I work with amateur choirs. I love amateur choirs. I try to help them achieve as much as they can while enjoying the process. One of the tools I like to use to help them improve is to play videos of choirs that are REALLY engaged. It’s powerful to see choirs not only singing well but clearly enjoying the process.

I’ve chosen five must-see videos that illustrate specific and effective things a choir can do to improve their singing. Here they are.

5. Stellenbosch University Choir

This choir has heart. They sing with energy and connection with each other and the text. Watch how their body language makes this absolutely believable. This is heartfelt singing.

4. Craighead Chorale

These high school girls are amazing. Try to find one singer that isn’t singing with 100 percent engagement. Go ahead. Try. They are absolutely locked in, and their energy is infectious. Amazing!

3. Westminster Chorus

These men are barbershoppers. They are used to tight harmonies, overtones, and dramatic physical movements. In this piece, they are quite subdued compared to this, but you can see their love of singing, their connection as a group, and their willingness to engage emotionally and physically with their singing. Oh, and listen to that resonance!

2. Luther College Nordic Choir

This choir is not as dramatic physically as the others on this list, but this rendition of Praise to the Lord (one of my favorite songs) is so full of nuance, phrasing, diction, and life that it makes it near the top of the list. The sound is vibrant, and the text is treated with so much care, attention, and nuance that it literally comes alive and jumps off the page. Few choirs reach this level of textual expressiveness. It’s gorgeous.

1. Millikin University Choir

This is my favorite video to show to my students. You can’t watch it without smiling. It highlights the power and importance of facial expression and physical engagement. This kind of singing pulls you in. It radiates life, and it engages the audience and the imagination.

Is it fun to sing in a choir? This video says “YES!”