Having conducted thousands of concerts between them, with choirs of all ages and abilities, National Youth Choirs of Great Britain conductors Ben Parry, Greg Beardsell, Esther Jones and Dominic Ellis-Peckham know that no two choirs are the same and every rehearsal is different!
Sing Up teamed up with NYCGB and asked these conductors to provide tips and guidance for running effective choir rehearsals. Follow their expert advice, and you’ll get great results!
Whether you’re dealing with a single line melody for younger children or a complex score in multiple parts for more advanced singers, it is vital that you know the music well enough to be able to give strong leadership.
- If you have a good inner ear, listen to the whole score in your head. Alternatively, play it through on a keyboard or listen to a recording.
- Have a clear idea of what tempo you want to start the piece at, and practise conducting that opening. The same goes for transitions– changes of tempo and/or time signature. You may find it helpful to practise in front of a mirror.
- As you go through the score, look at the details, noting its time signature, key, tempo markings, dynamics and other expression markings.
- You need to know the vocal lines sufficiently well to be able to demonstrate them to your singers, and to identify and correct any mistakes (it is always preferable to demonstrate vocally if you can do so confidently). Make a note of anything that strikes you as particularly difficult, and plan how to tackle it in rehearsal.
Sing Up makes transformative change happen in schools to enhance children’s development and learning through the power of singing. Developed by teachers and experts, it has been supporting singing schools for over a decade, and today Sing Up is used by teachers around the world.
Through its award-winning digital solution, Sing Up provides you with the complete singing experience. Membership includes access to almost 1000 songs, specially arranged for young voices. The wide range of resources, training and songs aid you in delivering cross-curricular classroom learning and act as a foundation for music across the school.