Thursday, October 07, 2010

I Want to Be in the Choir, I Just Don't Want to Sing

A friend of mine who's a music teacher at a school upstate recently held auditions for her school choir. She was delighted to see how many students came to auditions. She welcomed the students, explained how the auditions would work, and assigned each student a number at random to determine the order in which they would audition.

"Oh, we have to sing?" a few kids asked, seemingly genuinely confused.

Well, my friend explained, yes. A choir is a singing group, so, much like a basketball coach might reasonably expect his players to know the basic rules of basketball, a choir director might like to know that her prospective singers can, in fact, sing.

Nonplussed, those few kids left.

All right, my friend thought. Certainly the kids who remain now know that they'll be expected to sing.

Turning back to the singers, she invited the first singer forward for his audition. After assuring him that, yes, he really did need to sing something, she asked him what he planned to sing.

He didn't have something prepared, he explained.

She thought back to the flyers she'd posted and the e-mails she'd sent out to the school's teachers. "Bring a song you know that you can sing a few lines from," she was sure she'd stated.

In that case, she told him, why don't you take a few minutes to think of a song you know that you wouldn't mind singing?

The young man said that he would.

It took her three more tries to find a young person who had arrived expecting, willing, and prepared to sing.

(By the way, I love Glee. My professional goals for this year include acquiring Emma's wardrobe.)

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