Monday, May 22, 2023

The pep talk I give before every singing workshop 2: nobody knows what’s happening

I give an introductory pep talk at the start of all my singing workshops.

The aim is to give out useful information, but also to reassure and relax the singers.

In this series of four posts, I’m going to share the things I cover. You might find it useful for your own needs, or maybe have some suggestions for how to make it better.

Last week, in part 1, I wrote about preparing to sing.

2. nobody knows what’s happening

The second part of my pep talk covers the nervousness that many singers in the room will be feeling. Who is this guy? What will he ask me to do? Am I up to it? What if everyone’s better than me at singing?

Here’s the kind of thing that I might say. I probably won’t say all of this at the start, but sprinkle bits here and there throughout the workshop.

I know that everyone is probably a bit nervous right now. The fact is that most people in this room probably think that they’re not very good singers. And pretty much everyone will think that the others are better than them. But the wonderful thing is, that, as a group, we always end up making a wonderful sound. So either everyone is lying, or it simply doesn’t matter how good you think you are.

Also, nobody really knows what’s happening — including me! I like to think we’re going on a journey to somewhere. We might not know where we’re going to end up, but I’m a pretty experienced map reader, navigator and a wilderness expert. We’ll be fine, I just don’t know where the journey will end.


You might also like to read You are not alone – most people in your choir think they can’t sing well and The importance of begin confused.


Next week I’ll write about part 3 of my pep talk: learning songs (it takes time).

Chris Rowbury


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