Choir etiquette

 

We’re all here to learn songs and sing them to the best of our ability in a fun, creative and friendly atmosphere. This implies a certain amount of gentle discipline and politeness. When you join a choir, you implicitly agree to:

  • listen to the Music Director when he’s addressing the choir and take his instructions on board
  • accept personal responsibility to learn your part and be attentive at all times
  • not hurt, upset or exploit any other choir members — be helpful and supportive instead
  • remember that music-making in a choir is a team effort
  • find an appropriate time to ask questions about the song you’re learning
  • not talk whilst others are learning

 

What can you do whilst standing around waiting for another section to learn their part? Well, it’s definitely an opportunity to learn and cement what you know already. By doing this, you can be one step ahead of the game. You can:

  • go over the words as the others are singing
  • sing your own part in your head to practise it
  • sing your own part in your head to feel how the harmonies work
  • pay attention to what the choir leader is saying to the other section in terms of dynamics, speed, etc.
  • develop a clear sense of the structure of the song
  • learn the other part too
  • do unto others…

It’s very easy when you’re focused on your own part to forget the other singers in the choir. Especially when you’re excited by a new song or have a question for another person in your section, or want to try out some pronunciation. It’s all too easy to forget that your low chatting gets multiplied if everyone in your section is doing it, and it can often be a distraction for the other singers who are learning their part. When you’re learning your own part, it’s easiest when everyone in the room is focused and there is silence apart from your own singing. Remember that when other sections are learning their part. Do unto them what you would have them do unto you — keep quiet!

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