Choir functions as a team where each part carrying out its role in order to support the other parts. Good choir etiquette helps the whole choir’s competence to achieve its expectation and purpose. Good choir etiquette is, in a nutshell, what is expected of you if you are a member of the choir or join a church choir. Some of the things that choir etiquette covered are the rule that guided the general choir rehearsal, the rules for the church choir, and also the norms and manners of conduct within the member.
Preparation for Practice Etiquette
It is the duty of the choir executive to disseminate the information about the practice. The message needs to be passed to the choir members through the proper medium of communication like a memo, email, SMS, social media group, etc. This choir etiquette is necessary so that all members can be aware of the practice date, time, and venue. Furthermore, it is good and nice to come on time and help in setting up the chairs and put all things (e.g. book and scores) needed for the practice in place for a smooth practice session. Likewise, executives are also needed to put all items back to their designated position. And also ensure that everything is in other before they leave.
In addition, as a choir member, there is a need for you to know where and what time the choir rehearsals we take place. So you will not be coming late because you could not figure out the venue for the practice and time. Remember to find it out if you are missing out, you can call the executive in charge of the choir director to confirm the date, time, and venue for the practice.
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Having known the time and venue of the practice, the good choir etiquette is to arrive early for the rehearsal. This will allow you to prepare yourself thoroughly. Sometimes there may be notices on the bulletin board (if your choir have any), important announcements, choir’s attendance sheets to sign, new songs to practice and learn, etc. The extra time you have before the practice will give you the grace to go through all of these and you will also feel relaxed.
Also, on your own, make adequate preparations. For example, learning the piece or songs at home on your own or with other members at your disposal. This is very necessary because the actual time for group practice is limited and you can extend it by what you do personally after the practice. In fact, personal practice will help you to improve and more useful for the choir as a whole. Endeavor to practices at home and arrives at the practice having learned and re-learnt the new songs.
Finally, depending on your choir mode of practice, you either do warm-ups together or you do it alone. But the good idea is to do the warm-up together as a group. This will tune the choir and established good voice blending. However, if there are no many warm-up exercises done, note that you will be expected to arrive with your voice already warmed up. Also, do not forget to bring your personal material e.g. pencils, a notebook, etc. Because you may need to take notes on your song sheets or write something on your notebook. It is also a good idea to bring water along to the practice for proper hydration of your vocal cavity.
Choir Practice and Attendance Etiquette
Every member of the choir needs to be committed and attend the practice. And always be at the practice or choir events on time. Moreover, things are not always going the way we plan it and there may be an issue along the line of our actions. So, make sure you notify the person in charge if in any case, you cannot attend the practice or choir performance. Equally important, adhere to all guidelines and rules of the choir. For example, the dress codes, punctuality, moral conduct, and so on.
Singing Tips Related Etiquette
Singing is a skill set that can be learned and that is the main reason you are part of the choir and practicing with them. So you can learn and put what you have learned in use. For this reason, don’t be intimidated for any reason because fingers are not equal. In truth, some of your members can sound better at singing but you too like any other person can sound great as well. In fact, most of us are terrible singers at first but we all get better with time and regular practice.
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However, if you sound better or not, you need to prepare well for singing so that you can use your vocal instrument well. For this purpose, ensure you drink lots of water and avoid alcohol, caffeine, and other substances that can dehydrate you. Also, try and do your personal warm-up and don’t rely on the warm-up exercises of the choir because they may not be adequate. Above all, always maintain good posture while singing. You can read further on How to have a healthy voice.
During any performance or presentation always pays attention to the conductor and adhere to his/her request. Also, do not out-sing your neighbor and always be a good listener. Ensure you take care of yourself and your vocal cords.
Good Choir Manners and Conducts Etiquette
This is the way in which things are done in your choir and here the way it may be done. Obviously, every choir have their usual custom or let me say tradition and cultural way of handling thing. However, there are some general manners that matter as discussed below.
The first manner you can put in as a member of a choir is a habit of proper attendance and punctuality. Ensure you attend all the practices, be there early or on time at least, and always be ready. During the actual practice, do not be a distraction to other members by trying to be funny or chatting with them unnecessarily. Ensure you restrained yourself from indulging in little chat conversations until the practice session is over or during breaks.
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Also, be a good team player. We should all know that singing in the church choir or any choir (either choral group or community choir) is a group activity that requires good teamwork. Teaming up together to achieve a tangible goal should always be encouraged and practiced. Work together with your part members, choir members, and leadership of the choir.
Good Choir Leadership Etiquette
The leadership of the choir is there because of your well being. And to ensure everything pertaining to the choir is great and in good order. Adheres to leader’s instruction and follow all the rule lay down by your local choir and any other group it may belong to. For the progress of yourself and the choir, always welcomes feedback and heed to the correction from the choirmaster or music director.
In addition, be an obedient servant, a good member, and stay away from insubordination. Truly, you have the right to disagree with the decision as regards the choir. But your opinion should be voiced out in a proper manner. Don’t fight anybody because of what you want to be in place. All be diplomatic at all times in approaching the issue.
The Choir Hygiene Etiquette
In conclusion, hygiene is a great virtue in our personal life and also in the choir. Ensure you are considerate to keep the practice room and church environment clean at all times. Don’t mess up the church or practice environment with dirt (wrapper from sweet of biscuit, etc.). Dress decently and properly to practice and all the choir’s events. Ensure you dress according to the rule or what is required. Good choir etiquette demands that you clean and neat all the time.
“A choir is made up of many voices, including yours and mine. If one by one all go silent then all that will be left are the soloists. Don’t let a loud few determine the nature of the sound. It makes for poor harmony and diminishes the song.”
― Vera Nazarian
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