Community Choir Leadership Training

27 Sep—5 Oct 2022 / Republic of Ireland


Date: 27 Sep—5 Oct 2022

Cost: €750 to €1500 according to accommodation

Location: The Song House Co Donegal



Run by: Candy Verney

Contact details:

Further information:

“Tranformational. This course, this environment, the land, Candy’s style of deep listening and ability to create a safe container for vulnerability has helped me recognize my own fears that hold me back from living my full creative potential. The wealth of Candy’s experience coupled with her sensitivity to the group made it easy to experiment with teaching styles amd let me feel comfortable to try thing out and make mistakes.” Fran Haverfordwest Wales April 2022

This course will give you skills to run singing workshops in a wide variety of community settings. But singing in this way, opens the heart, and for many, leads them also on a transformational journey.

It is a hands-on, practical course which includes philosophy, theory and lively discussion where appropriate. There are no entry requirements and you don’t need to be able to read music. However it will be most useful to people who have had experience in some areas of music: singing in choirs, but also teaching or other musical settings. All musical experience is helpful.

“I adored every single bit. It soothed and comforted and pushed and challenged. It took me to the heart of my fears and out the other side. There was nothing I couldn’t use. The protective loving atmosphere you and Robin create is utterly unique and has held us so safe, allowing us to go to… and through… and past dangerous territory. Thank you for giving us so much of yourselves.” Jessie from Ceridigion, Wales April 2022

The course includes:

  • Philosophy and principles
  • Warm Ups
  • How to teach a song in parts
  • How to develop a song
  • Ways to improve the quality of the singing
  • Building the dynamics of the group
  • Improvisation
  • Teaching Practice
  • Join in and observe Candy run a session for her choir

The training days will be spread out over the week. In between those days, students will be 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 those times to practice together, pooling expertise and ideas.

There are many video testimonials from past students on Candy’s personal website:

Candy will be drawing on over 35 years’ experience of teaching in a wide range of settings:

  • Setting up and directing a set of five ‘Singing in the Round’ community choirs
  • 7 years directing her performance choir Sounding It Out
  • The Trowbridge Song Project. A 2 year Arts Council Funded multi-cultural community project
  • Singing on the Wild Side- week long singing holidays on islands around UK and Ireland over 13 years
  • Work in schools, Early Years, Steiner education, nursing homes and work in the corporate world.
  • Pan-Euro choir
  • Cór and Chroí- a local Irish choir

“What you and Robin have created at the Song House is incredibly special, unique, valuable and truly magnificent. I knew this from being here before and why I wanted to return. The lessons and experiences I have had this week will sustain me for a long time and the changes that are taking place within me will continue and deepen as I return to my communities, family and friends. Thank you with deep gratitude”Carol from Austin, Texas April 2022

Further 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