Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Getting young men to sing in choir - one director's suggestions...

From a discussion on the ChoralTalk listserv about the difficulties of getting sufficient men to sing. This guy is a high school choir conductor.

I have many football players in my top choir. Matter of fact, they won their state division and the quarterback, running back, and defensive back all were voted All-American and they are in my concert choir. And yes they can sing. One of them is in my chamber choir. The quarterback's dad & granddad were also legendary football players in our area and are also in legendary singing groups.

I do not know where I'd be without my athletes, both guys and girls. They are such great kids. They permeate my whole program. It's also a curse, as calendaring can be a nightmare to avoid conflicts, and sometimes the conflicts are unavoidable.

The jocks are what make choir cool at our school. The fact that we are *good* also helps.

Back to the basics of answering the original question...

I have set a "bounty" of a full-size Snickers bar or equivalent to ANYONE who gives me just a name of a guy who they have talked to and told that I would be calling them in if they were interested in just talking. If I do call the boy in and they really didn't talk to him, they owe me a Snickers. If the boy does join choir, then the referer and the boy gets to come to a free pizza lunch. This has usually doubled the number of boys I have in my Men's Glee.

I've toyed with the idea of giving all the girls T-shirts that read "I only date guys in choir." :)

This "bounty" or referral system is just an active way of what someone else has said, in that you have to talk and ask guys to join. They are not going to come to you.

It's just like sales. You have to knock on a lot of doors and actually ask for the sale or it is not going to happen. And if you know anything about sales, you know that a warm referral is a lot better than a cold call, so that's why I have students go out and get names for me.




At 6:38 PM, Blogger Takoon said...

That is very clever. A bounty system is essentially what gets everything done anyway.

I'm definitely going to suggest something like that to my choir director. ^ ^ Bully idea.


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