How to organize a church choir 1 -What to do first? Starting from scratch.

If you are new to the post and do not have much formal music training yourself but you have enough of an ear to know when something sounds off or wrong

or

If you are starting the choir with fresh volunteers, read on.

I would like to add that these ideas for starting a choir can be used by a new choir in a new church, a house or home church as well as in an older, more established church.

Tools you need: A Hardcover notebook and pen, a recording device such as your phone or a small dictation machine.

Choirs make a great sound together

Source

A successful first meeting of the new choir!


The first thing you need to do after a simple opening prayer is of course, ask everyone to introduce themselves.

That alone will go too quickly though, and you need time to jot down their names with a quick invaluable aide-memoir note such as Tom-bright blue eyes; Barbara -big ‘fro.

So...

  1. Ask each person to say their name clearly, tell the group why they joined the choir and share a description of their favourite type of music.
  2. You need to begin recording on your phone or recording device once the first person begins to speak. This is so you can review their introductions and match them to yourvery privatenotes later. Do try to keep one ear open, though as you do need to quickly identify who the more able musicians or instrumentalists are.
  3. Once introductions are made, ask the vocalists present to sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU by turn, at any key they feel comfortable with.
  4. If the female voices sound high, then assign them to sing with the sopranos.
  5. If the female voices sound lower and heavier than high female voices- assign them to sing with the altos.
  6. Men will sing either the male alto parts (lowish) or the tenor parts- a brighter, male tone.
  7. THIS IS A VERY LOOSE AUDITION BUT IT MAKES EVERYONE FEEL A SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT.
  8. Write assigned vocal parts down against the names. Note down which people do not actually get the third line right ‘Happybirthday dear.... They will be your priorities for ear training later.
  9. If you are confident enough with the piano or keyboard to find the home notes as each person sings, then you will allocate them according to their range.
  10. Once that is done, select a really simple worship song that everyone can sing along to. Start it in a key that is comfortable for most voices to sing in unison (without parts) and ask everyone to singtogetherand think about the meaning of the song as they sing.
  11. It may be better at this stage for the instrumentalists not to play at all or to play along very softly so you can listen to the voices.
  12. Invite those who naturally find harmony parts an opportunity to add colour to the song.
  13. The vocalists can sing the chorus a few times till the shy ones settle down and feel less self-conscious.
  14. Congratulate the team and proudly announce that you all are a great choir.

Read the next hub to take it from here


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Comments 3 comments

Reuben 5 years ago

i realy appreciate this site my soul will bless. Just what i needed i got it here. Thanks for the tips God bless yah all.


justin B 6 months ago

A need to know what is flawless.....


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akune 6 months ago from Surrey, England, United Kingdom Author

Flawless is interpreted differently by different people. From the position of a young choir, I would advise that the goal should be focussed in the early days of the choir and broaden later. For example, is the message of each song appropriate ? Good. Sung simply, well rehearsed ( word perfect) with or without harmonies and with a level group volume - then you have flawless in the context of the goal. Even without instruments! If instruments are involved, don't skimp on rehearsal. Instrument sounds go into people without permits (think of movies). So let your instrumentalist play a song smoothly, even if the chord progression has to be simplified to make the job easier.

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