Does practicing between weekly choir rehearsals really matter? Does it make a difference?
Chatting to my mum yesterday on the phone she says “Oh well it was just a quick hello as I have to go to choir in a minute..” But she didn’t sound very excited. I asked her what was wrong and she said, “oh well we never get anywhere because every week they just go over other peoples lines as they haven’t bothered to learn it. I think I’m going to leave.”
Choir Rehearsal or Practice?
It reminded me of a meme which said “Choir Practise; learn everyone else’s line”. Sometimes it’s so true. It’s frustrating to waste time listening to other people sing when you have gone to choir to sing together. Ideally, if you have done a little preparation between practises then more of the rehearsal is about working out how your line fits with he other parts, rather than how your line goes!
If this is frustrating for us, then imagine how demoralising it is for the choir director. They have diligently found appropriate repertoire, purchased copies for the choir and possibly recorded rehearsal tracks for each part. As a choir member then it is impolite not to have at least looked at it.
I guess this is the bane of all music teachers too. An instrument does not learn itself in its case between lessons. Dedicated students are always refreshing. It is not just about natural talent, but also much about putting in the effort. The more effort made the better the end result. Everyone can improve. The very best and most talented musicians know this. I’m not saying that if I practised for many hours every day (and I know that musicians will regularly put in 8 or more every day) I would become some virtuoso, but I would improve. It is a very personal journey and the only one who is truly rewarded is ourself!
Perhaps instead of writing this I should be practising for our rehearsal this evening…
About the Author: Shelly Richman is an assistant sound engineer at Recordings 4 Choirs and also sings in a couple of local community choirs.