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Learn to Lead Music with Our FREE Instructional Online Videos
Made with LDS Choristers and Choir Directors In Mind

(The original DVD is no longer for sale.)

Many people who accept music callings within the Church generally do so without being given an opportunity to be trained, formally or otherwise. Stake or ward music workshops—with classes on leading music—are few and far between, if they exist at all. As a result, we have all watched novice song leaders struggle nervously through leading a hymn… and felt their pain. It is worth considering that choristers have an important responsibility… that of helping to make congregational singing a joyful and spiritual experience. What to do?

Collage of director shots

Making a Joyful Noise – 101 instructional videos to the rescue!

With easy instant online access, these videos are perfect for:

  • Training branch/ward/stake choristers & choir directors
  • Preparing missionaries to lead music as they serve
  • Family Home Evening / teaching your families and gatherings at home
  • YM/YW or Relief Society activity nights

Imagine the possibilities as together, we all “raise the musical bar” with the songs we sing together at home and in our congregations!

Experienced choral conductor Alison Herron takes you step-by-step through virtually every subject related to leading church music, especially if your official church calling is chorister or choir director! She believes that leading music is a very physical activity, much like dancing. (How easy is it to learn how to dance from a book or graphic, without a real live human being there to help you?) Alison’s decades of experience as a dance instructor come into play as she shares her tried and true techniques for leading music in front of dance studio mirrors. Brilliant, right?!

Facing those mirrors, demonstrations are filmed from the back, so that the viewer can see the arm movements from both the front and the back at the same time. You can follow along at home, on the go, or in a classroom setting… while she leads a small group in singing dozens of hymns with varying beat patterns and entrances, including many songs that are considered the most challenging to direct. Every effort has been made to cover all eventualities that might come up when deciding how to lead almost any hymn. Subjects covered include:

  • Preparation (working with your accompanist)
  • The hymn selection process
  • General pointers
  • Basics of reading & understanding printed music, especially counting
  • Mood and tempo
  • The basics of directing (Beat patterns and how/when to alter them, bringing your singers in on the right beat, cutting them off, etc.)
  • Avoiding common mistakes
  • Demonstrations of leading a variety of songs that begin on a downbeat vs. an upbeat
  • Directing hymns that are notoriously difficult to lead

Many supporting subjects are covered in detail as well, with frequent use of graphics and comic vignettes to aid in the learning process and keep you awake! Alison’s years as an instructor, speaker, and entertainer go a long way toward making sure that the viewer stays engaged and enthused.

Here’s what one happy viewer had to say:

“I loved watching this video! It was very insightful, and as a TOTAL novice…I actually understood what she was expressing! I found myself practicing along. I liked how she led the choir in front of a mirror… that added to the instruction. She was well spoken and knew her material. Each segment was thoughtfully and artfully done. Alison’s delightful humor added just the right amount of chuckles! Well done!” – Karma G.

Some Final Notes

In addition to what you find in the hymnal, the Church has provided an increasing number of valuable online resources for choristers over the past several years. Our videos were never intended to compete with or replace any of these resources… but to COMPLIMENT them.

Making a Joyful Noise – 101 was specifically made with LDS choristers in mind, but neither the creators of this content, nor Young @ Heart, LLC, have any official affiliation with or endorsement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, all hymns contained in Making a Joyful Noise-101 are out of the official 1985 hymnbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and their usage for the purpose of teaching is covered by the “Fair Use Doctrine” of the U.S. copyright statute. Complete copyright information for the original DVD is listed at the end of Video #10.

Videos were filmed at Applause Studio, originally located in Mill Creek, WA, now located in Everett, WA.