Kari Olsen-Porthouse

Liberty Singer

Sing with me – I’ll give you wings

Hi, I’m Kari, a freelance choir director. I am passionate about the benefits of singing together. I help businesses create and maintain harmony in the workplace through group singing.

Let me talk to you about how singing can impact lives.

As a primary school teacher running the school choir, I had a girl in Year 4 with an incredible voice and so I offered her a solo part for our Christmas concerts. She was fabulous.

She handed me a Christmas card with a shy smile. Inside, a message and I could tell by glancing at it that this girl wasn’t the ‘high achieving academic’ type and yet she’d taken the time to write this message to me.

“Dear Mrs Olsen, Thank you for giving me the solo – I don’t know where I’d be without you”. 

For this girl, who, in the education system probably never shone, was always on the back foot and felt behind her peers, singing had provided an opportunity for her to be herself. For her to shine and to feel valued.

From children’s choirs I progressed to adults – after all, why should the children have all the fun! I started my community choir within the primary school where I worked with parents, teachers as well as the wider community.

It was ‘my’ choir for about a week…. And then it was ‘our’ choir. I’d had no idea the impact that creating a new community would have on people. Friendships were made and strengthened as we supported each other, learned together and drank tea. 

It was when I left the choir that one lady popped a letter through my door before we moved and said 

“I’d lost myself – I was just a mum and a wife and I didn’t know myself anymore. Singing let me have something for me – something that I could grow at, not just a pastime but an event I always looked forward to and I wasn’t alone. I made new friends and became part of the team and I have loved every minute of it.”

Recently, I asked my community choir of around 150 singers to write and tell us online something about themselves that we didn’t know and had this beautiful comment: 

“My husband died on Boxing Day 2018 I never thought I would listen to music again. My beautiful friend Helena bought me to Liberty Singers and I am learning to love music again ♥️

Powerful stuff.

My Approach

I understand how to build communities and create a sense of identity and confidence through sustained, long term group singing.

Singing has been shown to:

  • Increase serotonin (the stuff that makes us feel happy)
  • Decrease cortisol (the stuff that makes us feel stressed)
  • Increase endorphins (the stuff that makes us feel amazing)

Singing in a group takes these brilliant things and amplifies them massively. Communities are built, confidence soars and everybody leaves the sessions smiling. 

My teaching style is aimed to get the best out of everyone. It’s fun, easy to follow and all taught by ear. Nobody needs previous experience or the ability to read music. The ability to not take yourself too seriously is a plus!

I provide all my own equipment and lyrics. All I need is a room to house as many people as are interested and for the company to allow staff the flexibility to attend.

The power of singing is life changing – do you dare to change the life of your workplace?

Start Creating Workplace Harmony Today!