Over last year, I managed to read a surprisingly large number of books, thanks in part to the Popsugar Reading Challenge. This reading challenge provides a range of prompts to help you choose books to read. There are 40 prompts to choose from, with an additional 10 advanced prompts for the really avid reader.

My success in reading more got me thinking. How could I use the power of the challenge to help me sing more just for myself? Without exams to work for or regular performance opportunities my own singing has been on the back burner. I had previously come across the 40-Piece Challenge invented by Elissa Milne but that was a bit too vague for me, and in some ways too simple. I wanted something that would push me to work on songs that were a challenge. Plus, this was a piano challenge and I wanted especially for singers!

So, I put the two together! Here is the inaugural, experimental Discover Singing 2020 Repertoire Challenge for singers. The goal is to learn one piece for each prompt, up to the total 30 pieces. What “learn” means is a personal choice. I’m going for “sing fluently with minimal reference to the music” rather than “present in concert”!

The Prompts

  • A pre-baroque song
  • A creative setting of a folk song
  • Something atonal
  • A song with an unconventional score (e.g. graphic)
  • A song with at least two time signatures
  • A modal song
  • A song that wasn’t written for your voice
  • A song by a female composer
  • A song by a South American composer
  • A song with a performance direction you had to look up in a book
  • A song from outside your preferred genre(s)
  • A setting of a poem by a famous author
  • A song with the tempo marking allegro
  • A strophic song with at least five verses
  • A song with “love” in the title
  • A song written in the 21st century
  • A song that includes whistling or humming
  • A song with a one word title
  • A song inspired by a novel
  • A song that requires improvisation or decoration
  • A song with a title that starts with A
  • A song about money
  • A lullaby
  • A song you’d sing at a wedding
  • An overdone audition song
  • A song in a language you aren’t familiar with
  • A song by a composer you’ve never sung before
  • A song from a song cycle or show you’ve already learnt one song from
  • A song from your “wish list”
  • Polish up an existing favourite song

If you want an offline list, you can download a pdf version for your wall.

Follow my progress on Instagram, and share yours with #2020repertoirechallenge

Good luck, and happy singing!


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