Anticipation is an absolutely necessary trait for a Music Director. For some it is natural, and for others not so much. Even if its a difficult thing for you, it is something worth improving on.
When you’re MDing a service live, it is crucial to pay attention non-stop from beginning to end of the service. This is a difficult task. It means you cannot completely let go and just worship. This seems like a very negative thing, but what you’re doing makes a much greater difference when you look at the big picture.
Our attention is what enables us to anticipate problems. When we are alert at all times it is much easier to see most of the things coming our way. We’re able to change dynamic depending on what the WL is calling for or based on how the pastor is speaking. The one moment we let our guard down could be the one moment the worship leader is looking to us wanting to change the direction of the service. Losing focus for 2 seconds is plenty of time for something to happen and for us miss it.
The more you pay attention, the more you’re aware of what God is doing in the room. When you’re aware of what God is doing in the room, you can more accurately lead the band in a direction that aligns with Gods plan for that service. This really gets down to the point of why I love music directing. I get the opportunity to lead the band toward what God is doing in the room. I also am in charge of making sure our worship is a display of passion and excellence.
In ministry moments or spontaneous musical moments, it is vital for the MD to be present the entire time, and lead their band step by step to meet the desired dynamic. When the pastor gets quiet, the band immediately follows. When the pastor gets loud, the band backs him up. Your band will learn to anticipate these moments for themselves. But these moments are tighter and more fluent when the MD directs them step by step with precision.
Focus is key to music directing with success. It needs to be practiced just like your instrument. Keep your mind on the goal. You will be ready for anything that comes your way.