Why we do what we do.
We consider music, and singing in particular, to be an essential part of our lives and are enthusiastic about sharing our love of group singing with as many people as we can. It is amazingly good fun and whilst it may well be addictive, it has health benefits, not risks. Singing in a friendly, supportive and encouraging group is a wonderfully enjoyable, relaxing, uplifting and affirming experience. A surprising number of people have been told they can’t sing which is a crime. Of course you can sing, and it is your right to sing! If you can talk, you can sing and are welcome to join us.
It is a low stress workout – the new aerobics. Deep breathing & good posture whilst having a good time singing is invigorating and great for your health. We are able to keep it low stress because perfection in our singing isn’t our goal, though it is perfect that we sing. We consider it important to celebrate the differences we have, rather than trying to make us all sound alike; it is our very individuality that makes the experience so enjoyable. In essence, we’re not performance oriented because it is enough that we create music by us, for us in the moment.
It is said that one of the scariest things is public speaking, but there is one thing that is far worse for most people and that is public singing. Many people find the notion of attending a singing group or workshop very intimidating. There is nothing scary about our groups, workshops or special events; we are gently inclusive. There are no solos (unless you really want to). No previous experience or knowledge is required, because we teach the songs by ear as it has been done from the beginning of human history. It is important that we respect each other, the music and the composers.
The songs come from a wide variety of sources though they all are good sung acapella and have harmony lines. Acapella is chosen so that anyone can sing them anywhere, anytime. Three or four-part harmonies are usual in our repertoire, but whatever works best in the group is paramount. Included in the repertoire is world music, folk music from many different countries in many different languages (phonetic pronunciations are provided where needed), classical, gospel, doo wop, and more. If it can be sung acapella, if it is uplifting, if we can manage it, then it can be included.
Many of the songs are easy but we also have some that take a bit more effort so that it doesn’t get boring. We take time to teach the songs, there is no unseemly rush to get it done, it has to be fun. Learning as a group is as much a part of the experience as singing the songs once known.
Singing is an astonishing way to create connections between people. We are able to touch people deeply with our voices. The act of singing together is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy constructive group behaviour. Singing etiquette is vital to making a nice sound: we listen to each other, help each other, complement each other, and generally care for each other in the name of making music. It is hard not to have a grin on your face as you do this.