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Community Choir Leadership Course Autumn 2022

September 27 2022 @ 6:00 pm - October 5 2022 @ 10:00 am

Community Choir Leadership Course

Led by Candy Verney

27th Sept to 5th Oct

“Tranformational. This course, this environment, the land, Candy’s style of deep listening and ability to create a safe container for vulnerability has helped me recognize my own fears that hold me back from living my full creative potential. The wealth of Candy’s experience coupled with her sensitivity to the group made it easy to experiment with teaching styles and let me feel comfortable to try thing out and make mistakes.” Fran Haverfordwest Wales April 2022

This course will give you skills to run singing workshops in a wide variety of community settings. But singing in this way, opens the heart, and for many, leads them also on a transformational journey.

It is a hands-on, practical course which includes philosophy, theory and lively discussion where appropriate. There are no entry requirements and you don’t need to be able to read music. However it will be most useful to people who have had experience in some areas of music: singing in choirs, but also teaching or other musical settings. All musical experience is helpful.

“I adored every single bit. It soothed and comforted and pushed and challenged. It took me to the heart of my fears and out the other side. There was nothing I couldn’t use. The protective loving atmosphere you and Robin create is utterly unique and has held us so safe, allowing us to go to… and through… and past dangerous territory. Thank you for giving us so much of yourselves.” Jessie from Ceridigion, Wales April 2022

See what past students have to say

Click here to see more testimonials on our Youtube Channel

The course includes:

  • Philosophy and principles
  • Warm Ups
  • How to teach a song in parts
  • How to develop a song
  • Ways to improve the quality of the singing
  • Building the dynamics of the group
  • Improvisation
  • Teaching Practice
  • Join in and observe Candy run a session for her choir

In past years this course has run over 3 months: 4 intensive training days with 3 week gaps between each session, for students to practice their skills. We have now run this course twice at the Song House, over 1 week, with great feedback from the students.

The training days will be spread out over the week. In between those days, students will be required to spend time putting newly acquired skills into practice, by teaching the choir formed by the student group. This enhances the value of the course, and quickly builds students’ confidence. Students found it invaluable to have those times to practice together, pooling expertise and ideas.

Candy will be drawing on over 35 years’ experience of teaching in a wide range of settings:

  • Setting up and directing a set of five ‘Singing in the Round’ community choirs
  • 7 years directing her performance choir Sounding It Out
  • The Trowbridge Song Project. A 2 year Arts Council Funded multi-cultural community project
  • Singing on the Wild Side- week long singing holidays on islands around UK and Ireland over 13 years
  • Work in schools, Early Years, Steiner education, nursing homes and work in the corporate world.
  • Pan-Euro choir
  • Cór and Chroí- a local Irish choir

“What you and Robin have created at the Song House is incredibly special, unique, valuable and truly magnificent. I knew this from being here before and why I wanted to return. The lessons and experiences I have had this week will sustain me for a long time and the changes that are taking place within me will continue and deepen as I return to my communities, family and friends. Thank you with deep gratitude”Carol from Austin, Texas April 2022


Twin room €850 per person
En Suite – shared twin room €1010 per person
En Suite Single Room €1500 per person
Camping price in the Song House garden €750 per person
Single room, in Song House or in AirBnB nearby €1150

You must fill in the below form and pay the €150 deposit in order to secure your place and type of accommodation. Please check if your preferred accommodation is available as accommodation is allocated on a first come first serve basis.


Pay your deposit here:

150.00Add to cart

If you want to come, and need a payment plan, please contact Candy direct at candy@thesonghouseireland.com

What is included in this price?

Accommodation in single/shared rooms.
Self-serve breakfast and lunch, and the first evening’s supper
In order to keep the price very accessible, we will share evening meal food costs between us. An evening meal will be ready for you when you arrive.
Past students have found that collaborating with food preparation and then eating together make a relaxing contrast to the intensity of the training

Arrival and Departure Times:

Arrive 4 – 6pm on the first Monday
The course runs over 7 days
Depart by 10am on the final Tuesday

Covid considerations

We at The Song House are doing all we can to ensure a safe environment. We are Failte Ireland Covid approved and have done our research in relation to keeping up to date with safety guidelines, policy and procedures.

We will be in contact closer to the time, with further questions regarding this matter, in order to provide as safe an environment as possible.


You can travel to Falcarragh easily by public transport: click here for info.

