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So, What’s the Deal with Summer Choir Rehearsal Attendance?

Help to run effective rehearsals when your singers are away on holiday.
Avon Harmony A Cappella Choir in Bristol - Low Attendance at Rehearsals
Posted By Mary Williams – Choir Leader, Singer & Blog Writer

Let’s chat about summer choir rehearsal attendance. Each year, they follow the same predictable pattern.

It’s a season of fun in the sun, getaways, and, well, sneaky summer colds that come out of nowhere.

In the choir world, it can feel like everyone’s hopped onto the holiday express – leaving the rest of us singers behind at the rehearsal hall.

Yet, hang on a moment. There’s no mystery to unravel here. 

I mean, I’ve been there too. Taken occasional days off when a pesky illness got the better of me and even escaped for a much-needed family trip to Cornwall last month. 

But despite it all, the choir must go on, right?

Now, the real kicker for me is the last-minute “sorry, can’t make it” messages. When I’m about to get the ball rolling and I have set up at the venue – I have to sadly hit pause and rewrite the evening’s game plan.

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The Bumps on the Low Attendance Road

So, what’s the big deal about a few missing faces in your choir? Don’t think anyone will miss you? We will.

Here are some things that might trip us up as singers. I’m sure you will resonate with these. I do.

๐ŸŽถ People Prefer Safety in Numbers

We’re a team, and there’s great comfort in our usual group size. When we’re down to just a few of us, it can feel like the wind’s been knocked out of our sails before we even start singing.

๐ŸŽถ The Choir Doesn’t Sound The Same.

When our choir or chorus is missing a few voices, our usual choir’s vibrant sound changes due to a different mix of vocal timbres in the singers on the night. And that can weigh on us, even making some choir singers mistakenly feel like they’re the ones off-key or believing they have horrible voices. That’s not true.

๐ŸŽถ The Sound of Silence – Where Parts are Missing.

Our choir is like a jigsaw puzzle – when a few pieces are missing, the picture just isn’t complete. And the obvious gaps in our harmony can make it tricky for the rest of us to tune in. Yes, we need everyone in this team sport.

๐ŸŽถ Reduced Support Network.

Without our experienced singers, our newer members might feel like they’re left holding the fort when they don’t have the confidence yet to be on their own. It’s like juggling a dozen balls simultaneously, trying to keep the choir spirit alive. And it’s especially tricky for me as the music director, as I end up trying to do everything to help them so they are not alone.

๐ŸŽถ Carrying the Tune.

It’s all hands on deck with a smaller team. Everyone’s role is amplified, and that feels pretty overwhelming.

๐ŸŽถ Repeat After Me.

We usually have to revisit certain parts of our rehearsals for those who couldn’t make it in subsequent weeks. Not the most exciting thing, right?

Look on the Bright Side

Okay, enough with the hurdles of low choir attendance. Let’s discuss how we can flip the narrative when summer reduces our choir size.

I like to see it as an “opportunity” (even if I’d like a lot more notice!).

๐ŸŽถ Growing Together As A Choir

A smaller group means I can focus on each of you as singers, tailoring the session to your specific needs and addressing any concerns they might have.

๐ŸŽถ A Happy, Positive Atmosphere.

I try to keep things light and informal. It’s not about how we usually sound; it’s about rolling with the punches and enjoying the music.

๐ŸŽถ Aim to Make Singers Feel They Have Achieved Something

The biggest aim of the game for me as a music director for these low choir rehearsal attendance sessions? Making sure everyone leaves with a smile, a sense of accomplishment, and maybe even a hearty laugh at our shared mistakes.

Getting the Best Out of Smaller Rehearsals

๐ŸŽถ One-on-One Time with Singers.

I can give each singer personalised attention with fewer choir singers attending – which is amazing for me. It’s about tuning into each person’s unique strengths and learning styles and helping them individually.

๐ŸŽถ Spilling the Beans.

In a smaller group, it’s easier to hear everyone’s concerns about the music, choir (and cake provision…). Plus, sharing your thoughts is much less daunting when it’s just a few people.

๐ŸŽถ Spotting the Errors = Improve the Singing

When we’re fewer in numbers, it’s much easier for me to spot and iron out performance kinks, whether about accuracy, vowel matching, or vocal placement. I can hear more.

So, summer may shuffle the deck for our choir rehearsals, but we’re still singing from the same song sheet.

Whether we’re a packed choir or a smaller bunch of singers, our shared love for music hits the right note. Here’s to making every rehearsal a hit, no matter the season!

So, Here’s the Thing About Summer Rehearsals…

So, summer rehearsals, right? They can be tricky.

One minute you’ve got a full house; the next, everyone’s caught the same holiday bug. We’re all human, after all. Sunshine, school breaks, and occasional summer sniffles will do that.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s not the end of the world, as you can see. In fact, I know now, after many years, that it’s totally normal. The main thing is it can throw a wrench in our choir plans, but hey, isn’t that part of life?

So, what do we do when we’re just a handful of singers at rehearsal?

Well, there’s no use crying over spilt milk – we adapt. We keep the spirit of the choir alive, and we turn lemons into lemonade!

Here’s What I’ve Learned

Some nights, we might be missing some key voices due to low choir rehearsal attendance, and the choir sounds… well, not like it usually does. 

Or maybe some newer or less confident singers feel a bit adrift without their usual support. 

Then there’s the extra work everyone has to shoulder because there are fewer of us to carry the tune. Yep, it’s tough.

But guess what? There’s a silver lining.

These quieter sessions can be a great time to switch things up and make it more about the individuals. It becomes less about sounding “right” and more about learning, growing, and having a good laugh at our slip-ups.

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

When there’s less of us, we can really hear each other. It gives me a chance to work more directly with each of the singers, hear your concerns, and hone in on the finer details.

Think of it as choir therapy!

And who knows? We might even stumble upon some cool, new solutions to problems we’ve been having in our bigger rehearsals.

To Wrap Things Up…

Summer choir rehearsal attendance can be a mixed bag, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun or productive. We need to remember it’s not about the number of people in the room but about our passion for music.

So whether it’s a full choir or a small group, as long as we’re in it together, we’re hitting the right notes. 

So let’s keep on singing, learning, and laughing through it all – after all, isn’t that what music is all about? Here’s to making every rehearsal count, no matter what season it is!

Get my Free Guide – The Perfect Song Learning Checklist for Singers PDF

Take care,

Mary

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