I used to work in churches. Over the years I played piano and organ in several churches and I was used to working with different music directors and pastors.
Few years ago I applied to a new church job. They pay was good and the team of music directors were professional musicians. It seemed like a prefect fit.
The first signs of things to come started to show up pretty soon.
Every Sunday I was playing 2 identical services. After the first service I would get a friendly advise on how to play the hymns better. At first I was fine with it, because it was a new job and I was getting used to the new routine.
After few months it started to get old. I started to request metronome marks prior to the service. That didn’t help too much. Because even when I played at the given tempo, I didn’t have the right “feel” . I was on the wrong side of the beat. I was on the “front side” , but I should have been on the “back side”.
One time the music director asked me to insert a weird breath in the middle of a hymn. She thought it would help. I applied it in the service exactly how she told me. Needles to say the congregation was not able to follow me and on each verse we got apart.
Eventually I started asking the music director to demonstrate. She barely played the piano, but she would sit down and play for me.
We started having e-mail fights. They were about many things. The music director team was off for 2,5 months during the summer and I was in charge of running the whole program. So as the result I was not allowed to take off. I was a part time employee but the music directors were full time. Go figure….
The minister was actually on my side and I was protected from being fired. Than the minister left and the church got a new minister…..
My first meeting with the new person didn’t go well. I was told that if there is any problems between me and my music director team I will be the first to go.
I saw the writing on the wall. So I decided to leave in few months in secret. I worked through the summer. The music ministers were on their vacation, so it was nice and peaceful. As soon as I received my paycheck on August 31, I wrote an e-mail to my music directors and the new minister stating “Starting from tomorrow I no longer work her. You can find my church key in the mailbox”.
That’s it. Nothing else. 2 sentences after working there for over 5 years.
I have never worked in a church since. It was one of the best decisions I’ve maid professionally.