Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tonal Tuesday - What Baggage is Your Choir Carrying?

I think sometimes we get so focused on making the music as directors and singers, we forget that the people around us have "baggage" good and bad that we need to unpack before we can be a cohesive unit.

Emoticon with globe and heartsNow, please don't get me wrong.  I don't mean that we need to have kumbaya moments and open up our innermost secrets.  What is absolutely needed is an understanding that we all have had experiences, encounters and insights even training that give us our individuality & abilities.  That is the richness we bring to any activity and very definitely to artistic expression.

The GOOD - a) great previous experiences - Those of us who had great teachers who encouraged our endevours and accepted our mistakes as part of the learning, are confident and ready to take on new challenges.

b) diverse training & background - One of our members has sung at Royal Albert Hall in London, U.K.  Now that is a marvellous background that she brings to our group.  After that experience, nothing is intimidating.  Her sense of security certainly helps those around her feel similarly.  Some members have sung in many groups, as soloists or have great training.  That gives us a huge range of musical knowledge to build on.

c) innate talent - That ability shared with others, helps everyone be their best.

The BAD -a) not so great experiences - That lack of security that is created by constant negative comments or feelings is hard to overcome.  I believe that it stops many people from even trying something new.

b) diverse training & background - As great as the diversity can be, it can cause rifts in a group.  If someone reads music well, it may cause impatience when another needs more review.  If someone has tons of training, they may think they know it all and it may be difficult to get them to follow what this choir wants.

c) innate talent - Again, very talented people can be great contributors or be very set in their ways and be very reticent to go along.

The UGLY - I believe the ugly happens when we fail to see and treat each other as individuals.  We really need to work at understanding as much as possible.   Our words and our actions have consequences.  Respect is something you must first give to get.  When we respect each other for the abilities and talents we have, the UGLY is kept at bay.
Aretha Franklin said it best.  RESPECT - Find out what it means to me!

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