ins and outs of sjbci choir

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Couldn’t wait, I was really proud of our SJBCI Choir picture this year. 
And yes, it was photoshopped to get the best colors.

I’m really proud of them.  Everyone who works with a small choir in their local church know the highs and lows of managing all the factors involved in a church choir.  I particularly say “church” choir because there is more that goes into a “church” choir than a normal choir.

For one thing, everything is by grace.  The members are there out of volunteerism, a willingness to use the talent God gave them, not just to use their voice, but to devote their time.  Most of them have a passion for singing, but passion wades when there are long tedious practices, frustrations, conflicting schedules, monotonous stagnation, sound issues, conflict of song choice, etc.  

I always tell the choir that the hardest obstacle for me to tackle is motivation.  I can’t make them come to practice nor can I make them have the joy to be in this ministry.  But I always follow it up by adding that if they continue to always stick it through and follow through with their commitment, the choir ministry can be incredible; it can be beautiful.  It can be a huge blessing to them as well as those they bless when they sing.  

And commiting to stay in the choir is a great resource to all singers.  I know I haven’t been scholastically trained in conducting, nor teaching a choir, but I promise that when you spend years in the choir, you start to learn musical things that you didn’t know before.  You realize your voice gets a little stronger, a little more controlled.  You learn how to listen better to songs, to voice parts.  You realize that you’re more confident with singing, in private and in public.  And you learn to appreciate choral music. 

From observing some of the members who have only joined for a year, I’ve already seen so much vocal progress.  I know I don’t receive that credit, but I know that when they said YES to God in giving themselves in His ministry, He will bless you.  When you say YES to a small responsibility, I’ve seen Him entrust people will bigger jobs for His glory.  It’s amazing, and choir is just another one of those resources.  

A church choir is a little bit more challenging because there are heart issues involved.  I always tell my choir that there are phases we go through in learning the song.  The first phase being the obvious challenge in teaching the parts and having them know it spot on.  The second phase is teaching the dynamics and song structure.  The third phase is getting the song to reach their hearts.  That last phase is the most challenging as a choral teacher because I first need to song to reach my heart.  If I can’t understand the song, if I’m not moved, how do communicate it to move them as well?  Then comes the part of getting them to see what I see in the song, trying to convey what the song really means and teach them how to convey it through singing so that the congregation will get it too.  I guess the word is conviction.  I have to start the pattern of conviction and hope it trickles down to the audience.

I always tell the choir they only have one shot to do this.

Lot of pressure, right?  That’s why I’m proud of the choir. Thank you Lord. 

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