Roll away the January Blues and consider Joining a Choir in 2020
So, here I am in January typing this post with a hot water bottle on my lap. It seems ridiculous to put the heating on when it’s only me at home during the day, thinking about being warm… well warm ups and singing at least. I always get warm when singing properly, and after singing at home or during a choir rehearsal I generally feel warm and relaxed.
Choir Warm Ups
It often seems a little crazy to always start a rehearsal with a warm up, and mostly I think this is to stop the chatter and focus us as a choir. Some choirs then go on to exercises for vocal conditioning and awareness of the sounds they do and indeed should make. There is a lot of technical information available about what exactly this achieves. Which muscles are being strengthened? How, by making different vowel sounds are you still able to sing and improve without knowing exactly how this all works. Luckily, my vocal coach leads us in this and reminds us when we are singing of the sound qualities she desires and how that warm up thing we did just a few minutes ago relates…
I used to sing all the time when at school and was fortunate to be in many different choirs; At various points I was in a girls’ motet choir, the chamber choir and the school choir as well as smaller groups which would rehears for the musical theatre productions. Every lunchtime and many hours after school I was involved in singing. This is where I was happiest, spending time with my friends in the music department and being introduced to a wide variety of music. It was normal school life. I realise now just how lucky I was to have this extra-curricular education, and am eternally grateful to the music teachers and coaches that encouraged me.
Why Join a Choir?
I left school and went to read a degree in Physics which left me no time for anything else. For many years, I did not sing and realise much later that I had lost a big part of myself. I felt cold and disconnected with myself.
I joined a choir, and began to warm up again. I reconnected with myself and found my voice.
There are many choirs all over the country and if you ever think, oh I love singing but feel reticent to join, then all can say is give it a try. Sing in the car, sing in the shower, sing when you’re walking the dog, sing when you’re happy, sad, angry, joyful. Sing when you’re cold… talking of which I have music to learn for this evening’s rehearsal so I’ll be off to warm up now.
About the Author – Shelly Richman sings in a number of choirs in Wiltshire and often helps out on location with Recordings 4 Choirs as a Sound Engineer