Monday, March 19, 2018

Should conductors mouth the words for their choirs?

I’ve often mouthed the words for my choirs. I’d rather singers don’t use lyric sheets when performing, so it’s a kind of security blanket for them.

monkey mouth

But it can be considered patronising or even a way of letting singers off the hook. Let’s look at the pros and cons.

Monday, March 12, 2018

When singers don’t show up – how to rehearse effectively

The other week it snowed quite badly where I live. I held a rehearsal as usual, but only 23 singers turned up out of 56.

Munich uni choir

We have a concert coming up soon. What do you do when so many singers are missing?

Monday, March 05, 2018

Should choir leaders socialise with their choir members?

Many choirs hold social events throughout the year. It helps build a choir community and encourages team spirit. That can only be a good thing.

office party

But should your choir leader be invited along, or should they maintain a professional distance?

Monday, February 26, 2018

Effective ways to make a song more interesting for your audience

Sometimes choirs think it’s enough to sing a song well. They stand in static rows and sing the whole thing from start to finish.

choir on steps
photo by John Cummings

But that can be like watching paint dry. You need to create some interest if you’re going to keep your audience interested. Here are some simple ideas that might help.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Making the space work for you – how to cope with unusual venues

I have run several singing workshops recently in less-than-ideal spaces.


Rather than being a problem, I found ways to embrace the situation. Here are some ideas you might find useful.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Leading your first ever singing group – a complete beginner’s guide

I am often asked for advice from people who want to start a singing group, but have absolutely no experience.

kids singing
photo by The U.S. Army

Or sometimes people have been asked to start a workplace choir or to take over their church choir activities. Here are some tips to get you started.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Why being ‘pitchy’ can be in the ear of the beholder

Sometimes when I watch TV singing talent shows like The Voice or X-Factor I think that the singer is out of tune, but the judges don’t seem to notice.

cleaning ear

At other times the judges point out that a singer is ‘pitchy’, but I think they’re perfectly in tune. What’s going on here?