Sing for Pleasure at Gandhi Ashram School, Kalimpong

I’m very excited about delivering Sing for Pleasure’s first ever training event in India; the beneficial effects of what we teach are likely to have an impact on possibly thousands of children and the knock-on effects of that will speak for themselves. Personally, to be able to contribute something back to the country of my origin means a lot. I’m whollyenthusiastic about the prospect – however, I’m also taking the pragmatic view that I’m going to encounter differences which I may not be able to predict, but which I will need to react to in an agile fashion.


SfP’s courses for choral conductors and vocal leaders are delivered in two ways: technique sessions include practical demonstrations of all the key aspects of conducting, and the workshop sessions which follow give participants an enviable amount of podium time to put into practice what they have learnt. This is achieved within a relaxed and supportive learning environment.


The course includes preparation, conducting gestures, singing the voice-parts, pace of rehearsal, effective teaching, enjoyment for singers and conductors alike, achieving a musical performance, and constructive analysis of both one’s own and others’ achievements. The course aims for the Foundation, Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2 courses can be found on the SfP website. Details of the conducting repertoire to be studied will be sent out before the event, along with general course information. In week one, participants will cover Foundation and Intermediate 1 level technique and repertoire. In week two, participants will spend three days working on Intermediate 2 level technique and repertoire – which tends to be more complicated – before moving on to two days of orchestral conducting training at the end of the course.


Repertoire at Foundation level is simple. Rounds and easy part songs allow every opportunity to work through most conducting challenges without being so complicated that they get in the way of learning the skills that participants need. Repertoire at the Intermediate 1 level is more challenging than at Foundation level without being so demanding that it gets in the way of effective learning, and serves as an excellent basefor future courses. Repertoire at Intermediate 2 level is more technically and musically challenging than at Intermediate 1 in a way that gives participants every opportunity to build on their existing skills. It provides an excellent preparation for the demands of the Orchestral Course and repertoire at this level will include Purcell’s Suite from Abdelazar and Holst’s St Paul Suite.

Sing for Pleasure trained about 300 conductors in 2017, with 99.2% of them rating our training as good to excellent; we have a strong record for providing a rigorous and relevant training programme in a way that is encouraging and supportive. That’s because we firmly believe singing can be for everyone, and we want to encourage that wherever we possibly can.