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Singer behavior: Curing Tardiness to rehearsal

Dear Colleagues:

Thank you so much for all of the great responses I received concerning this
issue. Many of you had similar ideas, so I have listed these ideas in lieu of
posting a long compilation.

It turns out that this is a large problem with many Church/Volunteer Choirs
and it is one which does not have an easy solution. Below I have listed some
of the suggestions that I received as an answer to this problem:

1. Overwhelmingly was, START ON TIME!

2. Speak privately with those who are habitually late.

3. When someone enters late, have everyone stare at them in silence or make
some comment to them.
My favorite response: (thanks to Mr. Timothy Brown) Maybe when someone walks
in rehearsal 20 minutes late, you can say "I see Howard wants us to be here
until midnight!"

4. Some suggested that they have a penalty box that they use. For example,
Anyone who is late has to put 25 cents in a box or jar as a penalty and that
money is then given to a charity or something similar.

5. Others suggested that a door be locked or that there be some type of
punishment involved. (but many of you responded that you have to make
rehearsal something the members enjoy, not something that they have to be
made or punished to do--remember, make music fun!)

6. Speak to the choir or devote some space in the choir newletter/church
newsletter to the fact that being late is not fair to the other members of
the choir.

Other suggestions:

Make a sweep 10 minutes before the rehearsal

Do a sweep through the hallways 10 minutes before the rehearsal.
Ask members or leaders of bible study groups to let the choir members leave
Change the day or times of rehearsal to a more secluded time.

Thanks again for all who responded.

The one thing that we must remember as Church choir and Volunteer Choir
directors is that these people are there out of their love for God and we as
the directors and leaders should always be good stewards of their time--as
they should be good stewards of the time that other choir members have given
to the choir.


Russ Donaho
Associate Pastor of Worship and Children
Iron City Baptist Church
41 Mandy Lane
Anniston, Alabama 36207
(256) 238-1293
email: russ(a)
on April 17, 2003 10:00pm
I had a university teacher who would use the following technique:

1 He always started on time.
2 When a person came in late he would apologize for already having started the class and start over again.
3 When the next late arrival entered the room he would do the same thing again, i.e. apologize and start over.
This means that the persons who were there at the beginning had to listen to the introduction about 7-8 times!
The peer pressure is enough to make people be there on time the next lecture!

I haven't tried this myself yet but I think it would have the same effect in a choir.
on August 10, 2003 10:00pm
At My school if your late three times You get Detention and It counts as One absence and you would have to take final exams
It works
on February 24, 2005 10:00pm
Dealing with tardiness of adults has proven to be much more of a challenge for me than dealing with tardiness of young people. However, I have found that taking time every rehearsal to publicly thank all those that were there on time, communicates the value to the rest of the choir without polarizing anyone. At the end of rehearsal I always take a moment to sincerely thank everyone for being in attendence, and especially those that were there on time, with their scores in hand, prepared to sing. I find that the sincerity of the thankfulness is the key.
on April 20, 2005 10:00pm
Il faudrait