Whether you’ve just taken on a role as choir director or are a seasoned veteran, here are some tips that will help keep your rehearsals fun, productive, and focused on bringing glory to God.
1. Use warm-ups. Warming up the voice helps members sing more efficiently, with a better tone, and for a longer amount of time. It keeps vocal fatigue from taking over ten minutes into the rehearsal. We want our folks to be able to speak the next day!
2. Make choir fun. You could have a game of sectional musical chairs. Have every section move around to where another section sits. This teaches listening skills as each section adjusts to hearing other sections from a different vantage point. It has an added benefit of keeping people from “claiming” the same chair all the time. There are lots of other little things that can be done to add a little humor. I personally tend to share funny stories (many times from my own life) just to add a little levity and help the choir take a vocal break.
3. But also…make choir work. “Wait! I thought you said choir was supposed to be fun?” There’s definitely a place for both. Proper singing is hard work. As you teach your choir proper choral posture, vowels, breath control, and tone, you’re teaching the physical act of singing. As you work with them to learn notes, rhythms, and melodies, you’re teaching the mental act of singing. As you teach them the biblical meaning behind what they’re singing, you’re teaching the spiritual act of worship as they sing. Is it work? Yes, but it’s worthwhile work.
4. Make choir meaningful. I am at the point in my music ministry where the meaning of the song is more important than the style of the song. Choose songs that have a good Scriptural basis. We live in a time in which songwriters of every age are seeking to put good, solid theology in the songs they write. No matter where your church lands in terms of style, seek to find songs with good theology that magnify the Lord and proclaim the Gospel clearly.
5. Pray. You may already pray as choir gets going. You may even take some time at the end of choir to pray for needs. Have you considered stopping to pray when God uses a song to touch someone’s heart, right in the middle of rehearsal? Allow God to work, and be open to pray. Spend time praying, not just for needs within choir, but for God to work in and through your choir.
About the Author: Marvin Copaus is Sales Manager at Brentwood Benson. He has been with the company almost 20 years and in music ministry 40 years. Marvin and his wife Rita live in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with their two sons, along with several dogs and cats. Marvin currently serves churches in Middle Tennessee by doing international interim music ministry.