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Voice for Life: Guide to Choir Training | A practical resource for choir directors, trainers and teachers | The Royal School of Church Music

Every choir needs a leader to inspire, train and direct it. That person needs all kinds of musical, social, and administrative skills, and these are all explored in depth in The Voice for Life Guide to Choir Training.

Here is a comprehensive manual dedicated to the theory and practice of choir training, drawn from the collective knowledge and wisdom of seasoned practitioners in the field. Conceived for experienced leaders and novices alike, it systematically addresses the many different aspects of choir training from conducting and rehearsal management to legal, financial, worship and pastoral issues. It offers countless practical strategies that will be of enormous assistance to all choir trainers and directors, whether or not they are running a Voice for Life scheme.

Choir training is a challenge and it demands commitment, but it is hugely rewarding. The Voice for Life Guide to Choir Training will equip musicians in this role with all the skills they need to develop their talents – and those of the singers in their care – so that everyone can grow in confidence and skill, give pleasure and enrichment to those who hear them, and help to inspire the worship of the gathered community.

From the Table of Contents:

Part 1: Face to face with the choir; Introduction; Rehearsal management; Planning; Warm-ups; Developing technique; Developing musicianship; Working on repertoire

Part 2: Behind the scenes; Introduction; The purpose of the choir; Setting up a choir; Recruiting and retaining singers; Jobs within the choir; Choir in context; Legal and administrative matters; Financial matters; Health and safety; Safeguarding 

Part 3: The choir in public; Introduction; The choir in worship; The content of church services; Different types of church music; Preparing worship music with the choir; Hymns; Worship songs; Anthems; Settings of the Mass; Singing the psalms; Chant from the Taizé tradition; World music; Improving congregational singing; The choir in performance; Repertoire selection; Copyright and licensing; Arranging and composing for choir 

Part 4: You as a choir trainer; Introduction; Managing your time; Understanding people; Leadership skills; Communication skills 

Part 5: The choir trainer’s toolkit; Introduction; Some thoughts about music literacy; Conducting skills; Positioning the choir; Keeping it all together; Focus the choir!; Energize the choir!; Working with young singers; Changing and developing voices; Voice change in older singers; Falsetto; Vibrato; The individual voice and its registers; Getting a good sound: intonation; Getting a good sound: blending; Troubleshooting; Music reference; Photocopiable resources; Voice for Life publications and resources; Other RSCM publications and resources; Index