The second step on our singer’s journey! So you like singing and want to do more…. but where could your confidence come from? Sometimes, singers arrive with friends… or sometimes they arrive alone then introduce it to their friends. Our West Bridgford choir isn’t advertised to the public any more, we recruit purely through word of mouth from existing singers and the odd workshop.
We could join a community choir/ shall we go together?
Yes! Community choirs are cropping up everywhere (thanks for that Gareth Malone!). They run very differently and it’s important to find one that suits you. Bringing a friend along to share the experience can be a great way to give singers confidence and make them feel less nervous. If you don’t like the choir you’ve joined, try another one. The repertoire might be more your thing, or the leading style. The day of the week might be better or the choir ethos. Most are very friendly and happy places.
Safety in numbers!/ If it’s a choir I can just blend in.
When there are many voices, it’s easier to hide. You can find your own style and voice within the voices of others. It’s surprising how much the others singers actually support your own singing and develop confidence and skill. It’s very satisfying to hear the overall sound and realise that your voice was a part of it! I often invite singers to come to the front to stand with me so they can hear the full balance of all the parts – it’s quite a surprise sometimes.
I like singing but will I be good enough?
Everyone is good enough. I aim to create a very positive experience for singers so that they feel that they’ve achieved something in every session. I poll regularly what songs people like and in my experience, people like singing the songs they are good at BUT also, the ones that have presented a challenge. These challenges have to be within choir reach – it’s no good expecting singers to nail something really difficult if it’s a start up choir. We need to go at the pace of the singers and I am very mindful of this in my planning and delivery.
I wonder if the music will be too hard to learn?
I am an ex-primary school music teacher. I use language that is accessible to everyone without being silly or childish (I think… although ask my current singers about stingrays….)
I teach by ear – so I arrange the songs myself and record the parts at home in my studio. I then teach directly from these recordings and make them available to singers via a shared drive.
You’re not expected to prepare in your own time unless you want to. I usually teach things 3-4 times to make sure we’ve all got it. Occasionally, there are conducting videos on you tube which I’ve made to help people. If we are heading towards a performance, people who miss rehearsals ARE expected to catch up so that we can be the very best we can be when presenting ourselves – but there is NO PRESSURE to sing at performance at all.
We move at a pace that suits the singers, not me. And it’s fun. We really do make it fun!
If you’re thinking this all sounds like exactly what you’ve been looking for, you can join our Facebook group for more information or contact me directly.