Monday, September 04, 2023

Don’t forget that your singers have come to SING!

It’s easy to forget, especially when preparing for a concert, that singers come each week to have a good old sing.

photo by Alex Beattie

They don’t want to be learning new material all the time or focusing on vocal development.

A singer wrote to me recently about the frustrations of being in their choir:

“At our choir we rarely actually have a good old sing! All the time is spent learning new songs — just each part taking their turn to learn their part. After six weeks of term I can now sing 10 or so lines of three or so different songs. There are no ‘lungs open’ good old belters being sung. Which is a shame because we have some real goodies in our repertoire."

With the community choirs I have run over the years, I always left a good bit of time at the end of each rehearsal to sing some of the old songs in our repertoire.

Not only did this help to keep them fresh and alive for future concerts, but it gave the singers the chance to ‘let rip’ and have a really good sing of something they knew very well.

I also made sure that at the end of each rehearsal we would sing the new song that we’d be learning at the start of the session. This helped bed it into memory, but again, allowed the singers to just sing without any new learning being involved.

As you start to plan your new choir season, make sure you factor in plenty of opportunities for your singers to have a good old ‘lungs open’ sing!

You might find these older posts of interest too:

We’ve come to sing, not to learn!

Less is more: don’t feel you have to teach or learn new songs all the time (by Betsy Sansby)

Chris Rowbury


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