Building Confidence Singing in Church

What are five ways I can build my confidence as a congregational singer?

  1. I must sing. It’s what a redeemed person does. I won’t build confidence by only listening to others—I need to sing, even if it doesn’t seem beautiful or correct. 
  2. If I find myself lost trying to sing alto, tenor, or bass, I can sing the melody line along with the song leader, learning to correlate the motions of the melodies with the soprano notes on the page (a skill that can later transfer to other parts). 
  3. While acoustics will make these locations vary, the best seats for singing are often near the front and center, with the core of the congregation behind me and the song leader nearby. I might need to come to church earlier than usual, telling the usher my intentions and possibly sitting with someone not my age (gasp!), but it might help! 
  4. I can ask the song leader to email or text song selections to me, giving me a chance to preview them alone or with my family at home. (Side benefit: this will encourage him not to wait until the last minute to choose songs!) 
  5. I can learn some basics of music—do-re-mi, letter names, key signatures, and more—by asking a good-singer-friend for some help beforehand, and sitting together in the assembly. I can use a music skills app on my phone and/or other online resources. I can come to music camp! 

Wendell Glick

Wendell is a composer and music educator with a particular interest in contemporary hymnody and choral music. He has been an instructor at Western University, Faith Builders Educational Programs, the University of Toronto Scarborough, Calvary Bible School, and Shenandoah Institute for Music and Art, and holds degrees in music composition from Wilfrid Laurier University (BMus, 2008), the University of Toronto (MMus, 2010) and Western University (PhD, 2016). In addition to music composition and itinerant teaching work, Wendell finds employment in music arranging, editing, proofreading, and consulting. He enjoys model trains, tree houses, aviation, Lego bricks, rainy days, puzzles, and life with his beautiful wife Janelle and their four lively children.
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