My community choir – the West Bridgford Liberty Singers – are a choir of around 140 singers. Prior to lockdown we met (roughly) every other Monday at Lutterell Hall in West Bridgford, to learn and sing pop songs from across the decades. We performed regularly at local events such as the West Bridgford Prom In The Park, The local lights switch on and have a regular slot at the Portello Lounge.
The benefits of group singing are immense. There’s well documented evidence that singing makes us feel a bit better, but I believe that this is amplified massively when we sing in groups. The sense of community which we have developed with this community choir is amazing. New friendships have been made and old ones consolidated. There are families who come together to sing (my mum and dad are both active members!) There’s always a feeling of being ‘in it together’, whether this be when we are learning new material or performing in public. We are strong together and this has a value for all of us.
During Lockdown, the West Bridgford Liberty Singers have transitioned to singing online as the Online Liberty Singers.
Our community continues to thrive and support one another as we carry on singing together – whilst apart.
Could Online Singing work for your organisation?
With many staff members working from home, it’s more important than ever to connect people and maintain workplace communities. Staff wellbeing and mental health is even more important than before and singing can help. Over the past few months, I’ve perfected my online singing package so that’s it’s appropriate for the change in circumstances we find ourselves in at the moment.
Online sessions take place via zoom enabling participants to see each other and interact. During the actual ‘singing’ part, it’s simply not possible to hear each other due to latency IT issues and so this is the point I opt to ‘mute all’. This has it’s advantages! People singing in the comfort of their own environment have the confidence to try new things and develop their singing. I always start with some vocal warm ups and a little bit of singing technique. Harmonies are taught by ear and can be provided as an extra resource if required. I develop the layers of sound through the session and am able to repeat parts and answer questions as we go along. There is no need to have sung before or have been part of a choir. My teaching style is inclusive and easy to follow and most importantly, it’s fun.
The positive effects of singing are well documented and these feelings are not diluted when we sing online connection of singing the same thing at the same time remains, even for inexperienced singers.
There’s also an option to create recording projects. By carefully recording at home into a phone or simple recording device, audio files can be emailed to me and put together as a whole song in my home studio. This can create a sense of purpose to the ‘choir’ and allow them scope to develop as singers.
I offer one-off sessions as well as regular virtual meet ups. Sessions can be timed to suit employees and there’s the option to record them so that singers can access them at different times. If you’d like to talk to me about how singing could positively impact the wellbeing of your staff, please get in touch.
“Although we’re not together in body, in spirit we are 100% there.”
“I felt the same listening to [our recording] as I do hearing us sing at a performance.”