ChoralNet: Tour bus games
Thanks for the suggestions of games to do on the tour bus. Here they
are--have a good time!
My college drama club used to play charades. It was a blast. Some
of those folks are now professional actors. I think they limited the
charade assignments to play and movie titles -- you could do the same
with song titles, maybe? I also remember when a particularly popular
guy got up his friends decided to embarrass him -- they passed a note
around saying "He's trying to do 'The Penal Colony.' Don't guess
it." Ah, good clean fun.
I've also carried Jan Harald Brunvand's urban legend books along for
people to read aloud. I happen to have a particular fascination for
urban legends, but I think they can be good conversation starters.
With college choirs these days, I've found that people watch videos
as a group on the bus. You could find videos with special choral
I am a member of the university choir at millikin. we hvae a TON of fun
we do this thing called bus happiness, we have 2 people per day try and keep
everyone entertained. The first day, everyone rights down a funny story
about themselves and then they draw names out and interview them.
Also, we do choir angels, where we all choose another member of the choir to
do little things for throughout the tour and at the end give them one nicer
gift. We had people have to get up and sing, or eat sausage, just goofy
stuff. We are all young adults, and I think you might get a good laugh out
of some of this stuff.
We also did quotes of the day and loser and queen of the day, so if someone
does something really goofy they get to where a really bizarre looking hat
and vice versa :-)
A favorite among my students is 'song wars.' The group forms two teams. A
leader gives a simple word, such as 'night' or 'sun.' The teams take turns
singing short phrases from songs which include that word, as many as they
can come up with. They don't want the other team to hear them planning and
steal their idea. The last team to come up with a song for a given word gets
a point, then you go on to a new word.
Bus bingo--make some "bingo" cards with statements like "originally from
Texas," "has two sisters," etc. Then have people switch seats every 10
minutes on the first leg of the trip. Each person can only sign one space
in another person's card.
We used to play a few games..some that I won't suggest!! But....we would
have everyone write down something that no one would know about themselves
and not say who wrote it: eg. I won 1st place in a pagent. Everyone would
have to guess who did that. It was fun and you got to know people in
Hand out a sheet of rounds and sing!
That works for us.
I have a bunch of musical word puzzles -- printed on regular paper, and
you'd have to provide a pencil..... -- that we've used at large community
chorus luncheons. It always gets people at tables talking together -- and
laughing. On a bus people sitting together could work on the same sheet --
or hand out separate sheets. Then (much later) you'd call out the answers
on the driver's microphone.
Try to find a bus without a VCR or sound system, or tell the bus driver
in advance not to bring any videocassettes or cd's. Given the choice,
the students will prefer those activities.
Try that old stand-by: Who Am I? (You know the one, someone is "it" and
thinks of a person, real or fictional, and others try to guess who they are
with questions that can only be answered yes or no. A yes answer entitles
you to another question, a no means the next person tries until someone
guesses the correct character. Then they get to be it.)
It works for adults as well as youth, because it gives others a sense of how
someone's mind works.
And of course, there's always singing - a mini rehearsal, or just good old
camp songs. If it's a choir tour, encouraging them to sing shouldn't be an
You could try a form of "Choir TRivia Bingo." Make up cards like bingo and
each square would have a fact about one person, such as 'Who used to live in
California?' or 'Which alto works for IBM?' Have some small prize for anyone
who gets a "bingo," such as dollar store pens or statuettes. This game will
get conversations started and individuals won't have to approach other with
the goal of "making small-talk."
When I was in college, we had a daily "radio show" that would help
us pass the time. We were allowed to use the bus PA system as
our microphone. Some of the items can be serious (weather
reports, headlines from the newspaper), but most of our features
were silly. Off-the-wall cooking shows, top ten lists, gossip shows,
sing-alongs (rounds work especially well), goofy awards, etc. You
need a few folks who are over-the-top comedians to get things
going, but by the end of our tours almost everyone got involved
somehow. We would spend an hour or so preparing our scripts
and then we would start the show once on the open road.
Good luck. Touring can be great fun.
this is not a game, but I have appreciated the times on bus
tours when everyone on one side of the aisle was required to move back one
seat, and everyone on the other side of the aisle had to move forward one
seat each time the group got on the bus after being down on the ground for
whatever reason. The rotation gives everybody a chance to see some new
faces, talk to someone different, and sit in the "best seats" from time to
time. The only exceptions made were for people who had disabilities that
required them to be in a particular place. There have also been trips when
each side of the bus took turns getting up into the center aisle first to
disembark, preventing a lot of bumping into each other and jostling about.
These amenities can be introduced in a pleasant, fun way, just as you would
do with children, and I have found that adults enjoy and appreciate them.