Monday, August 30, 2021

The more trust there is in your choir, the more trustworthy people become

Can you trust that your singers will do their best in the concert? Do you trust your choir leader to not harm your voice?

Rather than wait until you feel somebody is ‘trustworthy’, assume that you can trust everyone in your choir and they will rise to the occasion.

This post was prompted by somebody asking recently about how to police Covid tests for their choir members. The choir leader concerned was asking singers to take a lateral flow test before coming to rehearsals. The question was: “How do I know they’ve taken a test?”

The answer is trust.

The more you trust your singers, the more trustworthy they will become.

When I started out leading singing workshops, I used to forget to collect the money on the day. Usually somebody would remind me and I would then announce that anybody who hadn’t paid already should just leave their cash on the piano.

When I told people about this method, they thought I was crazy. “People will take advantage of you. You’ll end up losing loads of money.”

But that didn’t happen.

Because I trusted everyone to pay if they needed to, it passed the responsibility onto them. I used to get people ringing me up the next week distraught because they’d forgotten to put their money on the piano.

Everybody always paid.

The same goes for rehearsals. If you trust your singers to put the work in, they will come up with the goods at your next concert. If you’re constantly spoon feeding them or nagging them, they will be less likely to put the work in.

Trusting your choir leader means that they will feel a responsibility to do right by you, the singers. They will take great care with your voice, make sure everyone is up to speed with the learning (and make the effort to help those who are struggling), ensure that you have a good time at rehearsals, and so on.

“But wait”, you cry, “what about all those untrustworthy people who will take advantage?”

In my experience of leading choirs and singing workshops, it just doesn’t happen. OK, there must be the odd person out there who doesn’t deserve your trust, but over the last 25 years I have not encountered any of them in my choirs or workshops.

It seems that harmony singing attracts only nice, trustworthy people!

What’s your experience?

other relevant posts

Trust me – you know it makes sense

Choir leaders, are you doing too much for your singers?

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


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Chris Rowbury




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