What is Buskerteers Choir?
We are a community choir that is open to anyone and everyone. You don’t have to audition, you don’t have to be able to read music, you don’t have to be an amazing singer and you never have to sing on your own. We learn awesome songs by rote in three-part harmony, have great fun in doing so and put it to good use by busking on the streets for charitable causes.
What are the benefits of joining the choir?
There are a lot of benefits to joining our choir. Firstly, you’ll join a group of kind, friendly people who, just like you, love music, love singing but tend not to think too highly of their own musical ability. After a few rehearsals, you’ll soon see that you are so much more capable than you realise. It takes a great Choir Leader to unlock these abilities within you and here, at Buskerteers Choir, is where you’ll find one of the best.
Secondly, you’ll help make a huge difference to the communities that we live in. We spend a lot of time busking and fundraising for charities that our choir members choose to support. It’s extremely rewarding to do good things for people, having fun in the process, whilst learning new skills and performing live.
You’ll receive professional vocal training from an experienced music professional and vocal coach. Our Choir Leaders are experienced in the music business, great performers with amazing skill and excellent, passionate teachers. They’ll always be patient, kind and supportive. They’ll always do their best to provide amazing experiences for their choir members and to inspire them to perform at their best.
Your confidence will grow, you will make new friends, you’ll get professional vocal training, make amazing memories, gain incredible musical experience and raise loads of money for charity.
Sound good? We look forward to welcoming you into our musical family
To raise £1,000,000 for charity directly from busking
How do I join the choir?
After your free trial session, we will send you an email which will outline the joining process. It’s really easy, but you can contact us any time if you need assistance
The songs we sing at Buskerteers Choir are chosen for their uplifting or meaningful qualities and reflect the British music scene. They include songs by:
Earth, Wind & Fire
Ben E. King
Mumford & Sons
Guns N’ Roses
The Beach Boys
and many more…
It’s important to perform songs that we love and that others enjoy. We create our own arrangements and backing tracks to each song so it has a totally unique feel. There may be some songs that you feel aren’t your favourite, but give them a chance and you’ll learn to love them and perform them amazingly well.
Rise up the Buskerteer Ranks
When we go out busking, we try to raise as much as we can for the charity we are supporting. We total up the money we raise from each gig and attribute it to the choir members who performed on that gig. Over time, you’ll be able to see exactly how much you’ve helped to raise by performing with your friends and receive special online ‘badges’ that recognise certain milestones. The more you perform, the more you raise!
Rehearsal Session Guidelines
Here are some general guidelines on how to get the most out of the rehearsal session and make it enjoyable for everyone:
We try to avoid ‘seat-saving’ where possible
Try not to talk whilst the other sections are learning their parts
If you’re struggling with a part or need your Choir Leader to clarify, just pop your hand up and they’ll help you
Turn your phone to silent mode so it doesn’t ring in the session
Choosing where to sit
The choir is split into three main sections - a lower, middle and an upper voice part, often referred to as Bass, Alto and Soprano. In some more advanced songs, we may split even further into an upper and lower part for each. This is rare and depends on the size of the choir, but when it works it sounds unbelievable. The choice of where to sit is entirely yours. If you’re unsure about your voice type, we’d recommend starting in the lower section and working your way upwards until you find the right section for you. If you’re not sure and you need help, ask your Choir Leader for advice
The Weekly Rehearsals
Remember to download your song lyrics and bring them with you. Every choir rehearsal will start with a fun warm-up and vocal exercises to relax you and warm-up your vocal cords. It will take between 2 to 3 weeks to learn a whole song. You’ll learn 3 to 4 songs per term. Once we’ve completed the learning process, downloadable MP3 resources will be made available to you to practice and revise. You will also find video tutorials, which act as an online one-to-one private lesson on your specific harmony part for the song that you just learned. The video, combined with the downloadable MP3, should help you remember all of the harmony parts and can be found on the exclusive Members’ Area on the Buskerteers Choir website
This is a hugely useful tool in supporting you with your learning from home. With an upcoming performance, your Choir Leader may be encouraging you to practice at home. The website has amazing facilities that will enable you to practice songs, watch tutorial videos and prepare for your upcoming gigs! You can also sign up for gigs via the Events Section and talk to each other via the Forum. If you struggle with the website, you’ll find some video tutorials online that demonstrate the website and its features.
We will train you to the highest professional standards when it comes to performances. It’s important to look good, sound great and look like you’re having fun! It can be a difficult balance to strike, but we know exactly how to do that. When your family and friends come to watch you singing, they’ll have no idea what to expect. It’s important that when they see you performing for the first time, they are absolutely blown away.
There are three golden rules to adhere to when we are performing:
Always look at the Choir Leader
No fidgeting or waving.
If you can adhere to these rules, you’ll never go wrong! You’ll always look really professional and when you look back on those performance photos and videos, you’ll feel immensely proud of yourself and your choir teammates.
That said, performing isn’t for everyone and there is never any pressure on you to take part if you don’t want to, but if you are taking part, let’s give it our best and smash it!
