When someone enters your choir, they arrive with all the baggage of their workplace or family life, all their social anxiety and feelings of inadequacy, and with all the uncertainty of what lies ahead.
Our role is to create a framework that immediately makes people feel: WELCOMEVALUED and SUPPORTED for their journey ahead.
There are many amazing ways that our choirs achieve this, and we value all the efforts everyone puts in. The following items are imperative to achieve our goals, and minimise your workload going forwards.
  • Give a bit of background about a new song you’re introducing to the choir: Who wrote it? What’s it about? Why do you like it? What’s interesting about it?
  • Historical or social context of the song can often enhance people’s understanding of the lyric, and their engagement with the song.
  • How do you want your audience to FEEL when you sing the song?
  • A good introduction can open a gateway to enjoyment of and commitment to a song.

  • Go slow: don’t assume everyone knows the song, even if it’s popular.
  • Repeat each line AT LEAST three times. Assume not everyone can read the lyrics.
  • Give each repeat a new element of inflection or style so people who already know the song stay engaged and challenged.
  • Listen when they repeat a line back to you, and correct melodic or rhythmic problems as you go along. If people sing something wrong repeatedly it forms a bad habit that’s hard to break later.
  • TBD

  • Come back to tricky songs from week to week to monitor improvement.
  • Publicly identify and celebrate the progress of the choir when they improve.
  • Specify areas that could do with improvement, without being discouraging.
  • Remember, we are just singing songs! If it’s not feeling fun, you’re probably doing it wrong.
  • If you’re getting bogged down in something and people are losing focus, don’t be afraid to change plans and sing something else.
  • Empower your choir to make choices about what they’d like to sing, at least once every rehearsal.
  • When something is well rehearsed, invite your singers (those who are able and willing) to stand up and sing it with some emotion.

St Kilda community choir with conductor