The Choir Parents' Handbook

the peculiar quality of being both fascinating and, at times, boring. They are usually as regular as the sunrise. They sometimes fail in their intended purpose and, surprisingly enough, often accomplish greater things than the planners dreamed of.

There are many kinds of rehearsals. There are rehearsals for the basic purpose of development of technique. There are rehearsals for the purpose of developing emotional qualities. There are rehearsals to build confidence. There are rehearsals to establish new concepts of tonal quality. Regardless of the possibilities of the scope included in rehearsals, we must never lose sight of the true fact that rehearsals are as plotted as revolutions and just as predictable. One purpose may carry over through many rehearsals until the ultimate result is attained.

Parents encountering rehearsals for the first time are often struck by the severity of criticism leveled by the directors and yet, at the same time, they are a bit confounded by the continued devotion of the child to his work as well as to the directors. In reality, this is not such a strange thing when one realizes that a rehearsal is a constant challenge to the choirboy and to the directors. It becomes, in part, a game of sound in which each male ego is seeking its own level of domination.

The success of a rehearsal is determined by how the two personalities - the corporate boy choir and the director - find common understanding. The problem which any director faces with a group in the field of art is that of blending the numerous individuals into one vibrant personality and to deal with the total personality of the group in such a way as to inspire and, thereby, lift its members collectively and individually in understanding.

Once a rehearsal is begun and its purpose gains momentum, the choir members become inspired to such a degree that they rise above their level of original endeavor. It should be mentioned at this point that the greatest handicap to gaining momentum is that of tardiness on the part of choir boys. Until every single member is in his place, no rehearsal can be considered an accomplishment. Because of such a philosophy, approximately 99% attendance is recorded with the concert group.

The director can only arouse interest and enthusiasm in new music as the singers begin to hear its beauty. The situation presents a sort of paradox - singers will not sing music with enthusiasm which they do not enjoy and they cannot enjoy music which they do not know. The difficulty which the director faces is the problem of expert teaching. He helps his students to grasp the

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