Monday, August 08, 2022

Explanations for singers need to come in many different forms

Sometimes when we’re learning a new song, a singer might ask a question because they’re having difficulty.

photo by ywammadison

I will then offer what I believe to be a helpful explanation. But sometimes this won’t help every singer.

Often, when I’m teaching a song, a singer will ask for clarification or help with a tricky bit. I will then launch into a full explanation which might involve the overall structure of the song, or how a part relates to the root note, or compare the rhythm to another part of the song.

This often helps, but not necessarily every singer will find it helpful.

Every singer will have their own way of understanding song structure, melody lines, harmonies and so on.

For example, I’m really good at structure and can see images in my mind of how a song hangs together, but others find it difficult and need each section of a song laid out clearly in a linear fashion.

It’s important to realise that different singers need things explained to them in different ways. The majority of singers might understand your explanation, but there will be some who don’t. And they may feel too awkward to ask again.

There are two important takeaways from this:

  1. choir leaders: always explain things in several different ways – and make sure (by asking) that all singers have understood.
  2. singers: if an explanation doesn’t work for you, then ask your choir leader to explain again in another way.

other relevant posts

Ask questions – your choir leader (probably) won’t bite!

How to answer the question: “What note is that?”

I'm only going to say this once

Chris Rowbury


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