Planning a Choir RehearsalIt is a task that comes around once a week and has been that way for over 27 years…planning to lead a worship choir rehearsal.
Over these years I have developed a plan that works effectively most weeks.
Information: • Worship choir sings every week except holiday weekends and the month of July. • Most Sundays the choir presents an ‘impact’ song • Rehearsal Length 1 hour and 10 minutes • Rehearse each song at least 6 weeks from ministry time. • Two choir rehearsals a week: Wednesday and Sunday evenings. • Ministry members choose one of the two rehearsals to attend. • As hard as I try I can only rehearse six songs in the allotted time.
The Rehearsal Warm-up: 5 minutes (Often a familiar chorus or hymn in a medium range. Lately a more formalized set of warm-up exercises.)
Song 1: The two week out song. Very familiar to the group Working on specific sections for refinement Sing through the song 1 time Song 2: Sunday’s Song If there are parts that need attention briefly work them. Sing through entire song…no books…with projected words on monitors
Song 3: The new song (Six week out song) This is the spot to introduce something new. This song is often introduced by playing a recording of the song. Teach two sections of the song that can be easily accomplished. This gives confidence that the song is attainable.
Song 4: Five Week Out Song Here we work hard on sections of this song. I am not a fan of starting at the beginning of each song in rehearsals, but rather a fan of jumping to a part that needs work. Also I like teaching a section and showing the choir how that section can repeat throughout the song. (If there are variations during the repeats those are pointed out.) By doing so we accomplish a lot of work in a short amount of time. Song 5: Four Week Out Song Four weeks out is really not that far so I feel it important to start to put some of the pieces together. Before doing so I have found there needs to be time dedicated to some of the sections that might be harder to grasp. I have made note of these sections from previous weeks and know what needs to be worked on.
Song 6: Three Week Out Song Here we go back to something familiar. First there will be some time spent on reminding the choir of some of the tougher sections and then there is usually a run through of a major portion of the song. If the above plan works correctly the choir has much of this song learned.
The plan outlined above is the blueprint for most of the large group rehearsals I conduct. I have no hard rule that this plan must be followed, but it sure does give me a starting point.