I have an incomplete understanding of what it feels like to be a ‘member’ of my Tour Choir. Even though I sang in a boy’s choir myself many years ago . . . I am now responsible for one. There is a big difference in being a director and being a member!
Having ambitious and well-defined goals is important, but my job is to focus on the small wins that enable my boys to make a little progress every week . . . always remembering they are boys first and singers second!
One of the most significant and most difficult parts of my job is to strike the delicate balance between being too assertive and not assertive enough.
I strive to be confident to convince the boys that I am responsible for them . . . but humble enough to realize that I am going to be wrong – often!
I physically look like a giant to many of my newer, younger boys as I tower over them, so I try to remember that I can be an intimidating figure to a small, ten year-old boy.
One of the best tests of my leadership should not only be how well the choir sounds necessarily . . . but what happens after boys make a mistake in rehearsal.
Yet, in spite of me and yes, perhaps because of me the boys always sound awesome in concert. I am always in awe about that!
What I have discovered over the past thirty-three years is that each boy is a wonderful and precious human being, honored and excited to be in our choir and always eager to please . . . fully deserving to be treated with dignity at all times, even and especially during moments of ‘misbehaving”. When I show respect for them, they show respect for me.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our world operated that way?!
I remind them to not just sing the notes . . . but to sing the meaning of the notes.
Oh, and the fact that we never really grow up . . . we only learn how to act in public!