Setting the Tone - How to make your choir accessible to new joiners

Joining a choir - whether for the first time, or trying out a new choir community - can be a daunting prospect. At Starling Arts we strive to make this a positive and warm process for everyone involved. Here’s how!


Atmosphere is for us the most important part of a choir. Does the mood in the room make you want to run or find out more? Friendly faces, open questions and a family feel are what we aim for. Choir leaders should have and even learn a list of prospective joiners, and be ready to greet with a smile! We are always so excited to meet our new members, and find out more about them!

Turning up to a new choir? Introduce yourself to some current members and get a feel for the vibe of the choir. They’ll have been in your position once, and will be able to answer any questions about what to expect.  


We believe it's much harder to relax and properly enjoy singing if you don't know the people around you. Why would a new singer feel happy belting out a new harmony with a stranger stood next to them? Getting to know fellow choir members isn't a super quick process, but it can certainly be propelled much faster by creating bonds. We like to start with chats in pairs, which is way less scary than immediately introducing yourself in front of the whole group. Smaller group activities, again, help. If you’re intimidated by joining a new group, these smaller, more personal engagements can really help to help you feel at ease, leading to more confident singing!

Warm ups

Singing feels so much better when we’re relaxed, re-energised and engaged. It’s really hard to feel ready to sing when you’ve been sat at a desk all day, or stood on a crowded tube. So we explore a range of funny, sometimes silly, warm up games and exercises to get everyone in the right frame of mind. Shaking out the body, pulling faces and vocal warm ups (including tongue twisters) are great ways of loosening up the group. New to singing? Even if these things feel a bit foreign or even embarrassing at first throw yourself in and you’ll soon be able to sing out with confidence.  


Learning new songs can be pretty daunting. Imagine everyone else already knowing the parts of a song you’ve never even heard before - a sure fire way to make someone feel excluded!

So we choose easier sections of familiar songs to start with. Teaching something entirely new, that no one in the choir knows, is also a great leveller. If you’re singing in a choir for the first time, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to pick up your part straight away. It’ll come, so enjoy the process rather than aiming for perfection straight away.

Build Me Up Buttercup

Remember that being able to sing in a choir is a process of building up skills and won’t necessarily come quickly or easily. Seeing singing in a choir as a process to be refined, rather than something we naturally have, helps to calm the pressures of feeling like we need to get it right first time. Don’t compare yourself to others in the choir - likelihood is that everyone is working on their own skills, so enjoy going at your own pace, and don’t forget to ask others for help or advice - everyone will be happy to help!

Want to find out about Starling Arts choirs? Get in touch with us at!