Tips for church choir members

Written by carolyn scheidies
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Tips for church choir members
Make a commitment not to skip choir practice. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Church choirs add to the atmosphere of worship during a church service. But being part of a church choir is more than a desire to sing in front of the congregation. Church choir members need to know why they sing, do so with the right attitude and vocalise to the best of their ability. This helps the choir as a whole do as Psalm 98:5 suggests: "Sing unto the Lord."

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Know Why You Sing

Before joining a church choir, carefully consider the reason you wish to join. The church choir is not primarily about socialising with friends. It is not about grandstanding, showing off or for getting a start in the music business. Some church choir members may not even always have the best voices in the congregation. The reason to become a member of the church choir is that you wish to use your musical ability to help the congregation worship the Lord in concert with other members of the choir.

Check Your Attitude at the Door

Especially if you have some musical training, you may join the church choir with the idea of giving the director the benefit of your knowledge and training. When you realise other choir members are not as polished as you, you may find yourself wanting to correct them, get irritated with them or seek to take over. Conversely, you may feel your talent is not very great and you are afraid to let your light or your voice shine as the choir sings. An important tip for church choir members is to remember you are not performing and that this is not about you. You are working as a team to worship the Lord and to bring the congregation into a place of worship. Cultivate a willingness to learn and use your talents for God's glory.

Keep Your Commitments

Because most church choirs are volunteer efforts, you may think regularly showing up for practice or even the worship service is not necessary. But the quality of a choir depends upon members taking seriously their commitment to both practice regularly and show up, on time, for the service. Even the loss of one voice can throw off a musical piece. Make a commitment to be on time for practice and to show up early for the worship service. If an emergency means you cannot sing as planned, be sure to let the director know as soon as possible. This is even more critical if you have a special part.

Be Prepared

Learn the music. The better you know the music, the more you can concentrate on worship. As a church choir member, your responsibility is to do everything in your power to make sure you do your part. This means knowing your music. It means getting adequate sleep the night before the choir sings and being careful about what you eat or drink beforehand. It is also important to keep hydrated. If you love to sing, but are not that experienced, take lessons.

Before Singing

Do not just file in with the other choir members and start singing. Take care of yourself and your voice. Take time to warm up by doing slow stretching exercises. Warm up your voice by yawning, humming or vocalising scales. Do not slouch as you sing. Give your diaphragm room to expand. Breathe in and out deeply and articulate your words.

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