Rose on piano

Guide to Selecting Funeral Music and Musicians

When a person dies, loved ones left behind are left with a myriad of tasks to prepare for the deceased individual’s funeral or memorial services. A key element of funeral planning is selecting suitable music and idea musicians. Maneuvering through the music and musician selection process can feel quite overwhelming in many ways. This guide is designed to make the funeral music and musician selection process easier to address.

Did the Deceased Individual Leave Directives?

Before you take any steps to select funeral music and musicians, you need to ascertain whether or not the deceased individual left any directives as to what he or she would like to see happen in the way of music and musicians at his or her funeral service. In some cases, directives associated with a funeral are set forth in a deceased individual’s last will and testament. In other situations, a person may have simply made list about he or she would like to see happen at a funeral, including desired music and musicians.

If there is such a directive, it is incumbent upon surviving loved ones to follow those instructions as closely as possible. There may be some requests that can’t be satisfied, but it is likely that close approximations can be achieved.

Identify General Genre of Music Desired for Service

If there is nothing in the way of music and musician requests left behind by the deceased person, the next step in selecting funeral music and musicians is to identify a general musical genre for the service. Typically, this decision is made based on either a type of music the deceased person enjoyed in life or upon religious or spiritual considerations.

Dealing With Churches and Other Venues

A good percentage of funerals are conducted in churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious or spiritual venues. Many funerals have a religious or spiritual component to them.

If a funeral will be held in a church or similar type of venue, there may be some specific requirements that must be met in regard to funeral music. Thus, before you get too far down the path of selecting music and musicians, you need to consult with the church or other religious or spiritual organization to coordinate music and musician selections.

Some scared spaces have more restrictive rules regarding funeral music and musicians. For example, some churches are firm in using their own musicians to provide funeral service music. In addition, some churches also have strict rules regarding what music can be used during the course of a funeral.

Family as Performers

When selecting musicians for a funeral, a natural place to turn is family members. In many families, there are individuals who have at least some musical talent and skill. Including a family member or members, in the presentation of funeral music adds a real personal touch to the service.

One potential challenging aspect of including family members as musicians is that emotions at a funeral can become overwhelming. With some frequency, a family member selected to provide at least some music for a funeral service ends up emotional distraught and is unable to sing or play.

Friends as Service Music Providers

Turning to friends of the deceased individual as potential singers and musicians for a funeral broadens the field. Even if there are no strong musicians within a deceased person’s family, odds are there will be among his or her friends and even work colleagues. Including one or more of these individuals in a funeral service as music presenters do enhance the personal nature of the gathering. Keep in mind that as with family members, friends can also become overwhelmed with grief during a memorial service and become unable to perform.

Hiring Professionals

In recent years, there has been a trend among some musicians to focus at least part of their efforts on providing funeral music. These musical professionals have developed a broad repertoire of musical selections ideally suited for a funeral.

If you are like most people, unless you have a friend in the business of providing funeral music, you will be at a loss as to where you can fund such professionals. The first place to start in such a search is with the owner or manager of a funeral home. Churches, other houses of worship, and other venues are likely to have at least one staff member that can assist you to connect with a professional musician who specializes in music for funerals.

Engaging a professional musician truly can take a load off your shoulders when it comes to the all-important task of selecting music for a funeral. Professional musicians can assist everything from actual music selection to incorporating family members or friends in the music presentations of a funeral. Professional musicians can also coordinate a funeral music program with the church or other venues where a memorial service will be held.

Digital Repositories of Possible Funeral Musicians

As is the case with so many things in this day and, the internet is a resource when it comes to the search for a funeral musician. There are online resources that maintain databases of thousands of musicians of different types. These databases can be accessed to seek out musicians that seem ideal for a loved one’s funeral.

Planning the Order of Music

Once a musician or musicians selection is made, attention is then turned more fully to planning the selection and order of music for the funeral. Delineating the order of music for a loved one’s funeral provides an ideal time for all interested people to work together for this common goal. This can include everyone from family to friends to representatives of the school. Collaboration in this manner can result in a brilliant musical presentation throughout the funeral service of a loved one.