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 this subject.

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)

General timings:

Arrival and registration*: 9:30-10am
Welcome and first session: 10am
Finish: 4:30pm

* Please bring your LABBS lanyard or other suitable alternative, with wallet/pass holder

About the day

Refreshments and lunch are provided.

See below for further information about the structure and content of the day.

Registration is now CLOSED

Registration Fee

The cost per person is £28 for LABBS members, £45 for non-members.

After you register, within 7 days you will be sent an invoice with details on how to pay.
Please ensure this is paid promptly, to confirm your booking. Please do not pay until you have received an invoice with instructions.


Five VinH grants are available for this event for both members and non-members.
Applications are now closed.



From the 1st of April 2022 there is no longer a requirement to have a COVID specific protocol for attending events. We will however be making some adjustments to our attendance policy to reflect that COVID (and other illnesses) is still a part of our lives, this includes:
  • A requirement that people must not attend if they have symptoms of a cough/cold, a fever or a positive COVID test.
  • Availability of hand sanitiser at the venue.
  • People can choose to wear a mask at the event if they prefer or are more vulnerable (including FFP2/FFP3 masks which are also intended to protect the wearer)
  • We would ask all attendees to be mindful and respect people's personal preferences on distancing/hugging etc.

What you can expect

Theme of the day

This year, the Music Category are concentrating on the core elements of the Music Category's judging focus, which are the five elements at the top of the judging form.  We will be looking 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 will split into a programme of electives.  Each of these will concentrate on one of the main elements, of which you will be able to choose 4 out of the 5 (unless you are a quartet choosing to receive a coaching session, in which case you will be able to attend 3 of your 4 choices). 

At the end of the day we will all come together for a "judging under glass" plenary session, where we will watch a performance together and then you will be privy to what the music judges are thinking in real time, writing on their judging form and how they are assessing the correct score.

In the time left, there will be an "ask me anything" session - you will be able to submit any burning questions you already have on the registration form, or you can ask us live, if a question occurs to you during the day which has not been addressed.


These electives have already been planned into the timetable so that we can cover nearly all combinations! On the registration form, please select a different elective per session available. We will do our best to keep them exactly as you request, but we may need to shift people around to even out numbers in which case we will contact you first.

Quartets opting to request a coaching session with a Music Judge should also choose 4 electives, as we will not know which particular slot you will be scheduled for, until after all registrations are in. You will end up missing one in order to receive coaching. (All four members of the quartet should indicate they want coaching on their individual registration form).

All electives will apply learning in a practical way, so be prepared to sing and experiment!

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

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