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How to organize a church choir 2 -Planning for the first month

Updated on May 10, 2014

Planning for the first month

We ended the last hub with your congratulations on forming a new choir.

You all sang a lovely inspiring song together and some people harmonised beautifully, I hope. Now everyone's looking at you and waiting for what's next.

Ask them to sit down and take a moment to plan with you.

So plan for the first month. If you meet to rehearse once a week for now, how long do you want each rehearsal to last? You would be surprised what can be done in one hour. Initially go for one hour and a half to allow for short, effective prayer 5 minutes, vocal warm ups, learning a song, and beginning to work on some harmonies .

After a few attempts, you can plan for the quarter. If it is near Christmas, can you guess what songs will be on your list to learn?

In subsequent hubs, you will pick up ideas for a full rehearsal agenda for a more established choir; admin needed to run a choir and more.

Over time, your choir calendar will show seriously important choir business like birthdays, but for now just plan to do a few songs in the first month.
Over time, your choir calendar will show seriously important choir business like birthdays, but for now just plan to do a few songs in the first month. | Source

The first set of songs

A rough guide for how many songs you can learn in a month @ the rate of one and a half hours per rehearsal? I would say two songs of medium difficulty (so subjective though, as this article can't assess your enthusiastic members) along with two more songs that are so well known that they cannot possibly go wrong.Behold you have added four songs in the first month to your choir repertoire.

What does this look like for a choir starting out just after Thanksgiving? Well, that would probably be two lesser-known Christmas carols to be sung as choir special renditionsand in addition, two really popular songs to lead the congregation in the carol service. Do not feel you failed if the last song is WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS.

So who picks the songs?

Listen, you heard your team just now. Did you think you had died and gone to heaven when they sang? Then go for Handel's Messiah and don't leave a demi-semi quaver out.

If they sounded just ok, but lacked 'oomph', then aim for your traditional pieces that you can easily find online and pattern yourselves after.

Sounded painful? I suggest that you perhaps scale down the four songs to a more manageable 'Lets start with one song and see how far we get,' approach.

Who picks the songs?Clearly, you better have something to do with the final decisions following some of these guidelines; otherwise your congregation will not be very happy.

Week one rehearsal
key-F# Tony to solo
week two rehearsal
Complete last song; start HOSSANA
idea-men to call, ladies to respond
week three rehearsal
Go over song 1 & 2;Learn the 3 line song
What can we do to make it sound a bit different at the end?
week four
Check all songs are perfect. Learn a chorus and minister it as a specail song
Sample of a simple four week plan


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