forward to spending time with family and friends this summer. If you take your choir on tour, have fun making music. Those of you that travel with your singers know and understand the camaraderie between singers that happens during tour. It’s an important aspect of keeping your singers with you from year to year. I have some thoughts and fun activities for choir tours that I will share in upcoming blogs.
Today I’m breaking down our Retreat Family into Brother/Sister pairings within the family unit. The purpose of Brother/Sister pairing is to allow a deeper connection within the family unit. During the year after weekly rehearsals have concluded, I try to organize short activities for Brother/Sister pairings. During the first few rehearsals after the retreat, I have the pair introduce each other to the group using the attached sheet as a guide. After that time, you can come up with a “ton” of fun short activities. Need some help in getting started with activities? I’ll be talking about some fun short activities in the next couple of writings…stay tuned!
Just like the family units, I purposely pair up my singers. I look at personality and gender. I try not to pair two boys together. I find that sometimes boys don’t take things seriously and end up competing with each other. Besides, we know teenagers, right? Anytime they can pair up with someone of the opposite sex, they think it’s good. Be careful, you might be making a match that end up dating, fall in love and getting married… ha! Over the years, I’ve had 3 married couples that started from my Brother/Sister session. Didn’t you know that matchmaker was in my job description? J
When my singers arrive on retreat, each are given a 9 X 13 manila envelope with their name on it. The envelope contains music, retreat schedule and 8 X 11 motivational quote and small candy items. The quote has been cut in half. Singers in the pairing have half of the quote and this is how they find each other. I allow 45 minutes for this part of the retreat. Each singer picks up a sheet with list of questions to ask each other. I’ve attached the sheet I used at a retreat. This is a yearly retreat activity so I try to change a majority of the questions each year. I also try to change up how they find each other so it’s not the same each year. One year I put stickers on their nametags to identify the families and then the Brother/Sister pairings.
Here are the guidelines I give the singers for the Brother/Sister Session:
- Find your brother or sister…happy hunting!
- Find a corner of the room away from any other pairs. You will have 45 minutes.
- Take turns asking each other the questions on the sheet. You will write down your sibling’s responses. Feel free to discuss any of these questions further.
- Make eye contact when asking questions.
- When you have completed the sheet and there is time left, get scotch tape from Mrs. B and attached the 2 halves of your motivational quote. Read and discuss this quote. How can you apply that quote to your choir journey this year? You will have to write your thoughts at a later date.
One of our short Brother/Sister activities at the end of a weekly rehearsal is to spend 10 minutes decorating these quotes. Then after another rehearsal, pairs begin to share how they see their quote applying to choir. Depending on the size of your choir, it might take a few weeks to complete this activity. I end up posting these colorful and decorated quotes around the room.
My singers love the Brother/Sister activity and can’t wait each year to find out who their new sibling will be.