Constructing Successful Student Choirs for the Second Quarter of the 21st Century
Part One – Daunting
Part Two – Beyond Mere Possibility
Part Three – Listening
Part Four – Leading
Part Five – Following
Part Six – Courage vs. Shyness
Part Seven – Collaborating
Part Eight – Goodbye to Me First
Part Nine – Choral Music … Much More Than Singing
Part Ten – Revealing Riches and Building Lives
Courage vs. Shyness
Neurosurgeons. Professional athletes. Performing artists. Inventors. Window washers hanging on skyscrapers. Counselors. Oncology specialists. Orchestra conductors. Journalists. Choir directors. Nurses. Press secretaries. Astronauts. Air Force fighter pilots. Dentists. Teachers.
This is a short list of a few professions which require a certain degree of courage and confidence. Think of it: Do any of us ever want to engage any of the professionals above who are unsure of their abilities, shy about taking charge of their workplaces, bashful about providing you their best, most competent and professional services?
Add another set of professionals to the list: construction engineers, project contractors, crew bosses, inspectors, planners of the interim traffic patterns as construction stays on schedule.
The more I am around the massive 1604 – Interstate 10 interchange construction in Northwest San Antonio, the more respect I have for those charged with planning, organizing, and executing the mega-construction project. I can imagine that the complexity before our eyes is every bit as involved, multilayered, and intricate as a rocket launch to Mars.
There is little room for error. Everything – everything – is time sensitive. Every piece of the massive construct has to be put in place just right, at just the right time and with the right equipment and materials. There will be no exceptions to the requirement of competence, precision and excellence. There is no time or space for professional shyness, holding back, or kicking the can down the road until the workers can get around to it.
I sometimes become concerned when I see some student choir directors in action … or perhaps, in inaction. Too often, in our attempts to avoid coming across as over-confident, arrogant, or cocky, we shrink away from what we know needs to happen in order to build our choirs. Or, perhaps a more common pattern is to keep delaying tasks or projects until the time is perfect to proceed. Of course, the perfect time never comes, and the progress in constructing our choirs is often times delayed until crucial windows of opportunity actually close.
The challenge of this article is simple: take charge and move forward with what you already know needs to happen. There is no perfect time to begin. Since time – weeks, months, and years – pass so quickly before our very eyes, we must resist hesitating, waiting, and stalling. We must move forward while the opportunity is at hand.
What is the next step you know needs to happen in your student choir program? I ask you, I encourage you, I implore you to begin now – today – to take the next step towards excellence in your choral programming.
You can do it!