Sunday, May 08, 2022

What to do when someone wants to teach you a song you already know

If you regularly attend singing workshops or have ever been in more than one choir, it’s inevitable that you will encounter a song you already know.

photo by Moses

Apart from zoning out, what’s the best thing to do when someone wants to teach you a song you already know?

I lead singing workshops across the UK, and I’m lucky enough to get quite a lot of repeat attendees. No matter how hard I try to do new songs each time, there will always be a few singers who will already know one of the songs I plan to teach.

Here’s what I say at the start of each singing workshop.

what to do if someone wants to teach you a song you already know

If you find that you already know one of the songs I’ll be teaching today, you have several options.

Option 1: “Great! I love that song. It will be a joy to sing it again.”

Option 2: “What a fantastic opportunity! I never quite nailed my part last time, so this will give me the chance to really learn it properly.”

Option 3: “Since I already know the alto part quite well, I’m going to challenge myself today and learn the soprano part instead.”

Option 4: “Oh, this is a different arrangement to the one I know, so I’ll really have to keep my wits about me and be totally present in order to learn the subtle variations.”

I’m sure you can think of plenty of other options that will keep you engaged and give you pleasure when learning this song anew.

But there is one option that is not open to you.

Option 99: “Oh no, not this song again. I know it inside out, so I’ll just switch off and get bored.”

further reading

You might find these other posts helpful too.

It’s hard to teach songs that people already know

5 ways to keep things fresh when you’re being taught a song you already know

Chris Rowbury


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