Good Choir songs for Church
So, in no particular order, these are the qualities that I believe make for an ideal choir member:
It takes a while to build up a safe, creative atmosphere, but only a second to destroy it. If we’re doing some focused warm up work, we don’t want people wandering in half way through!
I know some people get stuck in traffic or have to come straight from work, but persistent latecomers aren’t showing respect for their fellow choir members (or the work or the choir), and are often the ones who would benefit most from the voice training and stress-busting warm up!
Commitment to the choir can be shown in many ways (not least turning up on time!). But for most community choirs, the most important commitment is simply to turn up every week!
There are many people who pay for the whole term but show up only once or twice. Again, this demonstrates a lack of respect for both the choir and its members. Also it implies that the work that we do each week rehearsing and learning songs is not that valuable and it’s possible to just turn up for the concert.
It’s all too easy to let your choir director or other members of your part do all the work. It’s an easy cop-out. Yes, the director is in charge, but the final result depends on every single individual in the choir. It’s no good thinking that your fellow singers will back you up and cover you through the bits you don’t know that well. If every singer in the choir thought that, there would be no choir!
You have to take responsibility to attend regularly (and on time), to know your part, to stay aware of rehearsal schedules, to listen to the director’s instructions, and so on.
Many people stumble through life not really paying attention. Or if they do pay attention, its often to the wrong thing! How many times have you been bumped into in the supermarket by someone whose focus is on the cereal packet they’re about to buy, and not the throng of people surrounding them?
Often it’s simply a matter of being in the moment, being present and engaged with whatever is going on at that particular point. This can be helped by focusing on the warm up each session which assists in the transition between your busy daily life and the job of being in a choir.
It’s by paying attention to what you’re doing that helps you to learn and improve. When the director points out that you’re tipping your head back, then check in with your own body and see what that feels like. When your fellow alto complains that you’re singing too loudly in their ear, check in with yourself and make a note of how it feels in that moment and what you can do next time.
Some people find it very uncomfortable to be in the middle of a learning process. When you first start to learn a new song it can feel frustrating that you can’t quite nail the tune. Even when you’ve been singing a song for a while, you might still keep tripping over some of the words.