Monday, September 02, 2019

Think you’ve forgotten how to sing or conduct? It happens to us all!

Many choirs are starting back after their long summer break.

photo by Eric Kilby

Do you ever worry that you’ve forgotten how to sing or lead a choir? You’re in good company.

It happens so easily. After a few weeks’ gap between singing workshops I begin to plan the next one. Then I start to panic.

Will I be able to lead the workshop? How do I teach songs? Can I remember how to conduct?

Of course, it all goes well and there was actually nothing to worry about. It’s like riding a bike: it all comes flooding back.

The same with singing. You might think that you’ve lost your voice over the long break or have forgotten how to sing in tune (see Has your voice gone rusty over the summer?). But first rehearsal back and it’s as if there was no break at all.

The point is that we all have these worries, no matter how experienced we are.

It might not feel nice, but it does show that you’re being conscientious and not taking things for granted.

If your worries get out of control you can always do some preparation.

Choir leaders can:
  • Conduct in front of a mirror.
  • Record yourself singing the parts to the song you’ll be teaching against each other.
  • Go through the warm up on your own, speaking the instructions out loud.

Singers can:
  • Run through a few familiar warm up exercises.
  • Sing your part to a few of your best-loved choir songs.
  • Sing your part against a recording of the other parts.

But only do these things if your panic is extreme. Otherwise it will make you focus on your worries.

Better to simply trust that everything will be OK. After all, it has been every other time after the long break.

Good luck and enjoy your new choir season!

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Chris Rowbury




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