When you run a choir week in, week out, it's inevitable that there will be times when you're simply not in the mood. It happens to the best of us; after all we're only human. You may feel tired or a bit grumpy. Whatever you're feeling, when you walk into your rehearsal room, it's vital that you put these feelings aside. But just how do you do this? Here are some tips and reminders of ways to keep your rehearsals consistently inspiring, no matter how you feel.
Practise what you preach
Always think of yourself as a mirror to your choir. They feed off your passion and excitement about the music you sing, but they will just as easily reflect a negative vibe. When your singers come to a rehearsal, you expect them to leave their stresses and strains at the door and focus on the music. You have to do the same.
Keep your cool
When you're not in the mood, little things that would usually cause only minor irritation can become exaggerated - rising noise levels, confusion over instructions, failure to listen. Try to take a deep breath and remember that it's all temporary. Keep your cool, smile and get the rehearsal back on track as quickly as possible. If the choir's getting noisy, don't be tempted to shout to be heard - this will only lead to you feeling more tired and aggravated. Instead, wait calmly, poised to rehearse and everyone will soon quieten down.
It's especially important when you're not in the mood to be fully prepared for your rehearsal. Before the session, double-check you have everything you need so that you aren't faced with any surprises. Try not to do this five minutes before you leave but earlier the day so that if any action is required, you have plently of time to do it without adding any further stress to yourself.
Take some pre-rehearsal time out
If you're not in the mood for your choir rehearsal, chances are you're feeling a little tired and deflated. Try to take at least half an hour before the rehearsal to relax. Listen to some of your favourite music, go for a walk or do an activity that you enjoy. Something that makes you laugh is also a good idea - perhaps a comedy film, internet clip or programme, or if you have enough time, a favourite movie. A little bit of 'me' time can go a long way to imrpoving your mood. If time allows an invigorating shower may be the boost you need. Also, wearing something which makes you feel confident and comfortable can go a long way to improving how you feel.
Take a break
If you start to experience this feeling regularly, perhaps you need to consider taking a break. Everyone needs a holiday now and then. Could the choir take a break, or could you find someone to fill in for you for a while? Time to re-charge is vital in every job.