Choir leaders are always looking for fresh warm-up ideas to make rehearsals fun and engaging. A great way to do this is to take advantage of the changing seasons and the festivals and holidays that coincide with your choir’s rehearsals.
Our Contemporary Choir has a rehearsal on Halloween so we thought we’d make the most of it. Some of our members looked at me a bit strangely when I announced that people should feel free to attend in fancy dress, but our offering of Halloween-themed snacks during the break and spooky warm-ups should ensure that the evening is fun and a little different.
Being creative with your rehearsals not only keeps your members interested, it also keeps you engaged as a choir leader which is vital in order to run a successful and enjoyable choir. It can be as simple as changing some warm-up ‘ha’s’ to ‘ho’s’ at Christmas or more involved such as developing a seasonal themed round. Your members will definitely be impressed and appreciate the extra effort.
Similarly, you might want to go one step further and offer a social event for your choir based around key festivals which may vary depending on where you are in the world and the background of your choir. Every year we arrange two big social functions for our choirs. This is a great chance for both of our choirs and their families to meet and interact. In the summer we have a ‘jamboree’ picnic event and include an open mic session for members to get up and show off their talents. At Christmas we end the year with a fabulous dinner dance and live band. We find such events really help to build on the bond and community spirit that forms with a choir and from a business point of view they are impressive and show that we value our members and make an effort for them.
Here are five great warm-ups, spookified just for you! Right click on the links to download, and let us know if you enjoy them.
Sirens are a great starting point for a warm-up. They get the voice working gently and safely. Add some dynamics for extra ghoulishness.
This exercise gets the choir in touch with their support muscles. Make sure they’re plotting evil plans while they do it!
Descending scales are great for focusing on intonation. Try these with a diminuendo on the descending scale, like a ghost vanishing into the night.
Haunt your rehearsal room while working on the tuning of major and minor thirds.
A fantastic exercise to promote listening between vocal parts.