Nine Tips for Choir Directors

1. All should feel welcome to participate in ward choir, regardless of their ability. Help choir members feel accepted, and don’t embarrass anyone for making mistakes. Positive reinforcement is more effective than criticism.

2. Use the Latter-day Saint hymnbook as the basic resource for your choir. Ideas to vary hymns for performances can be found on page 382 of Hymns. You might also consider using other Church resources such as The Choirbook (available at distribution centers, item no. 31239). Check with the ward music chairman for all music to be performed.

3. Choose appropriate music that is within the ability of the choir. If the music is always difficult, some choir members will become discouraged. On the other hand, if your choir sings only the easiest of pieces, they may soon lose interest. Maintain a balance, and choose music with a variety of styles and tempos.

4. Enlist the help of others in the choir, including a choir president and a librarian.

5. Rehearse with specific performance dates in mind. Sing in sacrament meeting at least once or twice a month.

6. Introduce less familiar hymns to the ward by performing them in sacrament meetings.

7. Spend one or two minutes at the beginning of choir practice explaining simple music theory for the benefit of those who don’t read music. Teach note values, musical terms, and so on.

8. In scheduling choir practices, make sure they are consistent and that they do not conflict with other meetings. Practices should not be longer than one hour. Start and end practice on time, but avoid making choir members who come late feel guilty.

9. Enjoy singing together! Remember that the Lord delights in “the song of the heart” and that He will bless you for your efforts (see D&C 25:12).

Excerpt from “Lift Up Your Voice and Sing,” Ensign, Aug. 2001, p. 43

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