Sunday, October 23, 2011

We’ve come to sing, not to learn!

People come to my singing workshops because they love to sing.


Photo by Rex Pe

But first they have to spend time learning songs.

This is most evident for those of us who teach songs by ear. Before everyone can sing together we have to have some songs in common. This means there must be a period of learning as people get to know the songs.

I have a low boredom threshold so tend to try to squeeze as many songs into a workshop as I can. This means that people often go home only having half-learnt the songs and when they wake up the next morning they have no recollection of the songs at all.

What I should do is limit the number of songs so they are learnt really well and we can have a good old sing. But if we spend the whole day learning just one song, people might feel that they haven’t had their money’s worth.

There needs to be a balance between learning and singing,
with the emphasis on singing.

People join my choirs because they love to sing.

Yet some of the time I work on developing their vocal and listening skills. It’s not necessarily what they signed up for. They came to sing.

But if I can help people develop vocally then they will learn songs better and quicker and when they sing them the sound will be more pleasing. And if we do harder exercises we can tackle more difficult songs which will bring much more of a sense of achievement.

There needs to be a balance between learning and singing,
with the emphasis on singing.

A tricky balance to achieve, but one we workshop and choir leaders must strive for.

I’ll be writing more next week about the different challenges faced by choir leaders who teach by ear vs. those who use sheet music.


Chris Rowbury's website:

Chris Rowbury


Get more posts like this delivered straight to your inbox!

Click to subscribe by email.


found this helpful?

I provide this content free of charge, because I like to be helpful. If you have found it useful, you may like to ...

... to say thank you.





Monthly Music Round-up: