There’s been some excitement in my house this week, as I’ve just received several copies of my new book, ‘The Confident Choir: A Handbook for Leaders of Group Singing’. I was delighted to see how beautifully the publishers have presented this, and I particularly love the cover design. I think the image of the conductor emerging from the roots of the ‘musical tree’ conveys some of the main messages of the book, which emphasize collaboration, cohesion, communication and community development in the context of confidence building for singers and their choir leaders.

Conductors, choir leaders, facilitators or teachers who run group singing activities are obviously vital components in amateur group singing, but the contribution of the choir members is also key to the success of every ensemble. This book explores the effects of group dynamics, interpersonal communication, body language, giving and receiving verbal feedback, teamwork and team-building, acoustics and choir positioning, and leadership and teaching styles, all  from point of view of the singers, and extrapolates a set of confidence-boosting strategies for leaders of choirs of all shapes and sizes.

Along with a range of psychological, philosophical and pedagogical approaches to confidence building for choir leaders and singers, ‘The Confident Choir’ contains a selection of suggestions and tips, activities and exercises, real-life case studies, and transcribed conversations with singers about the things that affect their confidence, both positively and negatively.

The book was principally designed with choir leaders in mind, and contains practical applications of many psychological frameworks for use in rehearsal and performance. However, because it is packed with insightful and enlightening perspectives from amateur singers, any choir members who read the book are likely to appreciate hearing about other performers’ experiences, and will probably have a few ‘me too’ moments!

‘The Confident Choir’ is now available from a wide range of outlets, including Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Blackwells, WaterstonesThe Telegraph Bookshop, Barnes & Noble, and many more retailers worldwide.

More details about the content can be found here.

Here are a few reviews:

Michael Bonshor has created the new number one companion for every Choral Conductor. His assiduously tailored chapters provide insights, tips and strategies to create confidence, clear direction, sound communication, and a positive contagion from both sides of the podium.  Robert T. Elliott, festival director, Cornwall International Male Choral Festival Ltd

This realistic, well researched and practical guide provides conductors and scholars with transformative advice for building confidence in choirs. Bonshor’s comprehensive approach and coherent writing provide pragmatic solutions for all readers. An influential book which will stimulate motivation and inspire confidence!  Mary Black, post-doctoral research fellow, Music Department, Leeds University

This immensely thoughtful yet extremely practical book is based on a satisfying mixture of established psychological and pedagogical research, and Michael Bonshor’s own qualitative research and experience of directing groups of singers in a wide variety of settings. I will almost certainly revisit this book at the beginning of each new choral society season to remind myself how to get the best out of my choir!  Matthew Redfearn, conductor and music director, Glossop Choral Society

This fascinating new book is a great resource for both beginners and experienced practitioners working with amateur singers who seek to develop their professional skills and knowledge within this field. This scholarly yet richly practical guide is supported by checklists and thought provoking statements from singers and conductors relating to collective singing performances. The book is underpinned by the extensive expert professional experience of the author and will be of significant interest and value to all who lead amateur singing ensembles.  Joy Hill, choral conductor, Royal College of Music Junior Department

And here’s the gorgeous front cover!

Michael's book cover

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