Any growing choir will need to constantly refine its habits. Habits—good and bad—are formed through repetition, and one needs to stay alert to the times he slips from good habits.
The one habit we need to constantly be reminded of—especially with a big meeting coming up… looking up. Men and ladies both need to be more vigilant about looking over their music, not at their music.
I think by this point—practicing the same songs weekly for 5 months straight—we should be so familiar with the sheet music that our songs are almost memorized. Here are a few tips and ideas:
- Write LOOK UP on every page. If looking up is hard to remember, write it on your music.
- Hold your music higher. Instead of holding the book near your waist or belly, raise it to your chest, perhaps as high as your neck.
- Practice in practice. Think about it when you practice, and practice looking up in practice.
- Practice during congregational singing. Use the hymnal as a chance to practice looking up. As the song-leader, I have to intentionally look up. It’s especially hard when the song is new!
- Try to sing from memory. You could do it more often than you believe. Try a phrase at a time.