I’ve been thinking quite a lot recently about Tom Carter’s book Choral Charisma, and in particular about the accuracy of its title. For those who don’t know it, it’s practical guide to helping choirs (especially school- or college-age and amateur choirs) sing with greater expression, communicative power, and personal fulfilment. It is strongly and usefully informed by Tom’s background in drama as well as music, and is much to be recommended. The opening chapter on psychological safety in the rehearsal room is particularly insightful.
So, you get the idea: I like his approach.
Having said that, I’m not convinced that what he’s writing about is actually charisma. Indeed, I noticed recently that the word only appears in the title, not anywhere in the body of the book. The core elements he is concerned with – personal authenticity, openness of communication, emotional connectedness – are all features commonly associated with charismatic people of course. But there is a key ingredient missing here.