Monday, August 22, 2016

Just because a song is hard or you don’t like it doesn’t mean you should give up on it

Last week I looked at why singers might be finding a song hard going: If a song’s not working, when do you stop flogging the dead horse?

photo by Tanya Little

I suggested easy solutions to most situations, but what happens if the singers don’t like the song or are finding it harder than you thought they would? Give up or soldier on?

Monday, August 15, 2016

If a song’s not working, when do you stop flogging the dead horse?

Sometimes I bring a great song to choir and for some reason the singers really struggle with it.


How do you decide whether to persist with a song until it comes right, or just abandon it and move on? Let’s look at the options.

Monday, August 08, 2016

If the energy in your choir is low do you go with the flow or wake everyone up?

I ran a whole weekend of singing recently and when the Saturday evening session rolled round everyone was understandably very tired.

photo by Son Lee

This slot has always been problematic: do I do simple songs, slow songs or high energy wake-up songs? Do you go with the flow or try to wake everyone up?

Monday, August 01, 2016

You can’t avoid feelings of apprehension at the start of a singing workshop

I’ve just come back from my annual visit to the English Lake District to run my summer singing weekend.


On a weekend workshop I always find the first session on the Friday night tricky. There is an air of trepidation and hesitation that’s impossible to avoid. Why is that?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Why do some audience members insist on sitting at the back of concerts?

[Spoiler alert: I don’t know the answer!]

Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor venue, unless there are allocated seats there will always be a few audience members who insist on sitting as far away as possible.

back row

They sit there straining to hear and see what’s going on. Why on earth do they do it?

Monday, July 18, 2016

How to find a suitable choir to join

Someone was looking to find choirs in our area. They Googled a bit, but they didn’t find my choir even though it’s mentioned on several websites.

Hackney Singers

This made me realise that there’s an art to Googling choirs and maybe some directories that people don’t know about. Here’s a guide to finding the right choir for you.

Monday, July 11, 2016

“This is the right space, and these are the right people” – working with the singers you’ve got, not those you hoped for

A singing session is coming up and you’re excited. It will be in a grand hall with loads of singers!

photo by Pierre-Henry Muller

But the day comes and it’s a tiny space and only a handful turn up. How can you manage your expectations and work with what you’ve got?