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How to Organize a church choir 4 - Setting goals
Beyond the first month- setting goals for everyone
This article or hub will get you to look beyond the first month of the new choir’s schedule. It outlines some forward projection planning, specifically how to set goals for everyone- the whole choir and individual members of the choir. Suggestions on how to set goals and sample goals are included in the content.
Choir must be fulfilling
The church choir needs to be fulfilling for everyone who joins it. That might seem obvious, however if everyone except the choir leader knows this truth, then long term there might develop a listless, de-motivated team. To see the usefulness of setting sensible goals for choir members, let us remind ourselves of the make- up, setting and raison d’être of a church choir.
1. Most church choirs require commitment,
2. Most church choirs are not set up for profit (and they serve the church which is also non-profit).
3. Church choirs are not filled with people out to indulge a hobby
4. Church choirs are made up of keen, committed people who give themselves to providing inspiring music to aid worshippers in their worship of God.
Why are these four points relevant? Well if people are not into a demanding activity for the money, they are likely into it because they love it. So with respect to singing in choirs, it is then fair that the choir leader give each choir member the opportunity to grow and have satisfaction in their labour of love. (Hebrews 6:10 ).
This is where simple goal setting comes in. While your choir is progressively learning the repertoire of songs for the first month, begin to look ahead to where you would like to see them by say, the end of the quarter.
Setting simple choir goals
Keep it simple. Here are some sample goals for the whole choir or for vocalists and instrumentalists. These should be included if they are required-
· To use vocal warm-ups daily to improve vocal skill
· To sing along with a harmony part without going off key.
· To smile when singing
· To stand and sit with good choir comportment
· To sing at the same volume as the choir throughouta song
· To write simple choir or solo songs for any part of the church service
· To always play your instrument smoothly to accompany each piece of music
You may notice that the listed goals demand a range of ability. This is good, for you should aim to stretch everyone from whatever level they are at, basic, intermediate or confident. Your choir will have some unique areas for development because no choir is exactly the same as another. Write the needs down. These instantly become goals.
Now group the choir and individual members under each goal. Study the groups. Limit the goals to two per person. Two goals are manageable for everyone to measure over a six to nine week period.
Make it Fun
To make goal-setting and goal-reaching fun, ask members to make video or audio clips of their singing or playing where possible, date and mark the samples and then take samples midway and at the end of the target period. Most people look forward to a possible change. Film yourself singing part of a joyful song with a funereal expression. Then film yourself again singing with appropriate, inspiring expression.Show both samples (preferably on a big screen) to the choir.
Supply the tools
Your choir will be really happy when you also give them the tools to achieve their goals. Today we are spoiled for choice in terms of how much free content there is online for personal development. The free vocal warm-ups below for example are all on YouTube. Before you sign up for expensive support, use up what is free and what suits your choir. This includes making use of skills already in the choir.
Vocal warm-ups by Eric Arceneaux
The choir members must not feel patronised by you or feel like you can hardly wait to start pointing out their faults. Ask them to jot down any choir area they would like to improve upon. They could give their thoughts to you before the next rehearsal.The general rule of two stars and a wish (complimenting two things first about a person before mentioning an area for development) may be helpful in communicating goals.
If all is successfully communicated, your choir will gain confidence in your leadership. Additional benefits are that they will feel part of larger team goals and begin to feel appreciated individually
I'd love to know if you found any of this useful. Feel free to comment.
Thanks to : HikingArtist.com for Defining targets differently
Thanks to Eric Arceneaux from The AAproach vocal training course for the free vocal warm-up exercise video