The choirs stared in 2014 with one group on a Friday morning. We have grown to four groups now and we have a wide range of members. The sessions are fun and friendly with a wide variety of songs. As a natural voice choir we have no auditions and no sheet music. Everything is learnt by ear. I have gone into a bit more detail below.
Feel free to contact me if you have any other queries.
1) There are no auditions! You will never be asked to sing solo or on your own. Never ever ever!
2) There is no sheet music! Don't worry about understanding the dots on the page.....you dont need to. Everything is taught by ear. This involves a call and response learning style. I sing at you, the choir sings back. We stick the bits together. We have a song! It is amazing how quickly a song can be learnt in this way and with harmony parts as well! It has been found that songs learnt by ear tend to stick better in the brain and people get better and better at it.
3) Arrrgh - there is no sheet music!!! Some people like sheet music. I found it refreshing to get away from singing with a sheet of dots to a page of words when I first got involved with natural voice. Don't let it put you off. Come and give it a try. I also loved the gay abandon with which I could sing. Having come from a tradition that is quite rigid it is nice to sing freely for a change, That being said I am all for singing with more rigid methods but this is not what my choirs are about. I also have people who sing in my choirs and then also sing in ones with more traditional methods, church choirs, choral groups etc.
4) I cannot sing! Yes, yes and yes you can. If you can talk you can sing. If you can hum then you can sing. Natural voice has a strong focus on exercises that free the voice, warm it up well, treat the whole body as the instrument and engage the breathing mechanism. You will be amazed at what a simple bit of moving about and doing some vocal warm ups will do. Maybe someone told you that you couldn't sing. IGNORE THEM! Everyone makes a wrong note sometimes. Don't let it stop you. If you want to sing then come and sing. You wont regret it. Sometimes these cruel words were said in childhood causing so many years of never singing. I have met some AMAZING singers who were told as a child that they could not sing. Its criminal. Honestly please give it a try.
5) I might make a mistake!Honestly in a group of voices dont worry. It is barely perceptible, We are learning. It does not matter. We are singing for the sheer joy of it, for the fun of it. If we drop a few pitches, sing the harmony bit wrong it really does not matter. We are singing and that is what counts. Furthermore I make mistakes, sometimes my hand turns into an extra from Dr Strangelove but it tends to raise a laugh and we start again. To err is human and all that.
6) I dont want to perform.Not a problem. If we get asked to sing somewhere I always check that we have enough people that want to do it and can do it. If we cant then thats fine. We dont do it. If you dont want to then thats fine too. I try and always keep the rehearsals fresh even when we are leading up to a performance.
7) I don't have time.I make a point of making the choirs very accessible, If you can come to every rehearsal then thats brilliant and you will get more and more out of every week. You learn all the songs and your confidence will grow. You will make more friends. You will get better and better. If you cannot come every week then that is fine as well. Life can get in the way. I would prefer someone to come and sing once a month than not at all. We do new songs every week so you are never totally on the back foot.
8) Is it a friendly group?I have continually found that singing groups are the friendliest of places. Singing with more people is more fun. More people the more the fun. You will get a warm welcome at any of my groups.