101 Great Choir Ideas

by vernsanders on May 5, 2010

Every Wednesday is tip day. Each week’s tip may be about a different topic, but one of the recurring topics is 101 Great Choir Ideas. Here’s this week’s tip.

  • Be attentive when the director is working on a section other than your own. You might learn something that applies to your music!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Shirley Pysher May 10, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Absolutely love the above tip, but helping volunteer choir members to remember it takes fequent reminders at each rehearsal!!!

vernsanders May 10, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Thanks, Shirley. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got as a young conductor was “keep the rehearsal going so fast that no one has a chance to stop and talk…” I’ve definitely slowed my pace in recent years, but that is because I find that treating the musicians as if they were professionals really has great benefit.
Now a bit of counterpoint…In doing research for a paper I wrote long ago about the things that team sports and musical ensembles had in common, I watched as a bunch of Bear Bryant’s Alabama assistant coaches worked with individual groups while (and as a part of/during) the main practice session continued. It changed how I looked at talking. Now I encourage my ensemble members to “help out” those who don’t understand. It seems a bit chaotic at times, but, in some ways, it hones the concentration of the section I’m working with. Once in a while I have to ask people to tone it down, but the trade off is that I can have 4 or 5 “assistants” helping out people who are having trouble with markings, breathing, etc.
I wouldn’t suggest it if it didn’t work for me, but if your group isn’t disciplined, it might be an open door to attention wandering…



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