Monday, April 24, 2017

Is there an alternative to being patient when leading a choir?

I’ve been praised many times by the singers I work with for being so patient.


Which makes me wonder: what’s the alternative?

I must admit that I find it quite easy (most of the time!) to be patient when leading a choir or singing workshop.

Patient when a song is just not working; patient when a section just can’t seem to get their part right; patient when a rehearsal is going pear-shaped; patient when a singer is not pitching correctly; patient when all about me seem to be lost and on the point of giving up.

I find that it comes naturally: I don’t have to make an effort, I don’t have to bite my tongue or pretend to be calm. In fact, I can see no other way of doing things! And I must be doing something right since my choirs perform to a high standard and I get excellent feedback at my singing workshops.

I’m surprised that people find my patience worth commenting on, because what are the alternatives?

Getting frustrated and angry, shouting at the singers, creating an atmosphere of fear and worry?

Not only is that stressful for the leader, but it’s in no way conducive to getting the best out of your singers.

Anger and frustration are often signs of lack of the leader’s lack of confidence or experience.

As far as I’m concerned, just trust in the process and all will be well. Trust in your own abilities to deliver the goods and tackle any difficulties and all will be well.

Stay chilled and it will all work out. After all: what’s the alternative?

You may also find these posts of interest:

Trust me – you know it makes sense

Calm down dear, it’s only a song

How to be a bad choir director (it’s easier than you think)

The six qualities needed to be a good choral director

I’d love to hear from you if you’ve come across an effective choir leader who is not patient. What is the alternative?

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Chris Rowbury



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