- May 30, 2018 at 8:09 am #565964
In our community chorus, we have a talented tenor with Sensory Processing Sensitivity. He’s effectively the leader of the 2-person tenor section…The other one really cannot sing his part independently.
This tenor tells us he has Sensory Processing Sensitivity. He cannot handle those odd moments before and after rehearsal, and which occasionally occur (unplanned) during rehearsal, when there might be several small conversations quietly taking place around the room. (E.g., a chorister nudges their neighbor to ask a question that they COULD instead choose to raise their hand and ask me, directly, such as: “Do we sing the small notes marked ‘optional’ at letter F?”)
I have provided an opportunity for the tenor to share with the group what this sensitivity does to him and what he needs from the chorus. Basically, it overwhelms him and he feels like running away. Last night, he did leave the rehearsal altogether before it was over. He asks for total quiet on the part of the chorus at all times except when singing. The chorus is pretty good for the most part, and has been trying, but I just don’t wish to run it as a classroom with people having to raise their hands at all times. This isn’t a chorus that wants to make transcendent music. They come together mainly for a social experience of music-making, for fun, and for stress release. This is a group which would become stressed-out if I ran it like a military organization.
After rehearsal, I consulted with the steering committee members, and they made it clear they want the tenor to stay in the chorus, but they are unwilling to make the rehearsals fully regimented with no talking at all, ever. These two goals may be completely incompatible.
Would you have any ideas on how to help this individual and this chorus be able to survive as a “thing” together?
I have two children with disabilities, and so I grasp the importance of accommodations for them. This is breaking my heart. Thank you for any help you might have to offer!
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