it down. There are other scenarios of course, but the main point here is to choose songs you can do and do them to the highest level your ministry can do them.

Help take your performances to the next level with professional vocal training. Study in the comfort and privacy of your own home, at your own pace. More Info:

Image courtesy of “Grant Cochrane”FreeDigitalPhotos.net

150 Gospel Choir Songs With No Leader

Recently I asked my followers on the fan page to create a list of Gospel Choir songs with no leader. And boy did they step up to the plate! I put the number 150 on this list because it was somewhere around there the last time I was able to count! I’ve embedded the actual post below. It may take a couple of seconds to appear depending on our connection. All the buttons are live, including the like button (smile). Just click on the comments button to see the list.  This doesn’t seem to work for me on Google Chrome, so try I.E or Firefox. Be sure to click the “like” button in the upper right corner also, if you’re not connected with us already.
Need more leaders for your choir, or want to lead songs yourself? Here’s help.

37 Great Quotes About Worship

prayerIn order for powerful, anointed music ministry to occur in our churches we must learn how to truly worship God. I this great list of quotes on-line that really blessed me. They’re all quotes about worship, and I found that reading them really gave me a sense of peace.

The list was originally posted in an article on a great worship where you can also find a lot more information about worshiping God more authentically.  http://www.experiencingworship.com.  is a the name of the site, and it’s a great resource for really studying and learning more about praising and worshiping God. This list is sure to be a source of encouragement and peace as you continue to seek higher levels in your music ministry.

Great Quotes on Worship | Experiencing Worship

“The whole person, with all his senses, with both mind and body, needs to be

involved in genuine worship.”
Jerry Kerns
“The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express the same delight in
God which made David dance.”
C.S. Lewis


“When God’s people begin to praise and worship Him using the Biblical methods
He gives, the Power of His presence comes among His people in an even greater
measure.”
Graham Truscott


“God is to be praised with the voice, and the heart should go therewith in holy
exultation.”
Charles H. Spurgeon


“Worship is an it-is-well-with-my-soul experience.” –
Robert Webber


“Without worship, we go about miserable.”
A. W. Tozer


“‘A glimpse of God will save you. To gaze at Him will sanctify you.”
Manley Beasley


“We only learn to behave ourselves in the presence of God.”
C. S. Lewis


“If we are going to worship in Spirit, we must develop a spirit of worship.”
Michael Catt


“As worship begins in holy expectancy, it ends in holy obedience. Holy obedience
saves worship from becoming an opiate, an escape from the pressing needs of modern
life.”
Richard Foster


“Worship has been misunderstood as something that arises from a feeling which “comes upon you,” but it is vital that we understand that it is rooted in a conscious act of the will, to serve and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Graham Kendrick


“Worship changes the worshiper into the image of the One worshiped”
Jack Hayford


“Worship must be – Christ centered, Holy Spirit led, a Response to the Father, about Intimacy and Service and always lead to Transformation!”
Tim Hughes


“As John 4:23 says, Its time, as worshipers of God, to give him all we have. For
when he is exalted, everything about me is decreased. So many times we stand in the
way of really stepping into the secret place of worship with God. Just abandon tradition
and the “expected” ways of Praise & Worship and get lost in the holy of holies with the
sole intention of blessing the Fathers heart.”
Jessica Leah Springer


“When I worship, I would rather my heart be without words than my words be without
heart.”
Lamar Boschman


“Worship is first and foremost for His benefit, not ours, though it is marvelous to
discover that in giving Him pleasure, we ourselves enter into what can become our
richest and most wholesome experience in life.” p.58 “A Heart For Worship” by Lamar
Boschman
Graham Kendrick


“. . .by lifting our hands we symbolically receive everything God is doing in our lives.”
Bob Sorge


“We must bear in mind, true worship is a matter of the heart and of genuine devotion to God.”
Vivien Hibbert


“Worship songs can’t just be rooted in culture – they won’t be deep enough. They have to be rooted in scripture.”
Matt Redman


“No man gives anything acceptable to God until has has first given himself in love and sacrifice.”
A.W. Tozer


“Worship is the believer’s response of all that they are – mind, emotions, will, body – to what God is and says and does.”
Warren Wiersbe

“If you come to worship for any reason other that the joy and pleasure and satisfaction that are to be found in God, you dishonor Him…God’s greatest delight is your delight in Him.”
Sam Storms

