• What are the requirements for becoming a Threshold Singer?
You must be able to sing softly and carry a tune. It’s also important that our voices blend, which is something we work on in rehearsals.
• Are there auditions?
No. Simply come to a rehearsal and try singing with us.
• Do I have to be able to read music?
No. It helps in learning the songs, but we also have songs recorded on CDs that can be purchased or borrowed from our library.
• Do I have to memorize songs?
Yes, if you’re going to sing for ill people, since we don’t take any music to the bedside. Our songs are quite simple and repetitive, so they’re not hard to learn.
• Do I have to know how to harmonize?
No. We sing some of our songs with harmonies, but we always need sure voices to carry the melody. We often practice harmonies at rehearsals.
• How long will it be before I’m ready to sing at the bedside?
Before you can sing for our clients, you must know at least 20 songs from our core repertoire and the hand signals we use to direct the songs. In addition to rehearsals, we provide training to prepare our singers. Each singer learns at her own pace, so there is no standard for how long this takes.
• Isn’t it depressing to visit dying people?
We are honored to share this meaningful time in people’s lives, and we are gladdened when we are able to bring comfort to a person in their final days or weeks. Of course, there are sad moments, and bedside singing isn’t for everyone, but overall we find it richly rewarding.
• Do I have to sing at the bedside?
No. Not all who come to rehearsal sing at the bedside. Some of our singers come to rehearsals for the sheer joy of sharing song with other women. Their presence enhances the BTS community.
• What is an anchor?
The person who leads the singing is called an anchor. At the bedside, she decides what songs to sing, begins each song, and signals the other singers when to hum or sing words, when to sing more slowly or more softly, and when to harmonize. She takes the lead in interacting with the client, family members and staff.
• What is a sail?
The singers who accompany and support an anchor are called sails. They are expected to know our core repertoire and to follow the direction of the anchor.
• What if I have other questions?
Please call us at 360-927-4384. We’ll be glad to answer all your questions. Or come to a rehearsal and experience for yourself the service we provide.