Thank you for your interest in hosting a workshop! Music that Makes Community partners with host communities to plan workshops--the process is a collaboration between partners. Our mission is to nurture centers of paperless song leading practice by teaching new participants and supporting song leaders who are already practicing.
Our role in planning events is to facilitate relationships between our pool of experienced presenters and the communities who can benefit from their expertise.
Here’s some information about the process of hosting an MMC workshop.
Identifying your Goals
Once a community decides to host an MMC event, we work with you to identify what you’re hoping to accomplish by hosting a workshop. Maybe you are excited about paperless song leading and want to create a coalition of a few local churches to sponsor a workshop that will benefit your whole city or region. Or maybe you want to hire one or two presenters who have experience using paperless song leading in worship to consult with you about implementing the practice in a new service you are starting with your congregation. There are lots of possibilities, and the first step is to be able to state clearly what you’re hoping for in hosting a workshop.
Working with Presenters
Once you’ve identified your goals, we work to pair you with presenters who can help you accomplish those objectives. Our pool of presenters is made up of a diverse group of musicians and clergy whose skills and areas of expertise cover a lot of ground. They are also spread out across North America geographically, so deciding who to work with will be one of the deciding factors in making the budget for your workshop.
Creating a Budget
The next step is to work together to come up with a budget that works for your community. We can do very simple one-day workshops with two instructors that cost between $800-$1,500 to produce, or longer two or three day events that cost $8,000-$10,000 to produce, or something in between. The cost of putting on an MMC workshop is a balance between the number of presenters and the number of participants, and it falls anywhere from $20-$60/person for a shorter workshop to $200/person for a longer event, and more if the event includes overnight room and board. The basic costs are stipends and travel and accommodations for presenters, catering, and a suggested donation to Music that Makes Community that covers the cost of the time it takes to organize and publicize the event and helps support the organizational costs of keeping MMC going.
Sponsored Events vs. Registration Fees
You and your collaborators decide how much of the cost you want to try and cover through registration fees and how much the hosting community wants to sponsor. Then we set the registration rates based on that information, and MMC collects all the fees and lays out the costs of producing the event. After the event is over, we send an invoice for any balance left over in the budget that wasn't covered by registration fees.
We will list your workshop on our website, and share it with our network through our monthly newsletter and social media channels. We’ll also create publicity materials you can share online and give out in person. The rest is up to you, and the more time and effort you can put into publicizing your event to your local network, the better the turnout will be. Planning events with plenty of time for participants to build participation into their schedules is important, as well as considering carefully what else might be happening in your area that might draw away potential participants. Checking synodical and diocesan calendars carefully before setting a date is highly recommended.
It is also helpful to note that the majority of people who attend MMC events do so on the personal recommendation of someone they know. So the most important publicity work you’ll do will be conversations and personal correspondence with colleagues, friends and congregants who you think might be interested in attending.
What You’ll Come Away With
We’ve worked hard to create a strategy for teaching paperless song leading that ensures that participants have the best possible chance of leaving an MMC workshop with not only an inspiring, energizing experience of the transformative power of community-focused congregational singing, but the practical skills to begin creating those experiences with their own communities when the workshop is over. We feel confident that all your investment and hard work during the planning process will be well worth the effort when you experience the joy, creativity and learning that is possible during these events. You and your fellow participants will become part of a worldwide network of engaged, creative people working hard to help people connect more fully and meaningfully through song.
Here are some sample budgets and schedules for 3-day, 1-day and halfday workshops. You will see that events can vary a lot depending on the choices we make together, but this will give you a starting place.
Once you've had a chance to review this information and discuss it with your colleagues, the next step in starting the process of planning a workshop is to fill out this questionnaire. Our Executive Director Paul Vasile will review it and respond within 2-3 business days.