How to calm your choir’s nerves before a performance
There’s always lots to do on the day of a performance. You’ve got any number of things to remember and organise. However, it’s crucial not to forget how your singers might be feeling. Although most are probably very excited about the event, they may also be feeling nervous, especially those who are fairly new to the choir and to the performance experience. Here are some handy tips to help you take care of your choir, build their confidence and give them the best chance of enjoying the performance.
You will often have the opportunity to rehearse in your performance venue on the day of the show. Make sure that the principal focus of this rehearsal is getting the sound and logistics of the performance right. Don’t be tempted to rehearse your repertoire in detail or, worse, start criticising your choir’s efforts. The day of a performance is too late to make drastic changes to how a piece is performed. Over-rehearsing on the day will sap your choir’s confidence and make them nervous.
Make sure, where possible, you allow youself and your singers enough time between rehearsal and performance to get ready or get a bite to eat so that they don’t feel too rushed as this can also contribute to nerves.
The more organised you are the better your singers will feel. If they know exactly what will happen on performance day in terms of timings, where they need to be when, what they need to wear, they will feel calmer and more in control. Providing a running order for the show will also prove helpful. Make sure you plan the performance with the choir in mind. How much of the time are they on stage? When will they get a break? Although the show is about the audience’s experience, it is also about your choir’s enjoyment.
Find some space
When you’re choosing a venue, think about where your choir will be get ready and hang out when they’re not on stage. Is there a room they can use? Does it have seats? Access to fresh air? Can you provide water for the singers? Having a space where they can relax and prepare will really help your singers feel less nervous and give them a base.
Warming up your choir before a big performance is crucial, so always allow time for it. It helps to bring them together as a team, it helps them vocally, and it can also be great for shaking off the nerves. Keep the warm-up short and full of easy exercises, rather than complicated ones which may throw some singer’s off and dent their confidence. End the session with something funny which will make them giggle – maybe a round with some actions.
Inspire your choir
After warming up, always allow a minute to talk to your choir. Keep this 100% positive and encouraging. Tell them how hard they’ve worked, how great they’ll be and, most importantly, to go out there and enjoy themselves.