Our Research Associate, Dr Michael Bonshor, just published his book, ‘The Confident Choir: A Handbook for Leaders of Group Singing’ (Rowman & Littlefield).
Along with a range of philosophical and pedagogical approaches to confidence building for choir leaders and singers, ‘The Confident Choir’ contains suggestions and tips, activities and exercises, real-life case studies, and transcribed conversations with singers about the factors that affect their confidence, both positively and negatively. The book was designed with choir leaders in mind, and contains practical applications of many psychological frameworks for use in rehearsal and performance. Because it is packed with so many insightful perspectives from amateur singers, it is also likely to be of interest to anyone who has had experience of singing in a choir.
There is rapidly growing evidence of the physical, psychological and social wellbeing benefits of group singing activities. However, for a singer to make the most of these potential benefits, their self-confidence needs to be nurtured during rehearsal and performance. Michael Bonshor’s research has shown that, for some amateur singers, their participation is limited by confidence-related issues, and this can have an obvious impact upon the benefits derived from singing. For example, some singers enjoy rehearsals, but find that their enjoyment of public performance is impaired by performance anxiety or ‘stage fright’. Other singers may harbour secret ambitions to join an auditioned choir, to sing the occasional solo, or to take on the challenge of singing with a smaller vocal ensemble, but feel frustrated by their own lack of confidence. Conversely, some singers have reported feeling apprehensive about joining larger choirs, especially when the existing membership is longstanding, with well-established musical traditions and social relationships. Michael’s book addresses some of these concerns by exploring some of the positive and negative factors affecting confidence levels amongst amateur singers, and extrapolating practical strategies for confidence-building during group singing.
More details can be found here: https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781538102787/The-Confident-Choir-A-Handbook-for-Leaders-of-Group-Singing. The book is now available from many international and UK outlets, including: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Confident-Choir-Michael-Bonshor/dp/153810279X