Sometimes, we directors get stuck. Stuff is not going well and either we haven’t a clue what the real problem is, or we do know, and have no idea how to fix it.
The truth is that the more skilled and competent we become, the better our choirs sing. And the really uncomfortable converse is also true. When we’re stuck, they don’t sing well.
There are two main things that have helped me in the past – and will undoubtedly help me again in the future:
#1. Bitter, brutal experience, and
#2. Working with coaches.
Of the two approaches, I’d recommend #2.
Expert coaching is much faster, there’s no need to reinvent any wheels, and it’s inspirational and fun for both director and choir members.
I guess there’s also a third option – reading about all the things that other directors have learned from coaches, and from bitter brutal experience.
My main message for directors is that you don’t have to suffer helplessly through another choir practice where the enormity of the task overwhelms you.
Read this blog (It’s got tons of what I’ve learned from both #1 and #2 above)
Ask another director how they handle the problem (if you know what the problem is)
Hire a coach. They’ll come in and tell your choir members all the things that you’ve been saying – but they’re likely to say it in such a way that it will be understood by at least some of the singers you’ve been unable to reach. This also serves to validate what you’ve been telling them. A good coach will also be able to show you what it is that you didn’t know that you didn’t know. Pretty exciting when a coach can give you some new magic spells that you had no idea even existed.