Monday, October 04, 2021

How a choir is like an orange – and other useful comparisons

Have you ever wondered why a choir is so like and orange?

Wondering about this is a very useful exercise and can throw up some surprises. Here’s how.

A choir is like an orange because:

  • it is made up of individual parts, all held together as one
  • it is divided into equally important sections
  • from the outside, it appears to be a single thing, but look inside and you’ll see all the individual components
  • on the face of it, it seems to be dry and dull, but inside lies surprising refreshment and juiciness
  • if a section or individual part is bad, it can be removed and the whole still functions
  • it appears to be the same as all the others, but on closer inspection it is full of unexpected and subtle differences

… and so on. You get the idea.

Actually, a choir is nothing like an orange. But by doing a simple comparison, similarities and differences are revealed. Some of which may be unexpected.

In fact, it’s irrelevant what you compare your choir with. The simple act of comparison focuses your mind and throws up strengths and weaknesses which can be acted upon.

The time to make such comparisons is when you find yourself stuck – as a singer, or choir leader, or committee member, or publicist – and need some fresh ideas. It’s also a useful took when you want to stand back and be clearer about the choir’s vision for the future.

Here are some other random comparisons that you might want to try.

  • How singing together is like a steam train.
  • How singing is like being a duck.
  • How a choir leader is like a helicopter pilot.
  • How singers are like migrating birds.

Go on, give it a go – you may be surprised!


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Chris Rowbury




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