Singing is one of those talents that everyone wishes they possessed. There’s something really satisfying about being able to belt out a solid note on command or to drop jaws at a karaoke night.
Unfortunately for many of us, we get taught that we can’t sing and that it’s better for us to politely step aside when the microphone comes our way. We get obsessed with the idea that unless we have a five octave range, we’re not cut out to sing.
However, this is the big secret. Everyone can sing, it just takes practice.
We see the end result of practice all time, when we listen to any singer we admire, but we never see the hours spent doing vocal exercises or rehearsals. We get obsessed with the idea of talent as an innate thing but not the work to get there.
Performing vocal exercises can be a dull task however. Spending that time by yourself, repeating the same things over and over again but this is where a choir comes in! Learning to sing is much more fun in a group. It breaks up the monotony and it gives you an insight into how other people’s voices sound and how your voice fits into the wider scale of the choir.
Joining a choir like Bigmouth also means getting access to someone who knows how to teach singing. A great teacher knows how to tailor their teaching to suit the individual, and work with you to bring out the best in your voice. Being part of a group also gives you the confidence to give it your all, as any off-notes are hidden by the mass of others.
If you’d have said the word ‘choir’ a few years ago, you’d expect eye-rolling or a glaze to fog up people’s eyes but in the last decade, choirs have taken on a very different tone (no pun intended). In the last ten years, Choirs have become cool.
Instead of focusing strictly on gospel affair, there’s been a swell of interest in choirs catering to more modern tastes, like Bigmouth Chorus and en Choir in Whitstable, covering rock, pop and soul songs with the power and versatility of a choir. It’s estimated that about 2.8 MILLION Brits have joined a choir, no doubt inspired by the shift in focus from classic music to more accessible genres. In fact, it’s not even unheard of for choir acts to find their way onto TV talent shows such as X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent.
Until this recent resurgence, many were put off by the idea of frilly shirts and religious themes but as the door to the choral world opens, the fun side is on show. Gone are the formalities of traditional choirs (jeans and t-shirts are fine) and hymns (rock, pop and soul are the order of business). Singing in a group creates a kind of euphoric high, especially when you love the music being sung. It’s almost impossible to come along to a Bigmouth rehearsal and not find at least one song you love, and with an ever-growing list of songs arranged by our fearless leader Emily Peasgood, it’s only a matter of time before your favourite song gets the choral treatment.
This sharing of songs we love is a massive part of the community aspect of choirs. It’s the same kind of joy we find when we send songs to a friend and find out they love it too. Sometimes, singing in a group changes our opinion of songs, giving us a strong, positive memory attached to them.
Singing in a choir helps us tap into those skills we cherished so much as children, it encourages our sense of creativity, as well as bringing us together with like-minded people. A major reason people are joining is the sense of community. Joining a community choir is an easy way to meet and share interests with dozens of people, as well as developing a fun and highly sought-after talent.
We’ll go more into some of the benefits of a choir in the next few weeks, as we get ready for our new term.
This is it ladies and gents! The final week leading to our annual concert next Friday 20 July. We are also featuring in en Choir’s concert on Saturday 21 July too! Tickets for both events are available online here and on the door (subject to availability). Come on down for a fun, feel good evening or contact us with any queries – see you all there!
As Emily returns and A Requiem for Crossbones comes to an end, the excitement does not – Emily says, “I’m excited to announce that for the first time one of my artworks is coming to my home town of Ramsgate!! Requiem for Crossbones will exhibit at Ramsgate Festival of Sound 2018 by Ramsgate Arts on Saturday 28 July – Sunday 29 July from 11am-5pm in Albion Place Gardens, on Albion Place.” With this unique new piece from our choir leader coming home, we are all buzzing with anticipation for what this could bring next for her and her career. Good luck!
Yes ladles and gentlespoons, it is that time of year again! Our annual concert! Hard copy tickets have officially gone on sale!
If you know a member of the choir, ask them to grab your tickets at a rehearsal or contact the choir administrator, Elli to purchase tickets. They are also available on WeGotTickets.
Have you been thinking of joining enChoir but not sure, or think it is too late for this choir year? Come and have a listen at this year’s concert and see if you enjoy yourself or contact us with any queries.
A concert update this week; with choir leader, Emily Peasgood returned from installing her latest work, Requiem for Crossbones, the choir was buzzing with excitement for our final term of the choir year. To add to the excitement, posters and hard copy tickets have been ordered and are on the way so be sure to keep your eyes peeled – there may be a poster going up near you! Sound like a choir you’d like to try? Pop down for a free trial rehearsal or contacts us with any queries.
Fear not, dear friends, we have not deserted you! We will be back this upcoming week to sing and learn and develop together after our short half term break. This term brings us into the final countdown to our annual concert! Tickets are already available online here and hard copies will be on sale soon – we’ll see you all there!
We’ve spoken frequently about our choir leader Emily Peasgood; artist and composer extraordinaire. This time round, she has composed for Merge Festival, in partnership with Bankside Open Spaces Trust and Tate Modern, a piece centred around Crossbones Garden. Speaking about the project, she says, “Established as early as the 17th century, Crossbones is believed to be the final resting place for prostitutes, known as ‘Winchester Geese’, paupers, criminals and children – those who could not afford burial or were deemed unfit for burial in consecrated ground. The identities of those buried within are largely unknown; there are no distinguishable plots or headstones, but instead a cemented surface surrounded by a community garden created by Bankside Open Spaces Trust in collaboration with the Friends of Crossbones”. With this interactive piece set to air from 8th June until 1st July there is a buzz of anticipation around waiting to hear the next unique, orginal and as usual, unusual piece from our talented leader.
Some weeks ago we looked into how singing in a choir could help us to psychologically feel better within ourselves and improve our sense of wellbeing. This week we are going to delve into the physiological side of the argument; coming hand in hand with mental wellbeing, our physical health can be hugely impacted by singing in a choir, so here are just some of the benefits. Firstly, whilst “Exercise is one of the few activities in life that is indisputably good for us,” Daniel H. Pink tells us in his book, “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.” “Choral singing might be the new exercise.” It is thought that the practice of singing can increase your lung capacity, regulate your heart beat and increase the rate of release of endorphins (happy hormones). Research undertaken by Cardiff University even uncovered a secret within singing that could improve symptoms of lung cancer and Parkinson’s. A Music Professor Brenville Hancox “established, Skylarks, a choir aimed at people with Parkinson’s Disease. One of the participants in the choir explained how his voice had been strengthened, despite receiving a diagnosis of Parkinson’s five years earlier. Reasons for the improvement have been suggested as deep breathing and the extended use of the vocal chords.” Add all these impressive health benefits to those psychological benefits we discussed previously and singing in a choir sounds like a fantastic idea! You can give it a try at a free trial rehearsal or contact us with any queries.
Hello all! We wanted to update you on some key developments in our concert preparations – just to make you even more excited! We’ve started inviting members of the choir to try out singing solos to see if they’d like to in the concert – these will be decided for certain at the start of June so they can be perfected. We’re cracking on with our set list and getting throught nicely so we are nearly there on the musical side. Finally, tickets and posters are in the process of being designed for this year’s concert; tickets are already for sale online and hard sales will be available from June. All is on the way to completion and we hope to see you all there on Friday 20th July!