What would you do differently if you were starting your choir today?

Listed on January 11, 2016 in Blogs!

I have learnt a great deal since I started my first choir in 1997.

WorldSong at CUPA June 2000

WorldSong in Coventry, June 2000

If I were starting a choir again today I may well do things differently.

my experience

When I set up my first choir it was rather accidental. I had been asked to teach an evening class called “Songs from around the world”. Over time it became very successful so I decided to go independent and create a choir made up of those attending the class. That choir was called WorldSong and it continues today.

I made lots of mistakes when I first started and stumbled through more by luck than judgment. Later on I took over two other community choirs which had been set up by other people (Woven Chords and Global Harmony). This gave me the opportunity to do things a bit better the second time around. But I wasn’t given a clean slate and there were only so many changes I could make at first.

In 2010 I moved to a different part of the country and in January 2011 I set up a brand new community choir where I live: The OK Chorale. This gave me the chance to learn from my stumbles and mistakes with WorldSong and to set something up from scratch exactly the way I wanted with all those extra years of experience.

what if you can’t start anew?

Some of you won’t have this chance though, but may be getting bored or frustrated with the way your own choir is going. So why not try this thought experiment:

What would you do differently if you were starting your choir from scratch today?

Imagine your perfect choir, don’t let reality get in the way. Now see how that differs from how your current choir is. What changes would you need to make?

Choirs get into habits and follow the culture set in motion by the choir leader. It’s not too late to change, but you’ll need to introduce things gradually.

Make a list of the major changes you’d like to make, then under each item create a programme of smaller steps that will lead to that change. Tackle one at a time and be patient!

I’d love to know how what changes you’d like to make and how you get on when introducing them. Do drop by and let us know how it goes.

Chris Rowbury

Website: chrisrowbury.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/ChrisRowbury

Twitter: Twitter.com/ChrisRowbury
Monthly Music Roundup: Tinyletter.com/ChrisRowbury