“Corporate worship is a regular gracious reminder that it’s not about you. You’ve been born into a life that is a celebration of another.”
Paul David Tripp 


“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”
John Bunyan


“Songs of worship arise from a life of worship.”
Tim Hughes


“We must never rest until everything inside us worships God.”
A. W. Tozer


“Our entire being is fashioned as an instrument of praise. Just as a master violin
maker designs an instrument to produce maximum aesthetic results, so God
tailor-made our bodies, souls and spirits to work together in consonance to produce
pleasing expressions of praise and worship. When we use body language to express
praise, that which is internal becomes visible.” p.60 “A Heart For Worship” by Lamar
Boschman
Don McMinn


“Worship is our response to the overtures of love from the heart of the Father.”
Richard J. Foster


“How quickly we forget what it’s all about. We can get so strategic that we worship so
our church will grow, not because He is worthy. But we’re doing all this because God is
worthy and we want to worship Him.”
Tommy Walker


“When you have a heart to serve and help others it unlocks something in you”
Reuben Morgan


“The first element in worship is adoration. The Hebrews expressed this by their posture
and not alone my their word. For they prostrated themselves before God. O come, let
us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. They did not come
with an easy familiarity into the presence of God, but were aware of his greatness and
majesty, and came with a sense of privilege to His house.” H.H. Rowley”Worship in
Ancient Israel” p. 257
H.H. Rowley


“It is in the process of being worshipped that God communicates His presence to men.”
C.S. Lewis


“Whenever His people gather and worship Him, God promises He will make His
presence known in their midst. On the other hand, where God’s people consistently
neglect true spiritual worship, His manifest presence is rarely experienced.”
Ralph Mahoney


“Surely that which occupies the total time and energies of heaven must be a fitting
pattern for earth.”
Paul E. Billheimer


“When we worship together as a community of living Christians, we do not worship
alone, we worship ‘with all the company of heaven.'”
Marianne H. Micks


“Church: if the world could see a snapshot of our worship today, would they perceive that we believe our God is worthy of praise?”
Matt Papa


“If there is one characteristic more than others that contemporary public worship needs
to recapture it is this awe before the surpassingly great and gracious God.”
Henry Sloane Coffin


“The time has come for a revival of public worship as the finest of the fine arts…While
there is a call for strong preaching there is even a greater need for uplifting worship.”
Andrew W. Blackwood

Need vocal training for your praise team?  Enroll them all in my home study course, Vocal Ministry Breakthrough. It’s easy, convenient and affordable enough for almost any church budget. Vocal Ministry Breakthrough

 

The Truth About Hard Keys (And What They Can Teach You About Life)

Like a lot of Gospel musicians, there are keys I’m not too fond of. They’re usually “white keys” like A, B, D E and G. Many Gospel singers feel the same way about these keys in particular. What makes these keys so unpopular with many Gospel singers? Well, most musicians, myself included, would tell you these keys are harder to play in. But I was watching a training video one day that kinda changed my whole perspective. Not just about “hard keys”, but about anything I find difficult to do.

So anyway, I was logged into the Gospel Musician Training Center (aff. link) looking at one of the many song teaching videos they have there. It’s an amazing membership site where you can go to watch instructional videos of instructors teaching you some of the most popular songs in Gospel music, step-by-step and chord by chord. Amazing resource for learning to play real songs real fast. Check it out here.

Anyway this particular song happened to be in one of those keys I really find hard. And because the instructor himself is a Gospel musician he already knew there would be many watching that video would would cringe when he told us what key it was in. So he mentioned it right up front. But what he said was so simple yet so profound that I never forgot it.

What he said basically is that the particular key in question wasn’t really harder than any other key. That, he said, goes for all the keys musicians find difficult to play in. We only find them difficult, he said, because we’re not used to playing in them. Spend some time playing in these keys and getting used to them, and you’ll eventually find them as easy as any other key.

These keys are perceived as harder to play in simply because we don’t encounter them very often in Gospel music-even less in our local churches. So it’s not that they’re any harder, it’s simply that we haven’t developed the muscle memory in those keys because we don’t play in them often. In fact if we’re honest many of us will actually change the key of a song if it happens to be in one of those “hard” keys. So they continue to be hard keys for us because we never really spend as much time deliberately playing in those keys as the ones we like.

I kept thinking about that and God kept revealing to me how that works in so many other areas of my life. How many things have we labeled “too hard’ simply because it was awkward the first time we tried it? How many things could we learn to do if we simply spent some time practicing it?

