An easier every day choir life as a conductor of Fam Noar
There's probably a lot of conductors who's familiar with the following scenario:
The next rehearsal is 3-4 days away and you're thinking that now is the time to tackle that difficult 1st alto part. So you plan for a session focused on this, find some good pedagogical methods you want to use and look forward to finally getting this challenging bit in place. But when you arrive at rehearsal, there's only one 1st alto present. The rest of the group has forgotten to let you know they can't make it, or they've sent an email, an sms, let you know via messenger or told you they couldn't make this rehearsal in the break three weeks ago and assumed you would remember. And you realize that once again you'll have to postpone working on this alto part.
I bet I'm not the only one familiar with the frustration this situation creates.
After a lot of back and forth, my rhythmic choir Fam Noar started creating events in our Facebook group for each rehearsal. It helped a bit. This way the singers were supposed to have an easy way to let me know if they're coming to rehearsal. But not everyone remembered to do this, and I was still getting texts, messenger messages and emails. Or they had let me know at rehearsal three weeks ago so they didn't think it mattered if they pressed the 'not attending' button or not. Some would also post about their absence in our Facebook group, letting the whole choir know why they weren't coming and creating unnecessary noise for the other members and myself.
What I love about the attendance function in ChoirMate is that there's now one platform that everyone adheres to and it gives a neat overview of how many who's planning to attend in each voice group. I can also see who's not coming and because I'm an admin I can see the cause of the absence if the singer has made a private note of this.
I also utilize this function for events and concerts. I create an event in the app and can easily see how many singers are available for each voice group. This way I can quickly decide if we can say yes to attending an event or not.
Creating events is also much quicker in ChoirMate than doing the same thing on Facebook. Even though I prefer working on a computer, I find it surprisingly stress free navigating ChoirMate on my mobile phone.
When the rehearsal is about to start everyone gets a notification from ChoirMate prompting us to check in, and this is easily done with a couple of clicks. To get a full overview of attendance for a longer period of time, I can request an attendance report. It takes me all of 20 seconds from the time I open the ChoirMate app till I have the report in my email inbox. 20 seconds!
I think it's a marvel that we can replace the mess we used to deal with on a daily basis with something so simple and easy.