Community Singing

I’ve just got back from a super AOTOS Association of Teachers of Singing in Warwick University where one of the themes was community choirs. It is so good to hear about the resurgence of singing in the community and the enthusiasm of everyone taking part. It is something we are exploring in the LEOSings project in Tours in October.
It made me realise how powerful we are as singing teachers to bring music and song into the everyday lives of the folk around us. I know that my little effort in our village has had a huge impact on some people and it humbles me that for 2 hours of my time a week I can make a difference. I don’t do my village choir for profit so we raise money for local charities and visit nursing homes, provide ‘Come and Sing’ events and sing in special church services.
Everyone can sing, and I have proved that on many occasions with so called ‘tone-deaf ‘ singers. However many people have experienced in their early years so many negative comments about their voices that it is has left them with a severe lack of confidence. Thankfully a spell in a choir can often turn around those negative thoughts and once people have the opportunity to sing really good music ( from any genre ) they can start the healing process towards a strong singing identity.
Our perceptions of our voices is uniquely personal and hugely complex but we are getting to understand a little more about the interaction between internal and external hearing, the science of vocal acoustics and neurological brain patterns when singing. When it’s right it feels good and it feels easy. We over complicate singing sometimes which gets in the way but we are also very tense and physically and psychologically screwed up that getting the voice released needs a careful approach from a sensitive teacher. That is what is so good about AOTOS it is bringing together more and more young teachers and sharing ideas from around the UK and with EVTA around Europe too.
There is a fantastic new Voxpop video out and when I get the link I will note it in a blog for people to look at.

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