Working with groups, ensembles or choirs

Weekly Teaching Tip – March 13, 2018
by Sissy Handler

As I have been working with choirs, ensembles and bands besides giving workshops and private lessons, I want to share what helped me most.

There are the two most important things in my opinion: LOVE AND BOUNDARIES

No matter how hard the song is, how talented the singers are or how different levels you have to teach or lead at the same time…
Stay in your LOVE for music, singing and teaching. Things will be so much easier and feel effortless… And they will follow your lead and feel the love for singing instead of wasting energy on other things.

But as singing is self expression and hopefully joy and fun too, some people have the tendency to mess up the group and lack of discipline sometimes.
Find a way that works for you to make clear that you are the boss, although you want to keep up the good vibes.
If you are talking and they don’t listen or don’t stop talking, raise your hand or do a special gesture that makes them stop and listen for example.
Some people need to find out how far they can go and where you set the boundaries. Like children. And if you are working with a group frequently, take care what you do from the beginning on. Who tries what and who needs more attention in what way etc.

In every group I have been working with, there were at least 1-3 persons who needed/wanted extra care…
Make sure that your focus doesn’t stay too long with one person again and again, because you are here with and for the group. 🙂

Sometimes my breaks ended up in giving free 15min lessons without wanting it – and then as I continued working I felt that I should have used my break for a glass of water or a toilet or silence…

Working with groups can be amazing! Enjoy and observe what you are doing from time to time!

Alle the best,

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