Here’s an idea that can be used as an on-going community builder for your choir. I call it “Raindrops”. You’ll need a bulletin board or tag board(s) large enough to place a small envelope for each person in your choir onto the board. I use small thank
you card size envelopes and cut off the flap. Write the name of each singer onto an envelope and include yourself, your accompanist and perhaps your youth pastor or church pastor and staple or glue each envelope to the board. The purpose of this activity is to spread positive comments throughout the choir on a regular basis. When I introduce Raindrops to the singers I say something like: For the next 4 rehearsals, we are going to lift each other up by creating a monsoon (or Rain Shower) of positive comments. With the small notepaper strips I will provide, you will write positive comments and place them in the envelope of the people you wish to lift up. For every raindrop (paper) in your envelope, you must write the same number of raindrops and place them in other singer’s envelopes. For example, when I check my envelope I find 3 raindrops, I must then write 3 raindrops and put them 3 different singers envelopes. Your goal is to give a raindrop to everyone in your choir. Once you place a raindrop in an envelope, you cannot give that person another raindrop until you’ve given everyone a raindrop. Let’s create a rainstorm of positivity.”
I always give the singers examples of “raindrops” because sometime young singers don’t know exactly what to say or how to write those positive comments. For example: “Patti – You really helped the alto section today. Sing on…!” I provide a list (which I’ve attached to this post) of 100 positive adjectives. I encourage the singers to be intentional, personalize each comment, and be concise. They don’t have to write a novel. Singers can choose to sign their name or not sign their names. I encourage them to write anonymously. This can be a lesson in maturity and can be hard for these “it’s all about me” teenagers but encourage it anyway… you may be pleasantly surprised!
Here are some other strategies:
- Give the singers a deadline. I usually give them 4 rehearsals and encourage them to come early, stay 10 minutes after rehearsal or use a time that they are in church for other reasons. Most teens work better under the pressure of a short deadline…
- Stay attentive to which singers are not getting notes. You can ask certain students to write a raindrop for singers that don’t receive many raindrops. You should be writing raindrops as well.
- Encourage the singers to stay away from comments about physical attributes and focus on their peer’s personality and involvement in choir.
After your first Raindrops activity, you’ll have singers who will beg you to do the activity again. So you tell them… ♪“Have patience, have patience, don’t be in such a hurry. When you get impatient, you’ll only start to worry…”♪ When you have completed the Raindrop activity, let it alone for a couple of months and then create your monsoon again. I like to create our storm two, sometimes three times. I have found that after singers participate in this activity, they start to be more creative in what they write to each other. Not only are you encouraging singers to be kind to one another, another residual effect is that you are also teaching your singers the basics of writing a good thank you note, which is a communication in dire need of rejuvenation!!
“Rain” can also be used as an ongoing theme during your year, there are many ways to incorporate the goodness of rain in our lives…be creative! What does the bible say about rain?
I’ve attached 2 pdf files for your use. Along with the sheet of 100 positive adjectives is a sheet of raindrops clipart you can print and cut apart for singers to use as their notes.