Joining A New Choir: A Short Guide

Here is a short guide to help you take your first steps in joining an established choir, as a new singer! Challenges range from the mundane to the creative, but we hope that these few ideas will help to make your transition into your new choir, easier.  

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  • Buddy up: If there is no formal system, some friendly person will probably take on that role. If not, just ask. Most people will be flattered and glad to oblige. 
  • Take time to choose your part: Most community choirs leave the choice up to you, and some even encourage you to swap parts for different songs. Don’t be too quick to decide which part you belong to. You can easily get stuck in a part that is wrong for your voice. 
  • Make friends with singers in other parts: Don’t be shy to go up to people in the break and introduce yourself. Unlike a party, at least you know you have a shared interest! 
  • Don’t hide at the back: If you stand in the thick of things, you can get to know the singers around you, and their confident voices will help you learn your part quicker and act as a support. 
  • Don’t try to learn all the old songs: Learn the songs that the choir is studying at the moment, and if you want to start catching up, pick just one song at a time from the back catalogue that you really, really like and learn it in your own time. 
  • Try not to compare yourself with others: There will be a range of experiences and talents in the choir. Some singers who’ve been coming for years might still struggle with new songs, not have much of a range, and find the warm ups challenging. On the other hand, there might be singers who have only been in the choir a few months yet have the most wonderful voices and seem to pick up new songs with ease. 
  • Take the pressure off: Don’t perform too soon! If you DO decide to do a concert, be realistic and only sing those songs that you’re very, very comfortable with. You can always sit out the ones you don’t know. There’s no shame in that. 
  • Make an effort to socialise: It’s a great way of getting to know other singers, especially those who sing different parts. You can catch up with choir gossip, find out how confident and experienced people really are, get some hints on how to make the choir work best for you! 
  • Don’t put yourself forward too soon: Learn to feel the ‘culture’ of the choir before you start volunteering for things (solos, committee posts, section leader, etc.). Wait until you know what kind of choir it is that you’ve joined. 
  • It all takes time: There will come a day, all too soon, when you’ll feel like you’ve been in the choir forever. Time seems to go really slow in the first few rehearsals when everything is new and you don’t know anyone. But hang in there: it gets better. 

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