Frequently Asked Questions
I’d like to join a choir or singing group. How can I find one that suits me?
If you have always nurtured a desire to sing in a group/choir and are keen to make contact with other singing enthusiasts and music-lovers in your area, there are many ways in which you can become active in Ireland. Check out our members directory and you will find singing groups and choirs all over Ireland listed by county.
Contact details for each are listed, and we would suggest that you contact the correspondent in order to find out about rehearsal times, rehearsal venue and whether or not the group has places available for new singers. If you need further information on any of our members we will be pleased to help you in any way we can.
How do I know what type of voice I have?
If you do not already know what type of voice you have, a director will be able to help you. S/he will ask you to sing through some scales to find the top of your register (the range of notes you can reach) and at the bottom of your register, and this will indicate which type of voice you have.
In choral music, voices tend to fall into four main divisions across the range of the human voice; soprano (high female), alto (lower female), tenor (higher male) and bass (lower male). There may be further divisions within those categories depending on the complexity of the musical arrangement, but for the purpose of group singing you will fall into one of the four listed voice parts. Through regular singing your voice will become more flexible and your range may stretch slightly.
How do I know what type of singing group I should join?
You will get the best sense of a singing group or choir's atmosphere by attending a rehearsal or two at the beginning of the season. If you ask the conductor or contact what kind of music they sing and what kinds of activities they engage with in outside of rehearsal time, you will get a sense of the choir's aims and objectives. Many have open days/rehearsals, so see if you can attend one in advance of making your choice.
Can I join a singing group if I cannot read music?
Each group and choir are different, some require you to read music and some do not and learn by ear. Almost all in Ireland are amateur, filled with singers who faithfully attend rehearsals throughout the year out of a love of music, and many are unable to sight-read music. Most will make it clear if sight reading is a requirement on their profile in the members' directory.
Over time, however, you will develop a familiarity with the contours of the score through practice, and it will certainly enhance your confidence and enjoyment. Directors may help by providing line-tapes (usually a home-made recording of your part, so that you can learn by repetition), and by spending some rehearsal time on learning notes.
Will I have to spend lots of money on buying sheet music?
No. Many maintain a music library, comprised of all past repertoire. Often members will be asked to contribute a fee towards the running of the group and the purchase of vocal scores, and this will vary. You should remember, of course, that it is important that each singer has an original copy of his/her music, as photocopying scores infringes the rights of the composer and publisher. Don't forget that a composer earns a living through composing music; if you photocopy, you could affect his/her ability to be able to continue to afford to compose.
Are singing groups/choirs good places to go if you want to sing, but don't want to work too hard at it?
Group singing is like a team sport: it is important to remember that your contribution is as important as that of every other singer in the ensemble. In the vast majority of choirs, individual members are responsible for the care of their own scores, for turning up on time for rehearsal every single week, for undertaking whatever practice is required of them between rehearsals, and for performing to the best of their ability at concerts and other events in the interests of the larger group.
Anybody who sings in a choir will tell you that participating fully can bring huge rewards, both in the sense of wellbeing and joy evoked by singing, and in the pride of participation to the best of your ability.
It all sounds like hard work? Will I have any time to get to know other members?
There is a vital social side to every choir's activities. A group's social programme may range from tea and biscuits during the break in the rehearsal room, to a regular rousing sing-song in the local pub, to elaborately planned trips abroad to choral festivals and participating in exchanges with overseas choirs wishing to tour Ireland. Through participation there will be many opportunities to sing wonderful music, travel and to make new friends with a shared interest... and the positive benefits for your health too!
Our choir would like to make contact with another choir to arrange an exchange and joint concerts. How can we arrange this?
Your first port of call should be to browse the members directory on the Sing Ireland website. Each member gives information on the type of repertoire they sing and may give an indication of the age range of members.
I want to find a choir to sing at an event, can you recommend one? What kind of group do you require?
The range is extensive: from children’s choirs, to adult mixed, male voice, female voice, gospel, barbershop and they sing various genres including classical, popular, jazz, religious, gospel.
Can you afford to pay a fee to the choir?
Many choirs/singing groups find it hard to make ends meet, so a contribution is always welcome – it can help the choir pay for an accompanist or venue costs for a concerts, or to pay for music purchases.
Your first port of call should be to browse the members’ profiles on the Sing Ireland website. Each member gives information on the type of repertoire they sing and may give an indication of the age range of members. All members are grouped geographically, so that should help your search. If you still need help, why not give us a call at +353 (0)61 234823 or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org