When I was an awkward adolescent, I’d seek solace from the world in music. Not music making; in fact I’d go to extremes not to have to do my piano practice and would spend lessons trying to keep my teacher talking so we’d run out of time. The music my soul responded to back then was by bands like The Cure: mildly maudlin but not too scary. Nice harmonics and a bit of melody thrown in amongst all the lyrics about love lost and being misunderstood by the cruel, cruel world, hey I was fifteen and thought nobody else had been. Ever.
After trying (disastrously) to dye my hair black like Robert Smith’s, I eventually moved on.
But music has underpinned each stage of my life and I’ll often find myself crying when I hear a cello, a violin or a harp, or anything played well.
What I overlooked for years was an instrument I’d had all along. My voice. Not a great voice, pretty unremarkable and yet blended with others in a group context something magical happens, and it gives me such joy to release it and feel it soar. Singing is the best feeling: it releases endorphins, connects you with other people and as instruments go, no awkward carrying case is required, plus you can whip it out at any old time and in any old place. Then there’s the zing you get from harmonising, oh boy. But I’ll save that for another time…
I haven’t been to my singing group for a while and I really miss it. I’m planning to start back, but in the meantime I’d encourage anyone reading this who’s never tried group singing to give it a whirl.
If you live in Victoria, Australia, and are looking for a singing group to join, have a look at the groups page of Community Music Victoria’s website. They’ll help you find one to go along to, and failing that they’ll offer you support and training to start one of your own!
Article by Deb Carveth
CMVic Online Editor