What makes a good choral director?

12/27/2020 12:00 AM

    Click here & check out this video. Consider the premise of the director’s teaching method. She doesn’t subscribe to the pervasive-but-debilitating notion that some people are born with good voices and everybody else just has to suffer a life of mediocrity or worse. She not only believes great voices can be made out of poor-to-average ones; she has a pocket full of various techniques for creating them. She’s awesome!

    The woods are full of choral directors who walk into the practice room and say “pull out your music and start singing”. How unfortunate! That’s a great way to develop lousy voices and terrible-sounding choirs. Singing is a very different function than speaking. So people need help at the beginning of each rehearsal transitioning from their speaking voice to their singing voice. The world would be a different place if it were populated by choral directors like this middle school teacher, who actually believes you can (and should!) teach people how to sing.

    That’s the sort of vocal guide you need if you want to study with a good vocal instructor or sing with a community chorus that will help you develop your voice.

    And check out this video of the director of the Great Northern Union Chorus getting his singers ready for a rehearsal.

    He’s using a funny children’s song to teach advanced vocal technique. If you listen to other videos of this group, you can hear astounding vocal quality throughout it. That’s not an accident. And the director didn’t squelch or brutalize any voices to achieve that tonal quality. Instead, he built it from the ground up, by laying a foundation of solid, healthy vocal production.

    If your high school or church choir director doesn’t do these things to instill quality skills in your fellow singers, he/she is in the majority. Many choral directors come to the podium with strong instrumental skills, but minimal vocal training. They can’t pass on what they never developed and don’t have. Likewise, vocal teachers who got to where they are because they were serendipitously born using good technique don’t make the best teachers. The best vocal teachers started with bad habits themselves and learned how to overcome them. That’s the sort of teacher or choral director you need to find if you want to improve how you use your own instrument.

The Giles County Community Chorus is an independent, non-profit community organization dedicated to bringing our community together with exciting, progressive choral music.

Copyright © 2020 by the Giles County Community Chorus. All rights reserved.

The Giles County Community Chorus is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Copyright © 2017 by the Giles County Community Chorus. All rights reserved.