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Blog

Pre-performance checklist - Are you and your choir ready?

As you approach a performance, there's always lots going on. Repertoire needs to be perfected and performance skills considered. With all this going on it can be very easy to neglect the issue of the big day itself. Here's a handy checklist of things to remember.

Contact the organiser

It's likely that when booking the event for your choir you had plenty of contact with the organiser at the venue but have you spoken to them lately?

As the performance day approaches, it's a good idea to touch base …

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How to 'sell' your repertoire choices to your choir

It may sound a bit business-like to all those musical creatives among you, but when we choose repertoire for our choirs, we have to be salespeople. We want them to 'buy into' our repertoire choices and give the music a chance.

Why does it matter? Singers who like or at least understand our choices of repertoire are more likely to engage with the piece and give it their best, even if it's not quite their cup of tea. So how do we sucessfully motivate our singers about our repertoire choices?

Let th…

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4 practical strategies to induct new singers into your choir

As time goes by, it's inevitable that your core of existing singers will be joined by new recruits. It's wonderful to welcome new faces and new voices to the choir. As choir leader, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure this meeting of new and existing singers runs smoothly and benefits all. Here are our top tips:

Mix it up

We all have a tendency to form habits and our behaviour in choirs is no different. When new singers join, your existing singers may not automatically include the…

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3 big frustrations that inspired our choir music store

Our music arrangements for community choirs are now available, free and exclusively, to members of Total Choir Resources.

At Total Choir Resources, we're proud of the work we do to help and support choir leaders all over the world. Our latest innovation is our digital music store. As this exciting project continues to grow, we are introducing arrangements from a range of amazing composers. But what led us to the idea in the first place? Actually, it was born out of intense frustration when we wer…

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Are you wired after your choir rehearsal? Tips to help you cool down and relax

I've written before about strategies to help you get ready for your choir rehearsal but what about when it's finished? In my experience choir leaders often walk away from rehearsals completely wired and if you run your choir in the evening this is certainly not conducive to sleep!

After teaching, interacting, keeping your rehearsal on track, bringing the voice parts together, answering queries and making sure everything runs smoothly your brain feels in overdrive. This is often quite the opposite…

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5 super-quick rehearsal planning tips for the disorganised

We all want to do the best for our choirs and make rehearsals worthwhile and enjoyable. Effective planning is essential, both for individual rehearsals and entire seasons.

However, even the most conscientious of us will slip up occasionally. We may have every intention of making notes on the last rehearsal and planning the next one with time to spare, but life gets in the way. Suddenly it's rehearsal day again (can a week really be that short?) and we are planless and in a panic. So here are my '…

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4 essential things to remember when you teach new repertoire to your choir

When your choir has enjoyed a great performance and it's time to leave behind familiar repertoire and embark on something new, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are my top tips for capitalising on the exciting atmosphere created by your performance as you introduce new repertoire to your choir.

Think about time

When embarking on new pieces, consider how long you have to get them ready for performance. Timings may vary with some gaps between performances being longer than others. P…

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How to stay focused and energised on your choir rehearsal day

Running a choir rehearsal takes focus and energy. We need to inspire our singers, lead them through learning repertoire, use and teach techniques to make that repertoire sound amazing and balance a rehearsal so that our choir enjoys it.

Of course, when we are revved up, full of energy and ready to go that's fantastic, but over the choir year we need some tried and tested strategies to enable us to confidently lead our rehearsals however we feel. I have always found small rituals can make a big di…

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5 great tips for raising musical standards in your choir

As choir leaders, we are always striving to produce the best possible sound with our choirs. Whatever type of choir you lead, there's always something more to learn and something that can be improved. The trick is to inspire your singers into achieving greatness rather than to nag or chastise them, which will only end up with negative results. Empower them with a bit of knowledge and know-how and you will soon reap the rewards with an amazing sound.

Improve vocal skills

It goes without saying th…

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How to stay cool & composed when you perform with your choir

During a performance it's the choir who are ultimately on stage to shine, however as conductors we are an imporatant part of this process and how we conduct ourselves during a performance reflects on our own professionalism and ultimately that of the choir. In a way each time we step out in front of our choirs or an audience we are performing. So how do we represent ourselves with calm and confidence when sometimes we may feel quite the opposite? Here are some tried and tested tips.

Feel and loo…

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