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Conducting a choir


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So I'm writing a piece for a church choir which I may end up conducting in my local church. I have the help of my professor considering conducting itself, I don't have any experience in doing it, I have the basics down and all, but I really want to know is the little things. How do you treat the singers? Should I be friendly, or try to be authoritative? How do you deal with problems? What happens if you get in an argument? What to do if some of the singers complain about passages etc?

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How do you treat the singers? Should I be friendly, or try to be authoritative? How do you deal with problems? What happens if you get in an argument? What to do if some of the singers complain about passages etc?

1) Treat the singers as humans

2) Be friendly, because nobody likes to work under the baton of scary conductors. It's good to be authoritative occasionally, and by "authoritative" i mean strict.

3)Argument? That's actually quite unlikely to happen, if you're a good conductor, and if they're really ethical musicians lol.

4) Complaining about passages is good because it identifies the problem. Solve it with them and don't forget to ask them about their opinions as well. It's making music as a group together!

All the best!

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  • 5 months later...

The trick is being friendly AND Authoritative. Also, there isn't really a one size fits all type situation. Your singers may be pumped and eager beavers waiting to try something new. Your singers may be made they're having to stay an extra 40 minutes on Wednesday and want to go home to dinner. You definitely, as was pointed out, want to treat them like human beings. Also realize though part of your job is mainting the flow of rehearsal. You shouldn't have to bully them though, just a simple "tenors, can we look at X" should work...should. If you're still nervous, ask your church director or conducting professor for advice.

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