Running choir rehearsals when you’re not in the mood

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.

Feel professional

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.

Comments on Running choir rehearsals when you’re not in the mood

  1. Avatar Lyn Young says:

    Funnily enough, that was me this week. And last week. Just had an event which was rather stressful in prep but went well in the end. I need to regroup and remember what we’re about. Thanks for the support

    1. Christine Mulgrew Christine Mulgrew says:

      Hi Lyn,

      Thanks for your message, sorry to hear you’ve had a couple of tough weeks, sounds like the article came at the right time for you. Glad to hear your event went well. Here’s to a great rehearsal next week.

  2. Avatar Velma says:

    It is great to know that we all have our off times..I think sometimes we think it is only us. Thanks

    1. Christine Mulgrew Christine Mulgrew says:

      Thanks Velma, I think you’ve just summed up why we started Total Choir Resources. Being a choir leader can be a solitary job and it’s easy to think it’s only us going through things. It’s wonderful to be able to share these experiences.

  3. Avatar Kamali says:

    Comment
    Many thanks for your inspiring article related to the choir leader’mood.

    1. Christine Mulgrew Christine Mulgrew says:

      Thanks Kamali, glad you found it useful.

  4. Avatar Valerie Summers says:

    Thank you for that lovely article about looking after yourself. There are so many sound ideas in it. We are so lucky to have you both, Christine.

    Valerie

    1. Christine Mulgrew Christine Mulgrew says:

      Thanks Valerie, that means a lot to us.

  5. Avatar Libby says:

    Definitely wearing something that makes you feel confident helps! I always grab a coffee (with sugar!) from a coffee shop nearby before I head in…. gives a needed boost!

    1. Christine Mulgrew Christine Mulgrew says:

      Hi Libby, thanks for your message, some great tips. I think wearing something we feel comfortable and confident in always gives us a boost.

  6. A fantastic article as always Christine except you have left out one very important tactic.

    Keep a multipack of chocolate in the glove compartment of your car! when you feel tired grab a small chocolate bar a few minutes before the rehearsal and wow do you get a much-needed boost of energy to get you through the next two hours !!

    No this is not a joke I’m being totally serious and it has saved me many times!!!

    1. Christine Mulgrew Christine Mulgrew says:

      Hi Jamie, thanks for your message. Ooh I’m definitely up for trying that one! I must admit when I’m struggling in rehearsal I do enjoy the tea and biscuit break more! I think food can definitely have an affect on how we feel in rehearsal. I try to avoid large, heavy meals beforehand which can leave you feeling a bit sluggish and sleepy in the evening.

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