“I know i did not come for rehearsals but i want to sing for the mass/service.” Every choirmaster has heard this statement at least once while carrying out their duties.
The big question is how do you ensure choristers come for rehearsals and how do you also curb indisciplined choristers from singing at various functions?
I will be giving a few tips on how one can overcome this issue and build a stronger choir.
* Introducing New Materials: Often times when choristers have stayed long in a choir, they tend to get very familiar with a lot of the old musical pieces of the choir. So let’s say you are a choir that is confined to using a hymnal to sing your mass/service, a chorister might assume to knowing any song selection since they are old members and feel there is no need to attend rehearsals.
*Another factor that encourages choristers to come for rehearsals is ensuring there is a viable learning environment for the choristers to learn. A choirmaster who does not concentrate on teaching songs because he relies on the musically inclined in the choir to be an Umbrella for others is only discouraging those who want to really want to learn the art of proper singing.
* Some choirmasters are also guilty of always criticizing their choristers of not being good singers, forgetting the fact that it is their job to make the choristers sing well. If a choirmaster constantly does this it might lead to low self esteem issues amongst the choristers and thereby leading to their low participation in choir activities.
*Choirmasters should also desist from always comparing choristers to their fellowmembers who might be better singers as this can lead to a fall out in the choir.
This attitude is actually common in many choir groups today. One of the main ways of countering this attitude is make sure the choir sings one or two new songs (Classical,hymns,e.t.c) every week. This has an amazing effect in reviving a choir that is suffering from a monotonous cycle in its rehearsal style.
Now how do we stop those stubborn choristers from ruining our renditions without creating a fuss? It’s not easy but there is no other way than to confront this choristers about the issues they are bringing to the choir. This should be done with caution though.
* The choirmaster can inquire from the chorister why they do not attend rehearsals. If it is something beyond the control of the chorister (e.g Work), the chorister can be encouraged to serve the choir through other means such as financially or through prayers, because truth be told, you just occupy extra space when you cannot sing what your fellow choristers are singing. If there is no concrete reason, sucha a chorister should be told outrightly that they are not allowed to sing at the mass/service. It’s better to have a few people who sing amazingly well, than to have a large number of choristers who do not sing well.