Music Team Responsibilities


The Music Team should have more Responsibilities than most Music Team consider (especially in smaller barbershop chapters)  The  most critical person in the Music Team is the Director  But remember that the Director was put in charge by the full Chapter somehow of which the Music Team should have had a significant role.

And when the Director is being put in charge, there should have been some understanding as to what is expected of the Director and what responsibilities the Music Team takes on.  Of course the Director should have a major say as to what their desires are.  Many Directors may not be prepared to take all Musical Responsibilities but often the COMPLETE Musical Leadership is left up to the Director.  In fact that may even be the Director’s preference.  But when we look at the list of Musical Responsibilities we will probably find that that is not the best situation.

So let’s look at a list of the Musical Responsibilities.  Notice that I’ve indicated my personal opinions as to their possible assignments

Musical ResponsibilitiesAssigned to the Director

1. Repertoire Choices                Not Necessarily

2. Rehearsal Planning      Yes

3. Warm Up Procedures         Not Necessarily

4. Rehearsal Song Sequence      Yes

5. Developing Conducting Clarity Yes

6. Teaching Parts                Not Necessarily

7. Correcting Note Mistakes      Yes

8. Interpretation Planning     Probably

9. Teaching InterpretationYes

10. Teaching Vowel Consistency    Probably

11. Developing Better Tone Quality    Probably

12. Working out a Visual Plan                Not Necessarily

13. Teaching the Visual Plan    Probably

14. Performance Schedule                Not Necessarily

15. Performance Repertoire Choices    Probably

16. Performance Song Lead-in Announcing             Not Necessarily

17. Improving the members Music Reading Skill     Not Necessarily

18. Non-chorus Activities (Tags & Quartetting)        Not Necessarily

Wow!  What a list!

Many larger Chapters have the Director “Up Front” for only a portion of the Chapter Meeting Time.  Things such as the “Warm Ups”, the “Teaching of Parts” can easily be assigned to others.  The planning need of “Repertoire Choices” is often a Music Team function with strong input by the Director, of course, as is the “Schedule of Performances”.  The Director , if they choose, can also be relieved of such things as “Working out a Visual Plan”, “Doing the Lead-in Announcing at Performances” and “Teaching such Musical Skills as Music Reading” and other “Non-Chorus Activities”. (P.S.: I personally believe that the most Barbershop Chapters ignore “Improving Music Reading” in Chapter Meetings to their detriment.)

To put the whole list of responsibilities on the Director is probably not reasonable.  The Director has enough to do to take care of the essential things, yet they all need to be taken care of to have a strong Chapter.  So we need a strong involvement of the Music Team.  Individual Team Members could study up on a specific responsibility as there are many excellent resources available both from the Barbershop Society and from other sources (including my full website).  And don’t forget Harmony University as well as District learning weekends.

You see it’s very possible that some of these musical responsibilities are neglected to the detriment of the Chapters.  Some are critical but others make the Chapter meeting less efficient and less satisfying to the members.  Attending to each of these items and possibly others makes the difference between a thriving Chapter and a struggling one.   Go thru the list and think how each item effects the Chapter’s success.

It’s really up to the Music Team, of which the Director in an integral part, to make sure all these things are provided for, for the good of a strong Chapter.

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