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Dear Choir – Are You Mouthing Words Without Sound?

I won’t lie to you, leadership isn’t always easy and the lift can feel heavy. In these moments we often rely on the choir. You know, those people who ‘get it’ and we consider our go-to people.


The other day I was thinking about the concept of the choir and I was reminded of my mother, who used to sing (kind of) in an actual choir. Quick story about my mom…

She loved being a member of a singing Christmas Tree each December and I remember her telling me she would often just mouth words because she didn’t take the time to learn the words of every song. So basically, during each performance, there would be those times she was actually singing and those times she didn’t know the words and just mouthed something with no sound.


This made me think about the concept of our personal choir, those who are helping us do the heavy lifting. Do we always take the time to understand their voice types, subtypes, and why each of them chose to be part of the choir and to “sing” together?


Do we think about how our “phoning it in” sometimes affects the audience members, in this case, the student body? Don’t they deserve a choir that is committed and rehearsed?


As the choir leaders, we have some questions to answer:


When do we rehearse?


How often?


How do we hold our colleagues accountable when we see them just mouthing the words without sound?


Every choir needs practice. We need to support each other because the lifting is hard. But the heavy lifting is for a good cause. It is for higher education, closing the achievement gap, inclusion and creating a welcoming and supportive environment for all.


Commit to the cause. Commit to practicing and getting better and better as a leader so you can help choir members sing in tune, sing out strong and sing in beautiful harmony.




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