The world is sooo noisy at the moment, especially online. News bulletins, people moving businesses online, social media … it’s enough to make your head explode. So what can we do to switch off from the noise of the world? Make our own tune. And how can we do this? Through singing of course!
Traditionally for me,. Christmas singing starts during late September and we have a whole host of gigs lined up in the local area with my community choir, the West Bridgford Liberty Singers. I also spend time in workplaces spreading Christmas joy and delight with rehearsals and gigs or workshops. But of course, that has now all changed. Singing together isn’t safe or allowed and so virtual singing is the best alternative.
Christmas being the time for giving, led me to give time and singing to charities. We have a ‘singalong with the choir’ night to raise money for Footprints (a charity close to the heart of one of our singers and something we’ve supported in the past) and I’m running a Winter singing project for the local infant school where my little boy is a pupil to raise money for the PTA.
I felt very strongly that I wanted to do something for the NHS and got in touch with Dr Alison Pittard through Twitter. I needed some clout behind my master plan….. and Alison is incredibly well connected and well respected and agreed to publicise this joint project. I offered 4 zoom choir sessions to NHS Critical Care workers in the UK, with the option to record one of the songs together virtually in the same way that I do with my Online Liberty Singers. So, we launched it on Twitter and waited to see if there was any interest. Within 48 hours, we had filled 100 places and still had a waiting list. So we expanded our zoom capacity with a kind anonymous donation and opened it up to more people. It’s currently at 125.
I didn’t know it was possible to get energy from a WhatsApp group!? The chatter and excitement is amazing! People are so looking forward to doing something fun, something without pressure or expectation, just something easy and lovely to do – and to do it together. Alison and I chose a couple of Christmas songs as well as a few uplifting ones relating to teamwork and being together and it’s my job now to arrange these into choir versions and get ready to teach on Wednesday.
An email from Alison said “This has brightened my life.” I feel so proud to be able to offer something which can have this impact. I know Critical Care Workers across the UK (and beyond!) are singing their heads off in the car on the way to work as I release the songs a day at a time. I have a great feeling about what this project could achieve for the mental health of our NHS workers and to an overall feel good factor across the world.
Who knows where this could lead…….watch this space and I’ll keep you updated on how they are getting on!