Community Choir Leadership Training

4–12 Apr 2022 / Republic of Ireland


Date: 4–12 Apr 2022

Cost: €720

Location: The Song House, Falcarragh, Co Donegal



Run by: Candy Verney

Contact details: 00353 858893154

Further information:

If you are interested in leading singing groups and choirs, or seeking to build your confidence in this area, this series of workshops will cover all the basics and much more.

Candy has been running this course and training choir leaders for 13 years now. The training will give you skills for a wide variety of community settings, and several previous participants have gone on to make this their profession. It is a hands-on, practical course, though with philosophy, theory and lively discussion where appropriate.

In past years this course has run over 3 months: 4 intensive training days with 3 week gaps between each session, for students to practice their skills. We have run this course twice now at the Song House, over one intensive week. It was very successful, and participants gained an immense amount from it. The training days are spread out over the week. In between those days, students are required to spend time putting newly acquired skills into practice, by teaching the choir formed by the student group. This enhances the value of the course, and quickly builds students’ confidence.

Students found it invaluable to have this time together: time to practice on each other, pool expertise and ideas. Past students have formed into a supportive and collaborative pier groups, which have proved invaluable as they started their own singing groups in their own locality. There are many testimonials and videos on my website:

Topics covered:

  • Philosophy and principles
  • Warm-ups
  • The voice
  • How to teach a song in parts
  • How to develop a song
  • Ways to improve the quality of the singing
  • Building dynamics of the group
  • Improvisation
  • Teaching practice
  • Join in and observe Candy run a session with her own choir

There are no entry requirements and you don’t need to be able to read music, though it is helpful.

Candy will be drawing on over 35 years’ experience of teaching in a wide range of settings: directing a set of 5 ‘Singing in the Round’ community choirs, initiating and directing the Trowbridge Song project, a multi-racial community building project, Singing on the Wild Side, work in schools, Early Years, nursing homes, the corporate world, and presently the Pan-Euro choir and Cór an Chroí in Co Donegal.

Feedback from past students:

Beyond my expectations! I have found this is what I want to do, to help others find joy in singing. – Nieves from Spain – The Song House 2019, now running her own choir near Madrid

Hugely useful week. I now know WHAT I need to prepare – timing, beginnings, endings, staffing notes etc.  Excellent – well planned and thorough. Good balance between input from Candy and our own experienced learning. Great to have the notes. INTENSIVE – there is  a lot – but that’s what we’ve come for. We’ve worked hard but it has been so worth it. Peer learning as well as Candy’s wealth of experience. Abigail from Ireland – The Song House 2019, now running her own choir in Cork

I found the course intense and very challenging, but so very rewarding. We learned so much material in the teaching days, it will take a while for it to sink in. The practical sessions were very supportive, great considering various levels of skills in our group. We were told to challenge ourselves and most of us did just that – I did my first arrangement and my first improvising!   – Graham from Belfast – The Song House 2016, now running a school community choir

The course met my expectations and more. I’ve learnt so much about song styles, harmony, communication, expression – but also on a personal level I feel like I’ve gone to a place within myself and got in touch with my true self. I’ve also made some brilliant friends. – Clara Atkins from Trowbridge – Wiltshire 2014 Trowbridge Song Project training course participant, now running her own community choirs in Wiltshire and Bath

The course far exceeded any expectation I could have had! Candy created such a safe, warm, creative environment to have a go teaching others to sing and it was so exciting to hear the results. Candy – you are inspirational! And warm, open, accommodating, supportive, nurturing, encouraging, yet also clear about what you think is important. – Josephine Bell from Thornbury  – Wiltshire 2014

Comprehensive, inspiring and joyous are just three of the words that come to mind when I think of Candy’s course. I came on this course to increase my musicality and musical skills – it’s given me that and so much more. Thank you.

I set up a guinea pig choir of friends and neighbours to run sessions whilst on the course. My initial nervousness in doing this has been rewarded by the most extraordinary feedback from those attending, many of whom professed that they couldn’t sing at all. It has been a humbling experience that has given me much food for thought about how to continue to take things forward. – Carole Bond from Bath – Wiltshire 2014

I offered a short session to colleagues at work and was amazed by the eruption of energy, enjoyment and laughter that happened and the transformation in the group dynamic.
I am planning to run singing groups with people in recovery from mental ill health and drug/alcohol addiction.
Excellent informative inspiring handouts and related to teaching sessions. incredible value course – intensive learning experience – loads of tips + practice + theory. Very encouraging positive fun atmosphere.
I would unreservedly recommend this course to anyone thinking of running a community choir. It has been a springboard of skill sharing and inspiration + new songs teach, ways to vary your teaching.
Candy has been extraordinarily generous with her knowledge of singing teaching. –
Rae Levy from London – Wiltshire 2014

I went away from the course confident that I had the grounding and understanding of how to direct my own choir and, indeed, have started a group, which is rapidly growing in number.  Without Candy’s training and encouragement, I could never have achieved this; I urge anyone, who is thinking about doing the same, to let Candy show them the way.  You’ll emerge from her course well-equipped to realise your dream. – Tony Barby from Corsham  – Wiltshire 2014.  Now running his own choirs in Wiltshire

I have gone from no experience to; teaching a group of six children, then a class of 30. Following this a performance in a school assembly with 90 children, then a weekly raise the roof 20 minute slot including 300 children. I didn’t think I would ever have the confidence or the opportunity to do what I am doing.  – Claire Corcorran  from  Trowbridge – Wiltshire 2013

 For further information and an application form, contact Candy at