When we go out and perform, it’s important that we all look presentable and represent our choir in the best way we can. Of course, it’s important to feel comfortable in what you’re wearing, especially if you’re performing, so, we have three types of uniform:
Casual uniform for busking:
Black Buskerteers Polo Shirt/Hoody/Jacket
Jeans/Trousers (any colour)
Smart black uniform for in-house shows:
Black Buskerteers Polo Shirt
Smart Black Tailored Trousers
Smart Black Shoes
Formal Dress for Theatre Shows:
Occasionally, we may do a bigger, more glamorous show at a local theatre. It’s a nice opportunity to get dressed up.
I’m not a great singer but can I still join?
Of course you can! If you can talk, you can sing. It’s down to your Choir Leader to get the best out of you, encourage you, teach you and inspire you to sing out and be brave. When you’re singing with a large choir, your voice contributes to an amazing sound. You are protected by other voices and they are protected by yours - it’s all about working together!
Are there any age restrictions on joining the choir?
We are a choir for adults so it is for over 18s only
What makes BUSKERTEERS CHOIR different from other community choirs?
There are lots of amazing community choirs out there so we feel extremely grateful that you gave us a thought and wanted to come and try us. We are different to other community choirs. We have a unique teaching method involving the guitar, repetition and learning by rote. We achieve amazing results and sounds from the choir members, whilst keeping it fun and uplifting. We then spread that joy and put it to good use, busking to raise money for charitable causes. So, we have fun, learn loads and give back to the community
How much does it cost to join the choir?
£25 per month
Can I pay-as-you-go?
Unfortunately not. We have fixed costs each month that we must be able to meet, so monthly subscription is the only way forward for us
What does my membership fee include?
Your £25 per month membership fee gets you access to all choir rehearsal sessions (usually one a week during term time), all gigs, all shows, exclusive web access to the online Members Area, all song resources, all catch-up sessions and all workshops (big sings/solo workshops). Each year will consist of a minimum of 3 × 10 week terms and a minimum of 12 live performance opportunities
Can I get months refunded if I haven’t been to choir?
Our system works in the same way as a gym membership, but without the fixed term/minimum term. You can join and stay a member for as long as you like and then close your membership account with one month’s notice. However, if you haven’t been attending choir rehearsals or performances, we won’t be able to refund you for those months - much like a gym membership wouldn’t be able to refund you for the months that you didn’t go - so it’s important to let us know as soon as possible if you’d like to stop your membership. There are, of course, exceptional circumstances and medical issues that may prevent you from coming to choir, in which case you can contact us to discuss this.
Do I have to perform or can I just attend rehearsals?
You’re under no pressure whatsoever to perform if you don’t want to. We would always encourage it because it can be life changing and we can support you to make the experience amazing and exciting - but it’s entirely up to you.
What style of music does the choir sing?
Generally, contemporary/modern/chart music
Why do I have to wait until we finish learning the song until I get the harmony downloads?
This is because they are a resource intended for revision and practice, not something to learn from. Your fees include professional tuition from a trained expert and it’s important that you learn from this person and not an MP3
What if I can’t make it to my usual Choir rehearsal session?
Your membership includes access to all choir rehearsals, not just your nearest one, so if you regularly attend choir rehearsals in your home town and you know that you won’t be able to attend the following week, you can visit one of the other neighbouring sessions so you don’t miss out. You can talk to your Choir Leader to find out the nearest neighbouring sessions available. However, do let us know if you plan to attend another choir session so we can ensure the venue isn't at maximum capacity.
Where can I find out all the details about other Choir locations?
Here! At the moment we have six choirs available:
Monday: Shenfield Choir (ACL Brentwood @ 8pm)
Tuesday: Writtle Early Choir (Writtle University College @ 615pm)
Tuesday: Writtle Late Choir (Writtle University College @ 8pm)
Wednesday: Rochford Early Choir (Red Brick Barn @ 615pm)
Wednesday: Rochford Late Choir (Red Brick Barn @ 8pm)
Thursday: South Woodham Ferrers (Village Hall @ 8pm)
Weekly classes run for 90 mins every week during term-time. If you'd like to attend a rehearsal outside of your regular classes, please contact us and let us know
Will there be opportunities to try solo singing?
There may be some songs that require a soloist. When those solo opportunities arrive, there will be an opportunity for you to attend a solo workshop. If your voice fits into the solo part particularly well, you may get approached by your Choir Leader and asked to sing it with the choir at your next weekly rehearsal session. After this, your Choir leader may ask if you’d be willing to cover the solo for a specific performance
Will we be using backing tracks when we perform live?
No, backing tracks will only be used for practice and revision. When you’re performing, you’ll always be accompanied live by a full band, a smaller two-piece band or your Choir Leader, who will conduct you and accompany you at the same time
Will we be going on any international trips?
International trips are optional mini breaks. They are not included in your membership fees but they are possible to organise
I can read music. Can I have a copy of the score for the rehearsal sessions?
We are not able to distribute copies of the score for choir members to use in the session. We create special lyric sheets that are designed to be inclusive and complement our unique teaching style
Some Choir groups perform with dance routines - do you do that here?
No, we don’t teach any dance routines or choreography. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to stand absolutely still during a performance - that would look and feel unnatural
I have a question that isn’t listed in this FAQ section. Who should I ask?
You can either email our office (email@example.com) or ask your Choir Leader.