Does the world really need another choir leader?

Have you ever asked yourself that question? Have you ever thought to yourself that surely there are people better suited to being a choir leader than you: better musicians; more qualified, more experienced, more likeable? What business have you to lead this choir, with all your faults and inadequacies?

If you’ve ever struggled to find the confidence you need to lead a choir effectively, you’re most definitely not alone. A lot of the emails we get from new and inexperienced choir leaders are about these issues. We all question whether we’re sufficiently talented, qualified or experienced to be good at this job. So, in case you have these feelings from time to time, here are a few home truths I’ve learned along the way.

Comparing yourself to others is futile and destructive

There’ll always be someone ‘better’ than you at anything you care to think of. Comparing yourself to others is a mug’s game; it’s the quickest route to misery I know.

The journey has no end

Your progress as a choir leader will never be finished. You can learn and grow all your life. You know and understand things today that you didn’t yesterday. You’d better enjoy the journey, because there is no destination.

There’ll never be another you

You have a unique combination of talent and experience. There has never been, and there never will be, another human being exactly like you. Conversely, there is zero chance of you stopping being you and being someone else instead. So you may as well get on with the business of being your unique self to the best of your ability.

You can’t please everyone, and you shouldn’t try

The fact is, whoever you are, there will be someone, probably lots of someones, who like your style and get a huge amount of value from what you do. There will also be lots of people who don’t ‘get you’ and go elsewhere. And that’s fine – it’s exactly how it should be.

So next time you’re feeling less than confident, remind yourself of this. You do you. Let everyone else get on with being them.

Comments on Does the world really need another choir leader?

  1. Avatar Kim says:

    Great advice, thank you! I am new to leading a choir and although I love it I do worry about how well I am doing it. Thanks.

  2. Avatar Joanna Weinberg says:

    Just brilliant advice – I was trained as an actor and have slowly through the years fallen into choir leading . I have always worried about not having formal choir training so I’m going to print your words and put them on my wall. Thankyou .

  3. Avatar Corryn Bass says:

    Ha ha … oh my goodness…Sooo True !! I often feel this way!! Thank you for the pep- talk
    Thank you !!!

  4. Avatar Irene kelso says:

    Thank you so much for those wise words. Maybe I’ll give my wee singing group another go!

  5. Avatar Shelagh Rogers says:

    Struggling to keep a small choir going – and all these negative thoughts have been mine. Very many thanks.

    1. Avatar Victoria Hopkins says:

      You’re welcome Shelagh. I hope things pick up for you very soon.

  6. Avatar John Ivory says:

    I struggle with these thoughts all the time. Thank you for the great advice in this post. Very uplifting – I feel energised and encouraged to continue the endless journey!

  7. Avatar Victoria Hopkins says:

    Thank you all for your kind words. They’re always welcome and appreciated.

  8. Avatar Kate says:

    Very good advice!!! Thanks heaps!!

  9. Avatar Val Gage says:

    This cheered me up no end and I am going to print it and keep it in the front of my choir folder!
    Thank you ??

  10. Avatar Valerie says:

    Thank you for that wonderful advice. It just filled me with confidence. My choir will benefit in ways I hadn’t considered.

  11. Avatar Natasha says:

    Fabulous timely advice. I really enjoy your philosophical posts. The minimalism one also gave me food for thought.

    1. Avatar Victoria Hopkins says:

      Thanks Natasha. I really enjoyed writing it.

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