Becoming a Songs & Smiles Singalong Leader

by | March 17, 2024 | Celebrating, Involving Others, Other

Steps to becoming an official Songs & Smiles singalong leader. We provide training and resources, including access to our videos.

We are building a network of singalong leaders. We provide training and resources, including access to our official Songs & Smiles singalong leader videos.

If you already lead singalongs, and you simply want to use some of our own videos in your own shows, many of our videos are available for purchase and download (for unlimited use) at:

Official Songs & Smiles singalong leaders are typically volunteers. Some lead only 1 or 2 shows per month. Others volunteers lead as many as 7 or 8 shows each month. Other people may be able to spend time leading singalongs at assisted living and memory care homes, if they can make a little money while doing that. If that sounds like you, we might hire you. We would handle invoicing, and we would pay you a portion of the revenue generated by your singalongs. (We handle that on a case-by-case basis.)

Here are the steps to becoming an official Songs & Smiles singalong leader:

Contact us. Let us know if you’re interested in volunteering, or if you’re more interested in getting paid. Also, let us know the area you live in, as we may already have a singalong leader in your area.

We correspond via email. If it sounds like a fit, we will arrange a time to meet you on Zoom.

We interview you via Zoom. We’ll want to see your smile, make sure you’re kind and caring, and check to see if you can carry a tune.

We conduct basic background checks on our official Singalong Leaders since they may represent Songs & Smiles in the community or at a senior care facility. Singalong Leaders are subject to four background checks: multi-state criminal search, global terrorist search, sex offender registry search, and an identity search (known aliases, 10-15 year address history, and social security verification)

An applicant must pass all four background checks before moving onto the next step to become an official Songs & Smiles Singalong Leader. If an applicant passes all four background checks, they will move along in the process. If an applicant does not pass one or more of the checks, they will be notified by Songs & Smiles staff. In some cases, additional information may be required from the applicant. If the applicant refuses to provide any additional information, their application will be rejected. Criminal records do not automatically disqualify candidates from volunteering. However, certain convictions are generally disqualifying offenses: violent crimes, weapon offenses, and theft charges including identity theft, elder abuse, or fraud.

You sign our Songs & Smiles Singalong Leader Agreement. You’ll commit to representing our values. You’ll also promise not to sell or share our singalong videos.

We send you a Songs & Smiles T-Shirt. Note: The cost for a background check and a T-Shirt is $50. We appreciate it if new singalong leaders cover those costs.

We make sure you have the equipment you need. Our singalong leaders typically provide their own equipment, but we may be able to help in some cases. At a minimum, you will need a microphone and speaker, plus some way to show lyrics on a screen. If you are leading just one or two shows per month, you might find that the venue has equipment you can use. Otherwise, you’ll need your own.

For a microphone and speaker, think about the size of your audience. If you are singing at a memory care home, your audience will typically be smaller, so you may use a smaller speaker. Even a karaoke machine might work.

To get lyrics on a screen, you will probably plug into an HDMI port on a TV. (I actually carry a TV with me, but most care homes will have a TV you may use.) If you are not techy, we could provide you with singalong leader DVDs, so you can just play the DVD. (If the facility doesn’t have a DVD player, you can buy an inexpensive model and plug it into any TV with an HDMI input.) If you are more techy, we recommend using an iPad with an HDMI adapter. Look for an iPad with a Lightning adapter and at least 32GB of storage. (The more memory you have, the more videos you can store.) You’ll also need a Lightning to HDMI adapter.

You could set the iPad on a podium or even a chair, but you may want a stand. I use a mic stand with an iPad holder attachment.

You can see some of the equipment I use at this Amazon List. (By the way, you can use this list to donate items to Songs & Smiles.)

We get you some videos. If you are going the DVD route, we’ll arrange to get you a DVD or two to start. We may ask you to cover the cost of postage. If you will be using an iPad, we will give you access to a GoogleDrive where you can access video files. In either case, we also provide videos that include me singing. You can use these to practice, or you can actually use them during your singalongs if that makes you more comfortable.

We provide training and tips to get you started. We tell you what to expect, and we share best practices for presenting singalongs.

We help you find a place to lead a singalong. You will likely know some places near you to contact. We’ll walk you through what to tell people. In some cases, we will provide flyers or introductory letters, describing Songs & Smiles singalongs. If you will be getting paid, we will set up invoicing with the care home.

You lead a singalong. You have fun. You learn some things. You make a difference. You create magic moments. You realize that you want to do this again and again.

If you’re interested in becoming a Songs & Smiles singalong leader, please contact us and let us know.


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Author Bio: Eric and his wife, Sheryl, founded Songs & Smiles to support families during the Alzheimer's journey. He loves singing and smiling and helping people living with dementia connect with beautiful memories.

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