(HR) Kari Olsen-Porthouse - pop up choir - credit Ursula Kelly @ursualkphoto.jpgWhat on Earth is ‘Pop up Singing’?! Let me explain.

The word ‘choir’ often gives the wrong impression. It implies that you need ‘to be able to sing’ (more on that later) or be able to read music, or have experience of singing in groups. So I don’t use the word. The ‘Pop Up’ nature of my monthly singing events are that they are stand alone sessions – we get together upstairs in a local pub (always handy as this singing can be VERY thirsty work!) and we sing 4 or 5 songs together. After a warm up, I always start session by singing along with the original artist, It’s quite funny how often we think we know a song then realise we don’t! Because we are expecting to start and finish work on these songs in one session, I make sure the songs are reasonably well known by my whole audience. So, then we start with a quick vote on what to sing next…..

We split the song into simple parts (nothing too taxing) but as I often know a lot of my singers, I can work out who can manage what. Adding simple harmony is a very quick and pleasing way to get going. All of a sudden people realise that the sound we are making is lovely! and continue until we are happy enough to remove the original vocal and can sing along with a backing track. I often record these songs and the we spend 4 minutes listening back – this is important for people to hear what they can sound like singing together. With around 15-20 voices it’s hard to decipher who’s singing what and so nobody gets bogged down with ‘listening to themselves’ and instead can appreciate the collective sound. And because it’s a collective sound, it not only sounds great, but people are a lot less likely to be so critical.

So we get through as many songs as we want to – people collectively make the decisions. And then next month, the songs are different making it commitment free group singing – if you miss a session, you actually miss nothing! Everyone starts on the same footing which is a great leveller.

My next pop up event is next week and I’ve got some lovely summery songs to sing! If you’re local to West Bridgford, why not pop in and give it a try – tickets are available through the link below.