Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tonal Tuesday - Singing from the Heart

I just returned from a conference in New Orleans. My oh my what an amazing place it is. The Conference Centre has been improved with added windowed extensions and much more people-friendly areas for sitting and gathering. Most importantly, wherever you go in New Orleans you hear music.

My friend was able to get tickets to hear B. B. King. He is now in his 80's but sat happily sharing stories and singing his wonderful Blues.  He just lets the music flow.  Talk about touching our hearts.

When we came into our breakfast room at 7 in the morning, we were greeted by the staff lined up and singing their own idea response styles. They clapped and danced and sang from their hearts and touched ours.

How do we sing from the heart? Or should we?

1. Care - If you think more about your audience than yourself you will sing from the heart. When you worry about the harmony or choice of song or other technicalities, you may lose a connection with the people who listen to you and are your biggest support. Get over the small stuff (and in the end it's all small stuff) and sing for your audience. Yes, you must sing well but you must care first!

2. Choose well - If you choose music you can learn well and that has some connection to your audience, you will touch them. I have to admit that when we sang in Wales, our host choir sang everything in Welsh. Bravo to them but after the second song I could hardly wait for them to be done. The pieces were lovely but without understandable words and tunes that weren't generally known, the connection broke down. We had learned their National Anthem in Welsh by learning the phonetics. It was hard but our heart was there to connect without audience.

3. Be True to Your Mission Statement - The Embro Thistle Singers sing for Fun and Service to others. That doesn't mean we don't stretch to try a tough arrangement but it does mean if we can't make a great sound and enjoy it then we put it aside at least for a while. We may come back to it and try again. We have to enjoy the process. Then, our listeners will enjoy the results too

We care, choose well and make every effort to share the joy we have in making our music. How do you manage to keep the heart in your singing?

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