Time to Sing

Time to Sing courses (also known as Learn to Sing or Come and Sing) are a great way to recruit new members to your club. This is a tried-and-tested format which has been successfully delivered by BABS clubs across the country over many years.

Time to Sing courses (also known as Learn to Sing or Come and Sing) are a great way to recruit new members to your club. This is a tried-and-tested format which has been successfully delivered by BABS clubs across the country over many years. Below you’ll find some advice on how you might want to plan and run your course.

What does a Time to Sing Course look like?

The courses usually run over 4-6 weeks on your club night. You invite members of the public to essentially join your chorus for a few weeks, and provide educational sessions on singing technique and the barbershop style.

Many courses include learning a barbershop arrangement along with the chorus, which is the best way for participants to get a feel for the style. It’s also common and encouraged to plan some kind of performance at the end of the course to celebrate the participants’ success and give them the opportunity to experience performing in front of an audience.

A detailed format template for a 4-week course is available here.

How do I pick a song?

You could pick one of the easier songs in your existing repertoire, but it’s generally more effective to use a song that’s new to your chorus as well. That way, participants are on the same journey as existing members, which helps them develop a sense of belonging with your group.

The BABS Music Advice Service is available if you’d like specific song suggestions, but generally we recommend picking a song that is:

  • Reasonably recognisable
  • Largely homorhythmic (everyone singing the words most of the time)
  • Not too difficult to learn
  • Not too long
  • Includes lots of opportunities for ringing solid barbershop chords; it’s that barbershop lock and ring which hooks people!

How do I promote the course?

There are a number of strategies which clubs have successfully used to market their courses, including:

  • Leaflet distribution in local communities, on notice boards etc
    • Posting through letterboxes has been done before but is often much more effort than it’s worth
  • Advertising on local radio stations
  • Online community notice boards such as Meetup and Nextdoor
  • Facebook groups for local residents and businesses (e.g York What’s Going On Group)
  • Posting events on your own Facebook page
  • Paid, well-targeted Facebook advertising
  • Doing singouts in your catchment area. Always have a pile of leaflets to give to interested folks!
    • Busking (check local licensing laws)
    • Local community venues
    • Performing for other local organisations
    • Pubs!