Education for Music Teams

Education from the E&J - delivered by Judges

As well as increasing your knowledge of how to do well in contest, the education provided will also help you to become a better performer in general and increase your understanding of how to improve as a musician, singer and performer.

While attendees must understand that the content of category-based education is designed and targeted at chorus' Music Teams, ALL members are welcome to attend these events, not only Directors and Quartets, but also the general membership and non-LABBS members wanting to learn more about these subjects.

2022 - Music Category Education Day

Saturday 21st May 2022


Blue Coat CofE School & Music College, Terry Road, Coventry CV1 2BA (fully accessible with ramps and lifts)



Theme of the day

This year, the Music Category concentrated on the core elements of the Music Category's judging focus, which are the five elements at the top of the judging form.  We looked in depth at what each of these covers and how you can use your knowledge to get the most out of a performance, whether that be a new contest song or a well-loved repertoire song being given some deserved attention and a refresh.

Structure of the day

After a smorgasbord of vocal warmups with a musical purpose, we split into a programme of electives.  Each of these concentrated on one of the main elements, of which delegates chose 4 out of the 5. Quartet coaching was also available.

At the end of the day we came together for a "judging under glass" plenary session, where we listened to  a performance together and then delegates were flies on the wall with a real-time repeat, learning what the music judges are thinking in real time, writing on their judging form and how they are assessing the correct score.


All delegates attending the day in person should have received copies of the presentations via email - if you haven't received yours, please contact the Music Category Director on musiccd@labbs,

Consonance - Why do Music judges like 7ths?
Ever wondered why we have a chord vocabulary for contests? This session explored the inherent consonance (ringability!) of the list of chords outlined in the Music Category description and presented some practical approaches for both spotting and ringing the more exotic chords, so that performers can maintain their Consonance more consistently throughout a song.
Execution - How To Clean Up Your Act 
This session explored the ways in which clean Execution will vastly improve a performance. We helped delegates develop a practical toolkit to use in rehearsal and personal practice, to embed good clean habits that will enable ensembles to perform at a higher level.
Delivery - Delivery Uncovered
This session cleared the mystical fog that often surrounds the Delivery element of the MUS category. We shone a bright light on the technical and artistic elements, using lots of examples and discussion to demonstrate these elements and also had a go at doing some solo assessments of Delivery.

Theme - Using Theme Effectively
This session looked at how the concept of a musical Theme(s) should underpin all interpretive and musical decisions made, in order to perform a song at its best, and why it matters. We looked at how the dominance of a particular musical Theme will naturally lead you to make good choices and experimented with what could happen when you forget to pay it any attention.
Embellishment - Engaging Embellishments
This session helped delegates to understand how Embellishments work and why arrangers use particular types in certain settings. We helped delegates enable their groups to unlock their full potential in a performance, by using Embellishments as they were intended.