Although I’ve always loved to sing and dance, I’ve never thought I was good enough to do anything with it, other than dancing and singing around my living room on a Friday night, but I knew it made me feel good and that was the main thing. My energy levels need preserving at the best of times and so I had to accept that I couldn’t continue with dancing for the most part but then it occurred to me that maybe I could do some singing.
The idea scared the life out of me as I thought you could only join a group if you were good at singing, and I’ve never been told I was so assumed not, but I also knew that with my businesses, I needed to put myself out of my comfort zone. I coupled both things together and realised that by singing, I would in turn, increase my confidence to speak in front of people, plus it would be a guaranteed way to cheer myself up!
After attending just 1 Pop Up Singing sessions with Kari, I could already feel my confidence growing, so much so that I recklessly decided to apply for a part in the community choir at Nottingham Playhouse in Coram Boy. Fast forward a few months and I was recalled and much to my surprise, was offered a part! So now, I’m scared… but also really excited and proud of myself for trying something new! Something that I certainly wouldn’t have done had it not been for the Pop Up group. Thank you Kari- I think! x
I invited Kari to deliver a ‘Sing it Out’ session as part of our Sixth Form ‘Wellbeing Week’ – this was an entirely voluntary session offered to all Sixth Form students during their lunch hour. I was confident that if I could just get the students in a room with the wonderfully bonkers Kari they would not only love the experience but they would feel all the benefits that group singing brings! However, I would be lying if I was to tell you that getting them to sign up was an easy job! I faced much reluctance/apprehension/self-consciousness/stubbornness, and if you were to believe what they told me I had a whole Sixth Form of students who ‘couldn’t sing’.
However, through various means I managed to get 80 students into the lecture theatre and whilst I stood watching, fearing the next hour could be the most painful hour of my life, Kari started to work her magic…..! She quickly put the students at ease and managed to get some noise out of them! Gradually, all inhibitions were forgotten and confidence and enjoyment started to grow; as we sang our way through a set of seven uplifting songs we had air guitars, water bottle microphones and a whole lot of bopping going on!
The feedback from the students was incredible from: ‘I left the room absolutely buzzing’ to the classic teenager comment: ‘I really enjoyed it which really annoyed me because I didn’t want to’! One of the teachers from the afternoon lessons commented on how the students came to her lesson ‘on top of the world’; they were feeling so positive and upbeat from the singing this confidence was transferred to her Biology lesson! Job done!
I value the beautiful friends I have made and have so enjoyed singing out loud in something other than the shower! Thank you Kari for making this happen.
I love this choir…..it’s great for a laugh, to meet friends, to feel a real sense of achievement and to relax – it’s definitely good for you!
We have come so far since we started in January – if you’re reading this come and join us. Great song choices and a brilliant leader in Kari – and also a cup of tea mid way through, what more could you want???
I joined WB Liberty Singers in January, along with my daughter who has severe learning difficulties and physical disabilities. We were both made to feel very welcome and we both really enjoy our Monday evenings, even having a go at acapella! It’s great for us to be able to take part in something that we can both enjoy on an equal footing.
Joining Liberty Singers has given me a sense of belonging I didn’t realise I was missing. A sense of companionship, achievement and pride. I’ve always enjoyed singing, now I love it.
So, it’s almost a year since I decided I really needed to make a bit of space in my life for some regular singing and started looking for a local choir to join. At the same time, one of the Mums from my daughter’s school was starting up a choir, based in the school hall. I picked up a flyer at the school Christmas fare, stuck it on the fridge and thought, “I might give that one a go”.
I rolled up to the first rehearsal in the school hall, along with over 100 others (those flyers were clearly effective!). To be honest, at first I thought it wasn’t really my thing. We were sorted into colours rather than traditional voice parts (I’m a soprano, don’t you know!) and my choral repertoire is songs from down the centuries, rather than the decades. But Kari’s enthusiasm is infectious and she very quickly developed a community of singers who clearly enjoyed themselves and were encouraging and supportive of one another.
What I love most about being a Liberty Singer, is how very open and inclusive it is. The group is a combination of those of us who have sung a bit in the past and are returning to regular music-making, those who sing regularly in other groups and are adding another singing opportunity to already busy schedules and those who haven’t sung in choir before and who never thought they could sing. It is a group that is open to all and the enjoyment is palpable.
Through singing in a small group Kari hosts in her home (The Magnificent Seven, aka the Reluctant Liberty Singers) plus singing lessons, where I have benefited considerably from Kari’s particular brand of ‘vocal coaxing’, my confidence as a performer has grown and I have dusted down some hidden ambition and sung a couple of solo slots recently. Stepping out of the group to perform solo is very exposing, doing that for the first time at a Liberty Singers gig was possibly the most supportive environment in which to take the plunge.
This has been an awesome singing year. I have sung songs I never dreamed I would hear my voice singing and been surprised by how much I have enjoyed it (Mr Brightside, anyone?). I have, quite literally, plumbed new vocal depths and found my inner alto (but I am not leaving the Reds!). Most importantly, I have made new friends, had loads of laughs and benefitted from turning the noise off for a couple of hours every other Monday (and Wednesday) and just singing.
I used to describe myself as someone who sings a bit. Now I am proud to say I am a singer. A Liberty Singer.