Magic Choral Trick #339 Extraordinary Measures – What Are You Willing to Do?
We know that light aerobic exercise, like walking, for an hour every day will dramatically increase our well being. Does everyone do this?
We know that a diet seriously heavy on a wide variety of vegetables is like medicine for the body. Is that what ends up on our plates?
We know that mediation is good for our mental, physical and spiritual health – but how many of us actually get around to the two twenty minute sessions recommended by the Transcendental Meditation people?
The point here is that what’s holding our choruses back from being fabulous is not stuff that’s unknown to any of us.
I remember taking a course one time where it was pointed out that if your life is not what you want it to be in one area that’s especially difficult for you (one of the spokes of the wheel that is your life) make a change for the better in some other area of your life (one of the other spokes) and the whole wheel shifts.
For years my women’s Barbershop chorus struggled with small numbers. We’d gain a couple of members, only to have an equivalent number then drift away.
Then one day we did two things. We altered what we were doing with two of the spokes of our ‘chorus life’ wheel.
We decided as a chorus that we were willing to work harder on singing well.
We gave a green light to one of our members who was really enthusiastic about promoting the chorus through almost non stop PR. (It felt immodest – shameless really – and she was relentless!! Every aspect of chorus life was photographed, written up and sent out as a press release!) Now we have a permanent PR team.
And now, just a few years later, the chorus has more than doubled in size, and is singing and performing at a much higher level. And because more bodies, and more excellence is more fun, new singers keep showing up!!
Were these extraordinary measures? Not really. What was extraordinary was the chorus’ dogged commitment to following up on these two things that we’d agreed to do.
I felt this commitment every time I’d stop them to work on some vocal technique point.
I felt this commitment every time we had to freeze what we were doing so that we could be photographed for the next announcement or press release.
The chorus culture had been shifted – and we were gradually falling in love with excellence.
And in my almost 40 years of directing singing groups, that is extraordinary.
Posted on June 23, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged better choirs, better choruses, changing one thing, choir excellence, chorus excellence, shifting the chorus culture. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.