Pretty-much everything in life we find challenging can be mastered by developing the same “muscle memory” that enables a musician’s fingers to automatically go where they need to go in any of 12 different keys and hundreds of songs. Think of all the things we do now on auto-pilot, without even thinking.

When I get in my car, for example, I unlock it, get in, adjust mirrors, the seat, put on my seat belt, put my foot on the brake, put it in gear, put my foot on the gas and take off….all simultaneously, in seconds and without thinking about a single step. challengesRemember how hard and complicated and cumbersome that process was when you were first learning it though? So what if you thought about every difficult or unfamiliar task that way?

What are the “hard keys” in your life? In your ministry? Identify them and you’ll probably realize that just like the hard keys on the piano, they really aren’t harder than anything else you’ve learned to do.

Why Gospel Musicians Don’t Share Playing Tips

So I put out a challenge on my fan page the other day asking all my musicians to do a “1 minute lesson” with someone. The next time someone asked for help or tips, take them aside and just show them one simple thing they could take with them and practice. The idea was to break some of the negative images Gospel musicians have as selfish arrogant people who never give back.

Now, usually if I send a shout-out to the musicians on my fan page they show up in droves, chatting and posting comments, participating in the conversation and really hanging out with me. This time though, all I got in response was the finely tuned sound of crickets chirping. This is not something most musicians care to discuss.

Someone posted and asked me the question “So what is the reason most musicians don’t want to share tips?” I thought about it a while, trying to determine the best way to explain it to her without making the post too long. Well that didn’t work. My answer went on for several paragraphs, lol! But it got the attention of at least one musician who had an “OMG” moment, leaving me a kudos-filled comment generously sprinkled with lots of exclamation points.

So suffice it to say that I thought the answer seemed too important to leave it there on the page to be pushed down until it’s eventually out of sight. So I decided to post my answer as a blog for all my readers here. I hope this offers a different perspective for you to think about the next time this comes up for whatever reason. Or the next time you’re headed toward that organ after the benediction.

“So what is the reason must musicians don’t want to share tips?”

I have to qualify my answer by first saying I’m not at the level of many of the musicians who frequent the page. But while there could be any number of reasons, I think a lot of it has to do with the way people approach musicians about showing them things.

Highly skilled musicians don’t get that way by accident. Their skill represents years of dedicated practicing for sometimes hours at a time. People often approach musicians wanting to bypass that work and just go straight to the cool chords or the great run.

For example someone might hear a great chord and want the musician to show it to him note by note. But the musician knows the chord because he has painstakingly studied theory and learned how to build these amazing chords.

He also knows that most people who ask for the chords wouldn’t really know how to use it anyway. Then of course there is the proprietary aspect of such things as chords and runs, and how they tend to define the signature sound of one musician vs. another one. Musicians often create these chords and runs from scratch. 

They work very hard developing such things, and I think it’s just a matter of wanting to see that kind of initiative in someone else, rather than simply asking for the notes.

One other example just to really illustrate it. Often skilled musicians will do these amazing runs. People hear them do it and then want the musician to just give them the run note by note. But the musician has studied and learned several different types of scales and their application, carefully worked the run out note by note and created it from scratch, then spent hours developing the muscle memory and speed..

So you can imagine he or she might be reluctant when someone walks up and just wants him to give it to them note by note. I think if people were asking musicians questions about practice tips and good resources to learn theory, etc. they’d get much less evasive answers. 

I think you see musicians more willingly sharing with other musicians who have also achieved the same level or similar level. Simply because they know that person is at least as serious and as dedicated as he is.

People say that musicians don’t share because they’re selfish or worried about someone taking their spot, but seldom does a skilled musician have that to worry about, because so few people are willing to put the same amount of work in. 

So this one-minute lesson challenge doesn’t ask musicians to do that. That’s why I called it a “one minute lesson” challenge. One minute or so is enough time to show that guy asking for the notes to the run you did the pentatonic scale, and explain to him that the scale is often used in many runs you hear in church. Then challenge him to learn the scale in all 12 keys.

If you’re trying to really take your playing to the next level you won’t get there asking for quick tips after church. You need some training. Specifically, training designed specifically for Gospel Musicians. The source I use and highly recommend is The Gospel Music Training Center, from Hear And Play. I’ve been a customer for years and they’ve helped me tremendously. Check it out here.

