Friday, February 27, 2015

Fun Friday - MNOZIL BRASS lonely boy

I couldn't help it.  This is totally amazing.  You must watch more of the videos from the MNOZIL Brass.  They sing and play and really entertain.  This is beyond all.  Just had to post again. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday - Andre Rieu - I Will Follow Him

This is different treatment of this wonderful song.  Oh boy is the audience ever having fun.  Isn't that why we sing?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Musical Monday - Random Music

   It is amazing to me that other people don't burst into song when they see a picture of a sun (Good Morning Mary Sunshine - my mother's wake up song each morning) or a rainbow (Somewhere Over) or a dog ( How Much is that Doggie in the Window).

One day my daughter & I were caught in a huge rainstorm.  We were drenched to the skin.  We decided to sing every song about rain we knew at the top of our voices as we sloshed home.  What fun.  We were just as wet when we got home but we howled with laughter all the time we stripped off our drowned wardrobe.  
So how can we share that joy or maybe, start it. 

1. Be conscious & think- See what is around you and think of a song that comes to mind.  For instance, when I have to find a place in the alphabet, I sing it.  I am not certain I can say it.  

2. If not out loud, think it - Yup.  Just what it says.

3. Enlist a pal - Have one of your pals who loves you no matter what be on the job with you.  Make it a competition to see who can think of the next song.  

4.  Sing anyway - There may be a few places and times when singing aloud won't be all right but you can think it hard in those cases.  

WHY? - 
       *This lightens your mood.  You can't be sad and sing something like "The Farmer in the Dell".
        *If you are thinking of songs, you aren't being critical of someone or something.  
        *You can make others smile with your ditties.
        *Because you CAN. 

Do it with kids, with grandparents with strangers.  Randomly burst into song and revel in the joy. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Fun Friday - Lip Sync Battle with Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart and Jimmy Fallon

                                I think our choir should choose something to lip sync.                                               
Get thinking about that one singers!!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Musical Monday - Is There Such a Thing as PROPER Behaviour at a Concert?

Image result for free clip art audienceI read the article "Classical concerts are great. Stop apologizing for them.Aaron Gervais, composer" and it made me start to wonder if people really do know how to behave at a concert whether it be orchestral or vocal or pop.

There have always been certain expectations (I hesitate to call them rules) at a concert as mentioned above.  I was treated to an Il Divo concert a few years ago at the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.  It is a beautiful venue.  There was a full orchestra accompanying the singers (a great orchestra with a questionable conductor but I digress). The first violinist came in and the orchestra tuned.  The ladies behind me who, by their conversation, were 'groupies' wondered what "that guy" was doing out there.  That kind of comment continued throughout the concert.  The venue itself was the only thing keeping them from screaming and throwing lingerie.

As the group was singing, they continued to make comments about how "cute", "muscular", "sweet" etc. each was until I finally turned around and asked them to wait to talk until no one was singing or playing.  They looked surprised and then complied.  Whew!

So why do grown people not know what is expected at a concert and is it important?

1.  Television - We are used to sitting in front of a box and watching concerts and being able to comment at will.  Some just don't realize that in real life the commenting is interuptive.  I remember taking our toddler to his first movie at a theatre.  I had to explain that he couldn't talk as the other people were trying to listen.  Maybe, the loud ones haven't had that opportunity.

2.  Opportunity - We bribed our kids with dinner where ever they wished after each orchestra concert just to get them to go.  They ended up really enjoying the experiences and bribing didn't have to continue.  Even kids at school seldom get the chance to be an audience.  If they do, sometimes they aren't given guidance as to how to behave so as to allow others to enjoy it too.  I had the opportunity to go to a rock concert in a huge arena and loved it.  There were rules there too.  If the people behind you weren't standing, you didn't stand.  It really was awesome to be a part of that different audience experience.

3.  Basic Courtesy - This old world goes round so much better when we think of others before self.  I have noticed that young people are more apt to hold open the door at a store than middle aged people at the moment.  Some of our older adults can be down right cranky.  Courtesy says you don't speak or interrupt when those around you are trying to listen or enjoy something.

So let's do our best to be as thoughtful to others as we can and hope it catches on.  Take someone to a concert who has never been.  Create opportunities for different groups to come and be an audience then share the reasons for certain behaviours.  Let's see what we can do to help people enjoy music in ways that allow for individuality as well as courtesy.  1, 2, 3, and ---

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fun Friday - Greased Lightning - BMW Flash Dance

I attend my share of Business After Five events with our Chamber of Commerce here but never have I had this experience.  What fun!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday - Meet the Late Night Barbershop Quartet: The Ragtime Gals

Can you tell I love Jimmy Fallon.  This is really well done and truly does blend the two, barbershop & reggae.  Check it out.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Musical Monday - The Joy of Choir and How to Pass it ON!!

I love to sing.  I make up songs all the time no matter where I am.  Someone will say something and it triggers a song and even if it is inappropriate to sing out loud, the songs bings around in my head.

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.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Fun Friday - 17 Funny Versions of Jingle Bells - Tony DeSare

This is very creative indeed.  However, you can do much the same with something similar.  Ask your singers to do Twinkle, Twinkle as a ballad, as a salsa, as a national anthem etc.  Get creative.  Great way to warm up.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday - We Will ROCK You! CUP SONG

This arrangement was written by one of the students.  They are obviously having great fun.  We had fun watching too.  Thanks Elaine for finding this one.  

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Musical Monday - Stormy Weather - Singing & Dancing - It Takes Practice

We are in the middle of a winter storm with warnings about super cold, high winds and lots & lots of snow.  It has been suggested that people not drive unless absolutely necessary.  I think there is something up there in the clouds that says, "When Embro Thistle Singers are going to practise, send down the nasty weather!".

We had to cancel practice tonight.  So what am I doing with my time,  checking out fun music.  Look what I found.  This is a great way to spend some stormy time.  Said to be one of the best tap dances ever,  these dancers are truly amazing.  Just look at the size of the steps they leap with ease.  As our regular readers know, I am still taking tap dancing classes so I know that it would take great athleticism and hours of practice to achieve these heights.

Anything worth doing is worth doing well.  With the Super Bowl on we see some of the best of the football athletes.  The hockey teams just had the All Star game and what a show it was.  One of our choir members said that the Ambassadors of Harmony we featured on Thoughtful Thursday practise at least 3 hours a week for a year to get to this finished product.

So on this snowy, stormy evening here in Southwestern Ontario, enjoy the results of hard work by the band and the dancers.  Smile with them.