Ensemble Clever Kitsch, Belgium © Jonas Persson

4 Ways to Motivate Your Choir Singers and Find New Members

How to bring together your choir more and make it even grow

About Choir Singing

The challenges of the past couple of years have impacted choirs in various ways. Member engagement and recruitment have dwindled, prolonged periods of remote rehearsals made it challenging to keep singers engaged, and new responsibilities took their toll.

Choirs now require practical strategies and actionable guidance to reignite singer motivation and attract new members. This is vital for the continued growth of these communities and the well-being of choral music.

Let's explore four effective ways to rekindle the choir's enthusiasm and foster growth.

1. Perform. Perform. Perform.

Performances are the most powerful thing you can do to keep the momentum up and draw in new members.

Performances do many things at the same time.

They give your choir singers a reason to keep rehearsing. With the excitement of an upcoming event, choristers also get the opportunity to reconnect with why they love choral music in the first place.

But every performance also needs promotion. And while you’re promoting an event, you are also promoting your group. This alerts choir singers in your area to your organization.

2. Keep Your Music Fresh

Introducing new music that’s both beautiful and fun to sing can be very powerful for your choir. It expands everyone’s repertoire, and usually gives way for new balances to be struck among the choristers.

New music also feeds into people’s desire to do Tip #1 — perform!

Once we learn a new song that we love, we are driven to show people what we’ve accomplished. It’s only natural!

That also feeds into the performances, making them fresh and interesting, which again brings in new interest from singers in your area.

3. Make the Choir’s Goals Clear

Do your singers know what they are trying to accomplish over the next six months? What about the next year? Keeping goals clear and frequently stated is a great way to motivate everyone and keep them going in the same direction. With many people striving for the same thing, a sense of community can blossom.

Goals are also important for driving new membership. After all, having a vague sense that you want to “add new choir singers” isn’t going to move the needle. That open-ended task will never be prioritized over the more practical issues you face every single day.

If your organization knows what your choir will achieve and how many people will be added to achieve it, everyone can get on board.

A great goal does two things right: it has terms that let you know whether you’ve succeeded, and it gives you some time constraint. For example, “We will add three singers by December 1.” This lets you know exactly what you need to do (add three singers) and when it needs to be done (by December 1).

That might seem obvious, but all kinds of organizations suffer because their goals are vague or, even worse, unspoken. If you are the choir leader or musical director of your choir, it’s your job to set goals and let people know what they are.

4. Bring All Hands On Deck

Something that so many choirs fail to see is that each and every singer has way more talent, skills, and resources than their voice.

And what many organizations also fail to see is that members will scale their investment in a group based on how involved they are. If you are only expecting singers to come to rehearse a couple of hours once a week, they will match their enthusiasm to that level.

But if you are trying to grow, you have a word of mouth army — your choir! And if they are encouraged to help the choir grow, they are going to feel a much larger sense of ownership over its success. That’s a win-win for everybody.

It means more people in the choir, and it means you choir singers feel more deeply engaged in the group. That’s rewarding for everybody.

Dare to Grow

It’s important to stay positive and proactive. If you use the four practical tips above, you’ll be well on your way to having a large, enthusiastic choir!

If you are looking for #1: an opportunity to perform, #2: a reason to update your repertoire, and #3: a clear goal ahead for your choir, we’ve got an idea for you!

The 13th World Choir Games will be the greatest choir event of 2024, where choirs from around the world will travel and meet in Auckland in New Zealand, an exciting destination to sing together in Friendship Concerts, learn from International Choral Experts in Evaluation Performances, and enjoy culture, friendship and get new impetus with new singer friends from all over the world!

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