How to Become a Good Choir Singer
I have been singing in choirs for several years now. Learning to become a good choir singer and learning to sing in a choir takes a long time. There are plenty of sticking points you will have to overcome but in my eyes there are two main factors that are crucial for success. If you master them, everything else falls in place over time. The two factors are responsibility and reference.
Responsibility is really important. It is the driving factor of your development. If you just lay back and rely on others, you will never find out what your weaknesses are. When you start to take responsibility so much more can go wrong and that is good. We learn from our mistakes. Take the courage to be the one that raises his arm. Be the one that goes for it. Put energy into your singing. Into every note even if you are not absolutely sure about it. The best thing is that it will raise the quality of your entire choir and not just your own skills in singing. Remember, the more mistakes you make the better you will be in future.
What is responsibility in the context of choir singing?
1. If something goes wrong or doesn’t work out well, look at yourself and your performance to see what you can do to improve the outcome. Maybe, it is you who intonates poorly. Maybe it is someone else. It doesn’t matter. Try to find a solution but do it in a positive way. Encourage instead of criticise.
2. Practice your part until you can sing it on your own. In that way, you are not dependend on someone else anymore.
3. Be the leader. It takes some extra time and extra courage but along come faster improvement of your skills.
4. Also, take responsibility when you are not singing. Be there. Take part in discussions. Look out for possible concerts. Organize meetings. Be active.
In all that was mentioned don’t overdo it. Do it in a natural way. If you actively participate without pushing to hard everything falls into place. Try it out. It takes practice in calibration but you benefit from it in singing but also in your everyday life.
The second important factor to become a good choir singer is reference. It is the contra-pole to responsibility. When responsibility is the driving force reference is the steering wheel. You are not alone in a choir. If your singing sounds good it doesn’t automatically mean that it also sounds great in context. Reference is connecting your ears with your brain to calibrate your singing. It does not only raises the question, “What is the meaning and function of my part or my note in this consonance?” but also “What is the meaning and function of my note over time?”.
What is reference in the context of choir singing?
1. Singing at a volume that you can hear the other voices and not only your own.
2. Listening to the sound of your own voice in context of the other voices.
3. Calibrating your singing with the insights you gained from sticking to point 1 and 2.
4. As mentioned above, listen to the development of every note over time. Where does it lead to? What is its function? How do I have to sing in order to make it work best?
5. Reference also means that you accept and use feedback from others.
One way to become a good choir singer is to find the right balance between responsibility and reference. It takes time but with every step you make you attain the skills to calibrate more precisely.