I look for someone who really wants to learn. Obviously, they have to enjoy music and if they are willing to work at learning new things, they are the people I want in my group.
I always want to make it abundantly clear that it is a two way street. We all have to be on the same page. There are people in my choir who have sung in many groups and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience. They suggest music for us and create a centre of stability that allows our less experienced members to learn. Even those the experienced members are willing to learn and try new ideas.
I love the juxtaposition of willing inexperience and giving experience in our singers. The bottom line is that I am growing in my musical understanding all the time as we work. You all teach me more than I could ever learn from books. As a director, I need to be able to see the music from both sides and that makes it a great adventure.
I follow a number of music blogs and I really am out of my league with some of the intense, technical discussions. They have names for ways of singing I have never encountered before and delve into cerebral discussions that really go away from the what I consider the core of choral music - enjoying the singing.
I know we have those who explore and study the intricacies of music as science or as a study but that is not my area for sure. I want to "get at it" and do it so that we all benefit. Don't get me wrong, I want to learn. I just want to be able to apply it to the task at hand.
Those of you who work hard at learning as you sing are treasures. Whether or not you have extensive musical training or background, you bring your energy and joy to the music and it makes our sound just delicious. Thank you, thank you, thank you for making that effort and letting me be a part. Now, let's SING!!