Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tonal Tuesday - Why Choir?

I was reading the Voice-Council Magazine  last week and the article Why Choirs Aren't Dead caught my eye.  I was happy to know that in the professional world of singing it is considered important that the singers belong to a choir as this quotation mentions.  

Contemporary singers consider choir as part of their career –says Mark De-Lisser

So why do we who are not perhaps contemplating a professional career, coming out to choir on a regular basis?  You can see the reasons that the article above suggests but I will give you my ideas.  See if you agree or have others to add or subtract.  

Many of us at some time have been a part of a school or a church choir or both.  Church choirs add to the liturgy during services and help lead the congregation in singing the psalms and hymns. No matter, you learn to sing well and enjoy making music in a group.  Much of the church music is classic and a great way to start.  School music is more of a potpourri but offers many opportunities for learning too. 
Here is my list.

1.  Singing makes you feel.  See I didn't add the word "good".  Depending on your memories or experiences the music bring emotions to the fore.  Singing is a great way to "let it out" as it were.  Singing in a choir makes it safe as if you miss a note or two, someone is sure to pick it up for you.

2. Our choir is a great social experience.  We can go to places we might not otherwise visit and do it in the company of people we know and trust.  My first visit to Britain happened when I belonged to the Woodstock Choralaires.  What a fantastic experience it was.  But, you don't have to travel to Europe to see new places and add to life experiences.  I find that going to churches or residences or nursing homes are also great as you meet new people, and see new places all the time .  
The Embro Thistle Singers start the fall season with a potluck dinner at our place.  We see each other in a more relaxed manner and eat REALLY well.   One thing you know for sure, is that you are not alone.

3.  You learn new things.  Sometimes the music is what you have loved in the past and sometimes it is what you have never come across before.  sometimes you even learn more than the music.  Imagine!

4.  You hone your musical skills.  I am constantly researching new ways to teach the music and vocal skills.  Our choir is hungry to learn.  It is a treat as my learning curve just keeps curving.

5.  Learning to listen critically is so important.  Nothing improves that ability like doing more of it.  Each singer needs to listen well to blend.  We all must work as a well oiled machine and listening well is key. 

6. Vocal skills only improve with practice.  Being in a choir is a safe way to improve those skills.  With others singing with you, it makes it easier to try new vocal tricks. 

Our choir is purely volunteer so when people keep coming back, you know it is because they are getting something out of the experience.   I look forward to our biweekly practices.  I can't imagine life without ETS now!!  Having FUN is key and as you can see, we make sure there is lots of that.

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