Monday, September 04, 2017

The most important thing do when choir starts again after a long break

Many choirs have a long break over the holidays and start back in September.


What’s the most important element to focus on in your first session back? Read on and I’ll let you into the secret.

It’s easy to think that, after a long break from choir, singers’ voices will have become rusty (see Has your voice gone rusty over the summer?). In which case the focus of the first session should be on voice production. But that’s not the case.

It doesn’t take long to get the voice going again (and many choir members will have sung over the break any way. See What singers can do when choir’s on a break).

Or maybe you figure that everyone will have forgotten the old songs, so the first session back should focus on running through your repertoire. But that’s not the case.

It’s amazing how much your singers will remember. Getting songs back on their feet takes no time at all.

What does need work though is listening.

The first session back after a long break is always exciting. Choir members might not have seen each other for several months; singers will be keen to get singing again; there is apprehension about what the new season will bring; nervousness about whether people will still be able to sing well and remember the old songs.

In this slightly frantic atmosphere it’s important to get back to the quiet focus that is needed for any group of singers to work well together. People will have forgotten how to really listen and to pay attention to each other, and the excitement of getting back to choir won’t help.

I’ve written before about how Singing is all about listening. For me, it is one of the most important elements of singing together.

To get your first session off to a great start, you might like to read: 10 exercises guaranteed to get your singers listening more carefully.

Good luck and I hope your new season goes well!

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Chris Rowbury



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