ABOUT THIS BLOG

My name is Eliza. I live in Utah. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. When I was asked to lead the choir at our church, I felt overwhelmed and inexperienced. I wanted more online information on how to be a church choir director.

I thought I would start a blog to share my ideas. I hope I can help others not to feel overwhelmed with their assignments to lead the choir.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A CHOIR LESSON PLAN

When I first started leading the choir, I was not sure how to organize a one hour choir practice. I decided that teaching choir was just like teaching a Sunday School lesson and should be approached in a similar way. So here is my basic outline:

1-Opening Prayer- The choir president in our ward conducts and asks people to say the prayers.

2- Attention Getters- I will try anything to get the choir's attention. I use vocal warm ups, interesting stories, an unusual hymn or a fun song.

3-Rehearse Musical Numbers- I always try to practice 1-3 musical numbers at each practice.  I practice the musical number we will singing next and then go through future numbers as time permits.  I get different people at each practice so it helps to give them some experience at singing future numbers in case they don't get back to choir practice for a few weeks.

4-Spiritual Thought- I call this my 'Choir Director' minute. I don't want to take too much time because the point of choir practice is to sing. But I do want to remind everyone about the reason that we are singing. I may use a quotation or scripture. Sometimes I express appreciation to the choir and to the piano player. I always end with bearing my testimony.

5-Closing Prayer

6-Refreshments- For fun, I sometimes bring refreshments. To keep the cost down, I only do this once a month or once every other month.

Friday, October 16, 2009

HOW TO GET PEOPLE TO COME TO CHOIR PRACTICE

I have been associated with church choirs for years and I feel fairly accurate when I say that the biggest challenge facing local choir directors is how to get people to come to choir practice. Here are some great suggestions!

1-Collect names of singers in your congregation..  To get a list of potential choir members, sit at different places in the chapel during your Sunday meetings to listen to people sing. Call or assign section leaders, a choir president and a choir pianist. Ask section leaders and the choir president and the choir pianist to help you scout for singers. Try passing out a sign up list during church meetings. 

2-Call current and potential choir members and invite them to come to choir.  Call section leaders and ask them to call members of their choir section.  

3- Collect current and potential choir member's email addresses and cell phone numbers and send out emails and texts to remind them about choir practices and performances.  Let choir members choose how they would prefer to be contacted.

4- Send invitations.   For several years, I have delivered or mailed creative invitations to choir members the day before big performances or important practices. The improvement in attendance has been dramatic. I always try to attach something to the invitation to make it unusual.

5- Ask the leader of your religious group to call or invite people to be in the choir.  Sometimes a special call from an ecclesiastical leader can have a greater effect that an invitation from the director.