Answers to some of your questions -
Why do you charge a fee?
My Pop Choir is a professional organization and as such, there are many costs involved. All our Choir Masters are professional musicians & performers (not what comes to mind when you think of a choir master!). They spend one term training with MPC before they go solo, many hours preparing for each song and sessions, so they get paid commensurately. Our venues charge as well. Our musical arranger is also a professional who spends countless hours going through songs before the actual arrangements are created and they include the tracks we use and the voice recordings we provide on the Members Page. There are many other costs involved in the administration of My Pop Choir including choir managers and the administrator's full time commitment plus copying, insurance, the website, advertising, public relations, etc. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for and to date, our members believe it's worth it. You will too.
How often are My Pop Choir sessions?
My Pop Choir™ offers 90-minute, weekly sessions throughout a ‘Seasonal Term’ meaning Fall, Winter and Spring. Each seasonal Term is comprised of 10 consecutive weeks. Sessions are scheduled on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays depending on the location, typically from 7:15 to 8:45 pm.
Some of your locations are in churches. Is this a religious group?
We choose our facilities based on a number of key criteria. As a result, some of our location spaces are in churches. However, My Pop Choir™ is not a church choir nor is it affiliated with the locations or with any faith, creed or culture.
Members of My Pop Choir™ are adults 18+ and come from any and every background. While the majority of members are female, we're delighted to have a number of male members as well. The primary age range is 40 to 60, with members bridging both ends of the age spectrum. Many have little or no singing experience while others have been involved with music at some point in some way. Regardless of experience, members of My Pop Choir™ have two things in common – a love of singing and a desire to be a part of something magical.
There are anywhere from 30 to 60 members participating in each My Pop Choir™ session. There are no auditions and no solos. You don’t need to know how to read music and you don’t need any singing or choir experience. Our sessions are all about comfort, joy and fun. You will never sing alone and we promise you’ll never feel uncomfortable. You’ll feel wonderful.
What if I can't make a session?
Like any type of course, we can't offer refunds for missed sessions but there are many ways to make up for it. When you’re a paid member of My Pop Choir™ for a Term, you belong to all the My Pop Choir locations so can attend any of them any time you like; to replace missed sessions or just because you want to go to more than one location. Most important is that you’ll be given a password for that Term so that you can view and download our MPC music sheets, for the songs you’re working on. You can also access MP3s with either a female or male choir master singing your part for each song which you can save or download to a CD to play at your leisure.
Many choir members miss a session or two; but they have no trouble keeping up because of the support we offer.
Do the choirs perform?
My Pop Choir™ members will perform in Show Choirs comprised of volunteer members who would like to share the magic at festivals, fundraisers, and PR events. While many members will want to participate, it's up to them. Depending on the date of a performance, members of Show Choirs are taken from the previous or current term of My Pop Choir members. They will attend separate rehearsals and, with few exceptions, do not pay for their participation in a Show Choir. On occasion, we are asked to do a 'professional' performance for which we'll hold small group singing auditions, no solos, ever.
What should I expect at a session?
Using a variety of fun and easy My Pop Choir™ techniques, the Choir Master teaches the notes and nuances of a song to the choir, which he or she has divided into Voice Groups based on results in an all-choir exercise (no solos!!!!). Throughout the term, he or she will focus on teaching the harmonies and fine tuning the songs. The results are pure magic – the joyful experience of My Pop Choir™.
New songs will be added throughout the term and by the end of the Term, all My Pop Choirs will have a repertoire of great songs sung by members many of whom never thought they’d ever be able to create such a beautiful sound.
Who chooses the songs and do members get a say?
Songs are chosen by the admin team including the music arranger, choir director, and choir masters. Each term includes a 5-song mix of easy to more difficult, 2 or 3-part harmonies. Each song has a different tempo from very upbeat, to mid tempo to slower ballad. As it would be impossible to get consensus from all the members, we appreciate suggestions and will sometimes ask members to vote on a song for the following term. It's important for members to know that the experience is about the singing not the song.
Can I try My Pop Choir before I sign on?
Absolutely! The first session of each My Pop Choir™ Term is a no-obligation ‘Pop-In’ – an opportunity for first-timers to see if My Pop Choir is for them. If you love it, and we’re sure you will, you pay for the Term, as a member. As space is limited, you must register in advance on the site even for a POP-IN.
Do I have to audition for My Pop Choir™?
Goodness no. My Pop Choir™ welcomes everyone who loves to sing. This is about a safe, comfortable experience. Skill levels and experience ranges from member to member but you’d never know it because when we all sing together – we have one voice.
I’m really nervous…will I have to sing alone?
No one has to sing alone at any time during the Sessions. Even finding your vocal range is done with the choir as a group – at no time, do you sing alone. We know that it may take some courage to come out and join in this wonderful experience but you’ll soon find your fears were unfounded – one of the reasons My Pop Choir™ was created, was to create a safe environment in which we could leave stress & worry behind.
What do I do if I love to sing but have been told I’m tone deaf?
Don’t worry! You’ll be surrounded by other singers who will support you because they’ll be singing too. That’s the exciting thing about singing as a choir: everyone supports everyone else, and the sound of so many voices singing the same part as you will help you to find the way. Having said that, if you find people around you run for cover when you sing.... well....
Do I need to know how to read music?
Absolutely not. We use music sheets but they're simple and many members use them to follow when their voice group goes up or down; and for the lyrics, of course. We learn by listening to the choir master play and sing the notes, and by repetition.
Do I need singing experience?
We often hear “I love to sing, but I’m not a singer”. All our Members would all say the same thing. Some members have had choir experience but most have not. The only obvious prerequisite is that you enjoy singing.
Can I pay as I go?
Attending choir sessions is not like coming to class. If you miss a class in some other course you're taking usually the only person that feels your absence, is you. With a choir, we all count on each other. Even if choir members can’t attend a session or two, they’re still part of the choir that requires continuity. We just can’t sustain a choir learning songs together with eager folks coming and going.