Candy Verney

Candy Verney, Director of the Song HouseCandy Verney has 35 years community music teaching experience:

• Initiating, developing and teaching 7 community choirs over 25 years
• Making arrangements for choirs
• Working in a diversity of settings: schools, old people’s homes, Early Years, work in the corporate world.
• She has written 2 books of songs for Early Years and their parents/carers: The Singing Day, and The Singing Year published by Hawthorn Press
• She has developed and facilitated a training in Community Choirs Leadership, now in its 14th year. Several past students have gone on to make this their full-time profession, bringing this valuable work into school settings, old people’s homes, hospice work, community choirs, and working with refugees
• 3 books of songs for choirs: Songs from Life, Songs from a Full Moon, co-written with Lindsey Williams, and The Song House Book of Irish Songs for Choirs

What will Candy contribute to this course?

• Develop your teaching skills: how to teach efficiently: harmonies, conducting, rhythm, dynamics
• Work on reading music skills and sight singing.
• How to develop a song, and enrich the experience for the singers. Some teachers are run ragged by the demands of having to keep on providing new material. We will look at techniques to work more deeply with a song. This can be more rewarding for everyone.
• How to write a good choral arrangement.
• Choirs are communities that need care, input, leadership in order for them to thrive. This will be a place where you can talk over issues and problems in a confidential environment, to support your choir community to thrive and function well.

Feedback from past students:


Beyond my expectations! I have found this is what I want to do, to help others find joy in singing

Nieves from Spain The Song House 2019, now running her own choir near Madrid


Hugely useful week. I now know WHAT I need to prepare- timing, beginnings, endings, staffing notes etc.

Excellent- well planned and thorough. Good balance between input from Candy and our own experienced learning. Great to have the notes. INTENSIVE- there is a lot- but that’s what we’ve come for. We’ve worked hard but it has been so worth it. Peer learning as well as candy’s wealth of experience.

Abigail from Ireland The Song House 2019, now running her own choir in Cork


I found the course intense and very challenging, but so very rewarding. We learned so much material in the teaching days, it will take a while for it to sink in. The practical sessions were very supportive, great considering various levels of skills in our group. We were told to challenge ourselves and most of us did just that- I did my first arrangement and my first improvising!

Graham from Belfast The Song House 2016, now running a school community choir


The course met my expectations and more. I’ve learnt so much about song styles, harmony, communication, expression- but also on a personal level I feel like I’ve gone to a place within myself and got in touch with my true self. I’ve also made some brilliant friends.
Clara Atkins from Trowbridge Wiltshire 2014 Trowbridge Song Project training course participant, now running her own community choirs in Wiltshire and Bath

The course far exceeded any expectation I could have had! Candy created such a safe, warm, creative environment to have a go teaching others to sing and it was so exciting to hear the results. Candy – you are inspirational! And warm, open, accommodating, supportive, nurturing, encouraging, yet also clear about what you think is important.

Josephine Bell from Thornbury Wiltshire 2014


Comprehensive, inspiring and joyous are just three of the words that come to mind when I think of Candy’s course. I came on this course to increase my musicality and musical skills – it’s given me that and so much more. Thank you

I set up a guinea pig choir of friends and neighbours to run sessions whilst on the course. My initial nervousness in doing this has been rewarded by the most extraordinary feedback from those attending, many of whom professed that they couldn’t sing at all. It has been a humbling experience that has given me much food for thought about how to continue to take things forward.

Carole Bond from Bath Wiltshire 2014


I offered a short session to colleagues at work and was amazed by the eruption of energy, enjoyment and laughter that happened and the transformation in the group dynamic
I am planning to run singing groups with people in recovery from mental ill health and drug/alcohol addiction
Excellent informative inspiring handouts and related to teaching sessions
incredible value course – intensive learning experience – loads of tips + practise + theory.
Very encouraging positive fun atmosphere
I would unreservedly recommend this course to anyone thinking of running a community choir. It has been a springboard of skill sharing and inspiration + new songs teach, ways to vary your teaching.
Candy has been extraordinarily generous with her knowledge of singing teaching.
Rae Levy from London Wiltshire 2014

I went away from the course confident that I had the grounding and understanding of how to direct my own choir and, indeed, have started a group, which is rapidly growing in number.  Without Candy’s training and encouragement, I could never have achieved this; I urge anyone, who is thinking about doing the same, to let Candy show them the way.  You’ll emerge from her course well-equipped to realise your dream.

Tony Barby from Corsham Wiltshire 2014. now running his own choirs in Wiltshire


I have gone from no experience to; teaching a group of six children, then a class of 30. Following this a performance in a school assembly with 90 children, then a weekly raise the roof 20 minute slot including 300 children. I didn’t think I would ever have the confidence or the opportunity to do what I am doing.

Claire Corcorran from Trowbridge Wiltshire 2013


September 27 2022 @ 6:00 pm
October 5 2022 @ 10:00 am
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