Leading your volunteer schola
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    I wrote an article on my blog today about leading groups of volunteers, you might want to check it out:


  • AOZ
    Posts: 369
    Thanks, Carl! All very good points.

    With a volunteer schola in particular, people are there because of the music - either because they love the chant (and poly if that be the case) or they want to contribute to the liturgy, or a combination of the two. So there is always that balance to strike - making things enjoyable and fun but keeping things moving forward with challenging music - always pushing the bar up just a little bit. As directors we especially to need to keep on our toes and offer them the best of ourselves and our abilities.

    I think in the long run what really keeps people involved is their realizing that they CAN sing this music. We were talking about this at the end of our rehearsal on Thursday night. All of us have come so far - doing things we never thought we could have done nine years ago when we embarked on this crazy adventure.
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    That's such a wonderful part of what we do, AOZ. I've observed the same thing with our group, and make sure that people know that we ARE improving and making significant progress.

    I had someone drop out of our schola last year, pretty much because he wasn't getting what HE needed from the experience. Sometimes it's just not possible to give EVERYone what they need, because it can conflict with others - or even what the Church asks of a schola in general.

    Maybe next week I can write something about others outside the schola who have needs - the DM, the priest, congregants, and so on. I've heard that this can sometimes be a little challenging. ;-)
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 993
    I agree on the need to recognize and celebrate progress. I saw some music that I labored over a couple of years ago and remembered how hard we all worked. Every now and then, it's good to sit down with a pizza and the adult beverage of choir to consider the distance traveled.

    As I get older, I'm getting more philosophical when I lose singers. (Well, more philosophical after my initial fit of dejection, rejection, and annoyance at thinking of having to recruit again.)