Ooohhh I love this song! Once upon a time, my then choir (Churchfields Community Choir) got together in secret, created an arrangement and sang this to me on my birthday! I’ve been teaching it to the ICU Liberty Singers online and decided to run it as a standalone workshop in West Bridgford this week. Teaching just one song for a whole evening allows us to get deeper into the song meaning, the nuances and details of the song, the rhythms as well as addressing vocal technique. There were a lovely mix of Liberty Singers, ex-Liberty Singers and a few friends of Liberty Singers who blended together and created new groups in which to sing.

Having Lutterell Hall (which is massive) meant that the 28 singers could go off and work in groups with their audio files to help really nail their part. This meant that there was less whole group teaching and more emphasis and responsibility on the groups. It worked well! Originally, I’d planned for 2.5 hours but we actually managed to finish a little early, still filming it 3 times.

Here’s what really worked.

The timings – and learning the hardest part of the song first.

Learning harmonies and then wandering around the room singing them!

Singing in two halves facing each other – so we are able to focus on a person and sing it to them. (this helped with the happiness!)

Smiling while singing. Really brightened up the song.

Dancing and movement – again, helped the mood of the song.

Singing finally without our words.

Watching our video back so we could see what we looked like performing.

We really pushed people out of their comfort zones but because we all did it together, it really worked! I felt that this was possibly the best workshop I’d ever run – this could be because it’s my favourite song?! I felt the constant feeding back to the singers really helped them to move forwards. Nobody was left behind – there was a really team aspect going on for each of the 4 vocal parts.

Feedback has been brilliant!

Hi Kari I just wanted to message you to say a huge thank you for a fabulous singing evening last night. Absolutely love your enthusiasm and the way you teach out a song! Hope we can join up again sometime. And such a wonderful and friendly lot you all are. Thank you for making us feel so welcome 🎶🙏

Fabulous workshop last night Kari – thank you!

Can I just say what a lovely feeling it is after a long and stressful day at work to make my way over to Lutterell Hall knowing I’ll be greeted by friendly faces and having an uplifting evening of singing and general joy! You’ve made a community where one didn’t exist – it’s amazing xxx

I really enjoyed last night Kari, thank you, I will be joining further workshops too.

Thanks Kari. We all thoroughly enjoyed the workshop…..when’s the next one??!

Thank you Kari, I’ve actually shared the link with my family, didn’t think I would!I think we should all be proud of our achievement last night. You did a great job Kari of pulling this together in a couple of hours! Well done to all of you who were there last night and thank you 🎶🎵

Well done. You sound like you’ve rehearsed this for ages because you’re so confident and tight together if you know what I mean. Sounds like a good night 👏🎶

I felt so good when I got home after the workshop!! Thanks all for an enjoyable evening but mainly Kari Olsen-Porthouse seeing though you organised it!! Xx

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