Why Choir Directors Should Use Podiums

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Why Choir Directors Should Use Podiums

May 8, 2019

conductor podium

It’s a surprising fact that many choir directors don’t use a podium when they are directing their choirs. This is amazing knowing that it can be a very valuable tool and offer many benefits to enhance the group’s communication and performance.

This post will focus on the most important ways that a podium will improve your choir’s performance and will take a look at the features that go into making a high-quality podium.

Better Sight Lines

First of all, the main benefit of having the podium is the fact that it will allow the performers to see the director more clearly. This is especially true for larger choir groups that are spread wider or contain more than a couple of rows. Their view may be obstructed by their fellow choir member standing in front of them. Even with the group standing on risers, the view may not be clear unless the director is elevated on a podium.

From the director’s perspective, the podium will allow them to see their entire choir better. This will allow better communication with choir members towards the back of the risers instead of just the ones in the front. In addition to seeing the choir, the director will be able to see the entire room more clearly.

Improving the sight lines with a podium will help to improve the performance overall because when the performers are able to see the director better (and vice-versa), they will know exactly what they’re supposed to be singing.

What to Look for in a High-Quality Podium

Now that we know why podiums are important, how do you make an informed decision on what exactly to buy? There are many options available in the marketplace and selecting the one that is right for you will be very important. Here are five things every good podium will do.

Be Easy to Transport

A high-quality podium should be easy to transport. To ensure that the platform is sturdy and will hold up to years of performances, it will be made of quality materials.  This usually translates into a podium that will have some weight that the user will need to contend with as they move to and from performances.  An integrated wheel system will eliminate the need to carry the podium and make transportation easy. This feature becomes very important for choirs that perform in multiple areas and different venues. Even if the choir is only performing in a single facility like a church or a school, the equipment will need to be transported from the practice room to the performance hall.

conductor podium

Be Adjustable in Height

This feature will allow for multiple directors to use the same podium. Height changes allow one unit to be purchased and will give the program flexibility to support both the permanent and guest directors. It will also help to accommodate larger groups with better sight lines between the director and the performers, so you can adjust to fit the location you are in.

Provide Optimal Safety for the Director

A good podium will provide optimal safety during use. The platform should be stable and solid under your feet. The podium shouldn’t wobble or move while you’re moving to direct the choir. Another important safety feature is an integrated back rail so that accidental falls don’t happen. You never want to take that last step back words and find yourself falling into the audience. This will truly distract from the performance and could end in serious injury to the director or patron. Having a safe podium will instill more confidence into the choir director knowing that they are safe to move around and focus on the performance.

Be Quiet

During a choir concert, the audience should be focused on the performance and a noisy podium can be a distraction from that. The two main things that usually make a podium quiet, in addition to be we’ll-built, are stability and having a carpeted surface. A wobbly podium will be both noisy and unsafe, as we mentioned in the previous point.

Allow Enough Space to Move

conductor podium

When you think of a podium, you probably imagine a square platform. Traditionally, this is how a lot of them are, but a really good podium will feature a wide front edge to allow more space for the director to move without having to worry about getting too close to the edge. This feature is really important for large groups that are not right in front of the director where the director needs to turn to address each element of the choir. The wider front design allows this to happen with ease and no restricted movement.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many benefits to using a podium as a choir director. The important thing is to make sure you’re getting the right one that will provide the most benefit to your choir.

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