I remember with love a course I took at the University of Toronto. There were about 400 of us in various sections of the course but once a week, we gathered in the auditorium to "sing through" various choral pieces. What a marvellous sound. Did everyone sing the right notes? I don't know. All I know is the sound was grand and glorious.
I absolutely love the Embro Thistle Singers and every practice is a joy. We laugh, we sing, we learn and we have fun even sometimes through tears.
Why do I love music? I cannot remember a time when music wasn't a part of my life. I also never had to endure nerve numbing auditions (although music festival competitions & concerts were omnipresent). I never had a teacher who insisted that "blackbirds" just mouth the words. I actually only remember one negative moment when an acquaintance asked me to sing Climb Every Mountain, which I had sung as Mother Superior in the musical, for a small group as we sat in a camp kitchen. I did and she said, "That was great until the last note which was flat." Really? I haven't sung that song since.
There are so many people with negative experiences related to singing either actual or perceived. They withdraw from any musical attempts to protect themselves from further hurt. So how do we singers share our joy in singing so that others will be willing to try it out and find their joy?
1. When you enjoy something, notify your face. Smile when talking about singing, when singing and when inviting someone to sing. SMILE!!
2. Do sing-a-longs when you perform. Give people a chance to sing too. Maybe they haven't had that opportunity for a long time. Spread the joy by making it simple.
3. Make it easy to join your group or recommend one. If your group requires singers that read well or are paid etc. then you can't accept just anyone. It would be great if you could recommend a group that welcomes the enthusiastic and the timid to sing and try the choir on for size. Who knows, they might learn enough or become secure enough to think about joining your more exclusive group. You would be helping to create a pool of additional singers.
4. Sing at public events. Get your music out there and make it accessible. People have to know you exist and that you actually WANT them to come and sing with you. Best advertising is being out there and doing good for others using your songs.
Make Your Own Kind of Music and then ask others to come along and do it too.