When I talk about singing in our group choir, people often say to me “I’m not a singer“… so I often say one of two things… “You don’t have to be a singer to sing with us, all you need to be able to do is sing in tune“. But also, keep this in mind, “most people don’t like the sound of their own voice when they hear it”.
If you like music, there’s nothing like the thrill of making music with others. You may know this already, if you sang in a choir at school, but if you didn’t, now is your chance to find out.
Our choirs sing in four-part harmony, the four parts being soprano, alto, tenor and bass (SATB). With a new song, Ian Laurence, musical director, will start with teaching a simple 4 bar phrase to one of those parts. Then for the same for bars, he will teach another part, and then get those two parts to sing with each other.
All of a sudden, there you are singing with others in your own part, but also singing in harmony with others in another part. Slowly, while adding the other parts in, the song unfolds for all parts. And before you know it, you are singing an entire song, in harmony with others.
90% of the time, music is presented to the group, so singers can read what the words are. No, you don’t have to be able to read music.
However, it does help to be able to read, because that’s what the words are there for in the music. 10% of the time, the choir will be taught by ear, as Ian‘s philosophy is that it is good to not lose touch with the original way in which singing was taught by ear.
Singing together in a group brings together people from all walks of life, and the mutual enjoyment of this experience makes for great friends. Often we will meet up for dinner before rehearsals, or go for a drink after rehearsals. Singing with others is also great for life balance… Especially for busy people, as your time in rehearsals will get you right away from your other day to day concerns. If you like, another way of looking at it is, it’s a musical equivalent of golf.
Sing a song to a friend you trust. Make it something simple, even if it’s just “Twinkle twinkle little star”. If they say that your singing is reasonably in tune, what are you waiting for?