Toolkit: Start a Chorus

Registration & Outreach

Before registering singers for the chorus, know what the rehearsal space can accommodate and set a chorus size limit. Knowing the number of participants will help you know how many music binders to prepare, how many volunteers to recruit, and what to forecast for operational expenses. Also determine a modest participation fee. We have seen that a modest fee encourages full engagement and discourages thinking of the chorus as a “drop-in” activity or charity-type program.

Start the registration process one to three months before you expect rehearsals to begin. During the registration process, collect each person’s name, address, emergency contact, email, and phone number. Consider confidentiality guidelines for safeguarding this information. Also have the participants complete the media and photo release form. An example of a media and photo release form is below.

Media Release Form (example)

We have found it helpful to take payment via credit card, which allows participants to call and register via the phone or, when possible, via the Internet.

Chorus Outreach/Promotion

Attracting singers is one measure of chorus success. Another is engaging the community in the unique relationship between music and memory loss, which can change the stigma of Alzheimer’s disease.

Promotion of the chorus focuses on the joy and well-being experienced by chorus members living with Alzheimer’s and their care partners and their meaningful engagement in community life. Examples of outreach include:

  • Using e-mail and social media platforms to raise awareness, share impact stories, and communicate about events and performances
  • Creating a chorus Facebook page that provides updates to chorus members and their families and invites interaction among the chorus and the general public
  • Documenting chorus stories for media, which spreads the program’s reach and impact
  • Using other social media platforms to increase awareness and invite support

The host organization for the chorus should make the program known to its local Alzheimer’s Association and other dementia and aging-related service organizations.