Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tonal Tuesday - The POWER of Singing Together

An article in the Guardian from the United Kingdom, tells about a choir made up of "homeless and socially deprived people".  They meet weekly and as expected the numbers are different each time.  


The choir's leader is a soul and jazz singer, Jocelyn Smith and she says, 

     "Everyone has a voice in this choir," said Smith, originally from Queens, New York, 
      who puts the stress not so much on the dynamics, or the accuracy of the notes, 
      as on developing a sense of conviction in the singers in what they are intoning.
      If I can get them to sing from within, to put themselves into the notes, then I'm happy."
That quotation made me think.  No matter who we have in our choirs we must:
1. Have fun!  Embro Thistle Singers are on the right track.  We have FUN.   Yes music can be serious but who says you can't enjoy making some seriously good sounds.  Relax and enjoy the process.
2. Sing from within.  I have said it before that singing is an inside job.  It must come from your heart, soul, boots if you will.  When you love or even like what you do, it will show.  The notes are important but the heart is the key.
3. Make sure people count.  The people with whom you sing and direct are the most important ingredient.  I don't mean just their voices but the WHOLE person.  We won't wax philosophical here but their feelings, hopes and fears are not irrelevant.  They are integral. 
4. Be real.  In the article, you will see that the people who come don't always sing.  They sway, they hum and sometimes even sleep.  I truly believe, we take people where they are and teach and share until people begin to gain confidence.  That is what it is all about. 
The music is our vehicle and the people are our reason.  The power of singing is what each person both performing and listening gains.  We may never know how much the music we present and work on means to each of the people it touches.   Let me know what you think as a singer or director!!  I love your comments.  

1 comment:

Colleen said...

Singing is very emotional - no way around it. So think the heart of it is important.