5 steps to effective, productive rehearsals

5Nothing is more frustrating than having a rehearsal and not getting anything done. Over the years I’ve come to understand that there are some very common things that almost always quickly derail rehearsals. I’ve had the pleasure of spending just about all of my over 30 years in music ministry at one church, working with the same music ministry. We’ve tweaked our process over the years, and several of the suggestions I’ll offer here are things that God just showed me were the causes of our own struggles.

Every music department has it’s own challenges and it’s own unique circumstances, but there are some things you find in common in almost all ministries who are having trouble having productive rehearsals. Here are, I believe, the top 5 things every choir, praise team or other group should be doing to help insure they have effective, productive rehearsals.

1. Know in advance what songs you will be learning and/or going over at the next rehearsal

Make a list of those songs and insure all musicians, directors and song leaders involved have that list several days before rehearsal. Never come to rehearsal with no itinerary or goal, then simply brainstorm about what to go over once you get there. You will get NOWHERE.

2. Insure that all musicians, directors and lead vocalists have the material in advance and expect them to be prepared to play, sing, teach, or direct it by rehearsal time.

*In order to have productive rehearsals there must be studying, practicing and preparation made before the rehearsal for everyone involved with teaching it to the choir or group. The musicians should not come to rehearsal and begin learning the song then. The leader should not be hearing the song for the first time at rehearsal. The director/minister of music/parts instructor must be prepared in advance to teach or take the group over the material that will be covered.

3. Do NOT play recordings of the song(s) you’re going over or learning at your rehearsals.

This is something God had to reveal to me years ago. When we wanted to learn something new we would bring the tape and play it at the rehearsal. Then we’d spend the next hour arguing about every single little detail of the song and how we’re not doing it like they did it on the record. When we stopped listening to the original at rehearsal and instead started teaching the songs live with the musicians playing the material, we literally cut hours off the time by eliminating all the bickering and comparing everything to the record.

If you’re an organization that depends heavily on playing the cd at rehearsal to learn the song you might be wondering how you’re going to switch to not doing it. For the answer, re-read number 2. 🙂 Seriously, take this step and you won’t believe the difference it will make and the amount of time you’ll save.

4. Assign one person to be in charge of conducting rehearsals and make sure everyone understands and respects that person’s position and authority as such.

That means one person is in charge of taking the group over all familiar material and one person is in charge of teaching all new material. This is usually the same person but it doesn’t have to be. For example, our choir director takes us over old material that we already know. Even though I also direct, I’m more of a back-up or assistant in that capacity. My primary job is teaching new material or correcting harmony/parts on old material.

But when one of us is up, that person has the floor and everyone’s attention. If this is not currently the way things are set in your ministry that person may need to be assigned publicly by the choir president or pastor and given that authority in such a way that it is publicly understood.  But I will say this: Authority must be earned. When I get up to teach now, I have the full and absolute attention of whatever group I’m teaching at the time. There is no debating about what I’m teaching.

But I’ve earned that respect by coming into rehearsals fully prepared and ready for over 30 years now. In short, the members know when I get up that I’m ready and I know my stuff. It’s hard to see you as an authority if I feel like I know as much as you do. That will always be the case when you are consistently unprepared to teach or direct without a lot of fumbling or mistakes.

For that reason the person in charge needs to be prepared for every rehearsal, period. He or she needs to have that list of songs and know them well enough to take the group through them with certainty and authority. Yes, this means you must spend more of your personal time preparing for rehearsal. But believe me when I tell you, you will absolutely get that time back in the form of shorter, more productive rehearsals.

5. Whenever possible, avoid using lyric sheets.

I get a lot of push-back on this, honestly. It’s not a popular idea because people use lyric sheets as crutches and are very reluctant to give them up. But again, this is another concept I’m absolutely certain God revealed to me years ago, and yet another one that resulted in much more effective rehearsals once we implemented it. I cover this in great detail in my blog “why you should STOP using lyric sheets to learn songs asap“. But unless you’re learning 5 or 6 new songs in one night, lyric sheets will actually slow the song learning process, not speed it up. Again, read Why you should STOP using lyric sheets to learn songs asap for a detailed discussion about the subject.

So there it is! These are powerful changes we made at our choir rehearsals that really helped us go to another level. But I use the same approach with the praise team, the youth choir and any other group that will sing at church. I pray they’ll work for your ministry as well. Don’t forget to let me know how it goes!