In planning your community choir session, I would like to encourage you to intentionally consider the different areas which can help nurture your community choir.
This week, we’ll look at 5 focus areas when planning your community choir session to help make them more effective.
1. A hook
Start by finding a hook. Begin as strong as possible. Get your singers moving, singing, and/or engaging with each other with a fun activity. They turn up to experience the full benefits of singing from the outset, including increased endorphins and a raised heart beat. If your activity can include smiling, laughing and connection, then a sense of belonging is reinforced straight away, creating a safe environment for challenges which may come later. We have some fun ideas in the GUIDES section at The Creative Choir Leader Facebook Group
2. Song variety
Secondly, plan for a variety of repertoire. Make a list of songs you might want to teach ranging from the easiest to the hardest. Give your singers different genres and styles to explore. Can they learn a song which is not their native language? Choose songs that will take a variety of learning periods, from easy songs that will only take a week to more challenging pieces that will take the group on a journey of discovery. If you are a member please check out our Session Plan Template (for single and multi choirs) plus our 12 Week Song Planning Guide HERE
3. Singing technique
Next, based on the repertoire that is selected, draw out areas of singing technique to focus on. Even entry level choirs will benefit from an understanding of effective breathing for singing or how to sing through a long phrase in a slow song. Some choir leaders may cover technique as a part of a warm up sequence. Others may also scatter technical activities work through a session, as and when it relates to a song. Either way, learning singing technique can empower your choir members, and help raise their confidence in their own ability to sing without inhibition.
4. A purpose
Does your session have a purpose? Even if you are not working towards a performance of some sort, then your session might have a different purpose, such as improving the wellbeing or health of the participants. Whatever the purpose, intentionally plan for ways (even if very briefly) to help the singers reflect on why they are here together and the benefits of participating.
5. Social interaction
Lastly, find ways in every session for your singers to interact socially. The refreshment break is often the easiest. But also intentionally finding short moments of space during the planning singing part of the session for your singers to have a conversation can help with connection, cohesion and community. (On zoom? We have some great ideas HERE)