11 August 2014

An Experiment in Blogging and Music

I thought I'd experiment with blogging instead of Facebooking. I got a little cranky last week when I posted absolutely gorgeous photos of a baby koala and mama we'd seen in the wild and nearly no-one on my Facebook feed saw them - until I posted a sad follow up about people not commenting.

Of course, a blog post feels like it should take longer to write and have a bit more care put into it than a Facebook post, but we'll see how I go.

This morning I'm off to choir practice - if I can get the address and time. It's a once off choir to perform for Seniors' Week, and silly me deleted the email with the details. BUT, I do have the lyrics, safely filed away in my performance folder and sitting in my new choir tote.

It's sad that choirs have gone the way of the dodo bird. Singing is such a natural and instinctive part of what it is to be human. In our modern, busy society we think that only experts or those 'good enough' should be allowed to sing, or least to be heard. (Unless, of course, you're a little tipsy, in which case you are invited to make an absolute fool of yourself at the local pub karaoke.)

I think the advent of recorded music inadvertently destroyed many of our avenues of community singing. Why gather around the family piano listening to Uncle Albert belt out songs with no sense of tune or timing, when you can listen to Buble sing the same songs with true expertise? Why indeed. Because music is not just about the listening, it's about the participating.

We used to be able to participate in church, but by and large, that has also gone along the wayside. In recent history, church music has become "popular" and is now written for the professional, trained singer, not the ordinary Joe.

I once had a run in with someone about whether I sang well enough to lead singing in church. A friend commented to me, "Maybe they should see you as a canary. If, with the training you've had, you cannot sing the song well, then chances are that ninety percent of the congregation can't sing it either." But, sadly, too often the focus is no longer on ensuring the church body gets to sing the song wholeheartedly. The focus on the team at the front sounding brilliant.
My regular choir, Jacaranda Jam Community Choir, is composed of a wide variety of singing abilities. Everyone is accepted. Even if you can't hold a tune in the shower, you're welcome to come along and participate. We work very hard to sound good. But that's the difference - we work hard to sound, we don't expect people to turn up sounding good. We allow room for growth and mistakes. It's a very safe environment to enjoy singing.
Ah, the details of today's rehearsal have turned up. So, I'll be running along shortly. It's a little scary, agreeing to join this group. Apparently, last week they only had four people. Not quite the same safety in numbers as Tuesday's group, but I can guarantee that the audience will be singing out loud and proud, being from the generations that used to sing more.


aussiemaher said...

Glad to know you are out doing what you love to do! Way to go suebk :).

Rita@thissortaoldlife said...

I'm with you on the Facebook thing. Thinking of making a similar change myself.

Jeri Dansky said...

I'm glad to see you post here - because I deleted my Facebook account, and I'll never see you there.

My sister-in-law sings in a choir here in the San Francisco Bay Area. A sizable minority of the members now get their music on an iPad, rather than using paper scores. Is anyone in your part of the world doing that?