Funeral Service Planning: Finding and Booking a Musician for a Los Angeles Service.

Coordinating Music for a Funeral Service or Graveside Service 

We know that during a time of deep emotion and grieving it is difficult to manage the demands of life while adding event coordination. At Lucid Life Entertainment we know how to book live musicians. We believe live music at the service can augment the healing power of music, comforting the soul in a way that a recording cannot replicate. Empathetically, not all Funeral Homes offer headache-free live music coordination.

If you’re in a position where the Funeral Director cannot book a musician for you nor refer you to a reputable and vetted musician, it can become a daunting task to locate a musician on your own. We’ve compiled a little list of tips and boiled it down to two steps to help you with the process on your own. Otherwise, if you are looking for one-on-one holding through the process, please contact our staff at Lucid Life and let us do the planning. If you’re ready to book now use our contact us form on our website and we will call you within 24-48 hours to confirm the details. 

Start by breaking down the steps with the end in mind.

Unquestionably, music provides solace for those in attendance, making the planning processes markedly important. First, you will want to start considering the event with the end in mind. Both the agenda and music are equally important to facilitate the grieving process of those in attendance. 

First, consider the loved one’s wishes.

Your loved one may have left instructions in their will or discussed with a family member in advance songs they would like played during their service. In other cases, where there are no expressed directions for the music, other family members can help you to decide on song selection. Think: Aunts, Uncles, Siblings, Children, or Parents. Since they are close in the family they often have a special song to suggest that will add meaning and connection to the service. Taking time to consult with other family members in the beginning will eliminate any last-minute hurt feelings, rushing or confusion. However, things can get messy when incorporating too many opinions; one thing we have learned is to keep communication in writing in an email thread so everyone can review the set list, and instructions for the internary (this will also make it easy on the musician to have the songs in writing). You could ask family members to email you their list of suggestions in writing and rank them based on priority to make decision-making easier for you. Typically a service has time for 3-8 songs depending on the schedule at the funeral home.

Next, reflect on the type of service and what setting you will be in. A Funeral Service often has an allotment of one hour. The service itself may include a moment of silence or a dove release where a specific song might be called for. On the other hand, Graveside services may need additional songs for events during the service such as: lowering the casket for the burial or a flower tribute. Subsequently, before moving on to confirm song selection consider if your family has any religious or cultural affiliations. After that, it is time to consider any specific traditions such as hymns or chants.


Align song selection with the service Agenda to determine the timing of song selection.

After you review the type of service and instruction or opinions from family members you will likely have a sense of how you want to Funeral to feel. On one hand, Funeral and Graveside Services have time for 2-4 songs because they typically have a Prelude (songs before the services start) and a Postlude (songs after the services end). Comparatively, a Graveside service may need more songs to accommodate agenda item differences compared to a funereal service. the silence during various times of the service. For example, a Graveside Service may have a longer distance for the pallbearers to carry the coffin to the graveside, and include a time for the lowering of the casket and a Funeral Service may include a slideshow, a dove release, or a moment of silence.


Last, decide if you will use a recording of the song selections or if you will book a live musician. We have a list of commonly booked musicians for both Funeral and Graveside Services to help you visualize if a live musician is right for the service. Once you have confirmed live music versus recorded music then contact your Funeral Director and let them know the order of your service.


Contact your Funeral Service Director to help you play Recorded Music.

After taking the considerations from step one, review the information and determine if booking a live musician is right for you or if you would like to put together a recording to play at the service. Once you have curated your song selections and decided whether you will stream, or use a CD, iPod, or other, contact your funeral director to find out more about what is available on-site for speakers, wifi, and audio hookups. Ask the director if there is an assistant on site who can be responsible for pressing play at the appropriate time. If not, you will want to appoint an attendee or even invite a friend to support you during the service.


Coordinating a Musician in Los Angeles, CA

Whether you live in Los Angeles or not, finding a musician for a one-hour service can become a time-consuming and stressful task. Before you hit Google or ask for recommendations, there are a few facts you want to confirm.
– What is your budget?
– What 3-8 songs would you like the Musician(s) to play
– What is the exact date, time, and location of the service?
– How much time in advance is left for the musician to practice?

If you would like done for your staffing for your service please use our booking form and we will start booking your musician.

Some questions to consider when speaking to a musician before booking are:
– Have you (or your band) played at a Funeral Service before?
– Are you familiar with my song selection already? Do you have the sheet music?
– Do you have any references or videos that I can see the work of your past events?
– Do you think my song selection will sound good on your instrument?

In some cases, one song will sound wonderful on the Organ, while another song may not be playable on the Organ and is best fitting to be played on a Piano which has additional keys.

Coordinate the music with these steps:

1.) Consider the loved one’s wishes.
2.) Determine the setting you will be in Graveside (Outdoor) or Funeral Service (Indoor).
3.) Gather the opinions of siblings or other family members.
4.) Choosing meaningful songs makes a service special.
5.) Review timing to include special moments such as a slideshow, a moment of silence, or additional time during the casket lowering
6.) Recorded Music, Speak with your Funeral Director to coordinate
7.) Live Music, Start searching for a musician or work with one of our specialists at Lucid Life who will book and coordinate a musician for you. You can contact us or use our booking form to start the process now.