Here we are, almost half way through February and the summer holidays feel well and truly behind us. Thong-fit feet have been rounded up and shoved grudgingly back into shoes, but the back of the car remains defiantly full of sand and the days are still golden and long.
February feels like the month when things start to happen and take shape, the new year shakes out its tail feathers and finally finds its groove. School’s back, there’s a cool edge to the mornings and it’s not only smooth-fronted notebooks with pristine spines and pens WITH LIDS that are the order of the day. It’s all about seizing the sense of awakening and potential that accompanies new beginnings and fresh starts.
And perhaps for singing leaders looking to embrace the optimism that swept in on the coat tails of 2015, now’s the perfect time to sing out and celebrate life with some different songs. So! How would you like to source some great new material to sing with your group?
Well look no further, because we have found some for you, and it’s right here!
CânSing is a Welsh based organisation working in the UK to raise the profile and standard of singing across Wales. Whilst they work mainly with schools to deliver their program, they have heaps of resources available to share and download from their website, which they encourage use of ‘by anyone in any location’ in the true spirit of community music making. High five, CânSing.
You’ll have to choose whether to navigate the site in Welsh or English and once you’ve done that, you’ll find Call and Response Songs, Echo Songs, Rounds, 2 and 3 part harmony songs, and a stack of others to choose from, too. They also grade the material in terms of accessibility giving you the choice of Easy, Intermediate or Challenging. Not only that, but you can very easily pick a theme from the list, which is given at the side of the home page. So, if you’ve promised your mob a sea shanty, but the mere thought of singing ‘the drunken sailor’ has you heading for the poop deck, the CânSing site can help.
Listen to a song, and you’ll then have the option of downloading a pdf of the score and the lyrics, as well as mp3 rehearsal and parts tracks, and there is also support for teaching the song from interactive HTMLs. We think that’s pretty special and far too amazing a resource not to share with you all.
Sign up and keep reading the CMVic blog for further new links to other useful repertoire resources for leaders of community music, as we find them. Hop onto the CMVic website for a comprehensive list of the ones we’ve compiled to date, and do let us know if you know of one that we’ve missed.
In the meantime, here’s a link to a song for you all called ‘The Song of the Elements’ which is a teaching song about the elements of music written by Aled Lloyd Davies and Robat Arwyn, courtesy of CânSing. It was introduced to us here at CMVic following our Treetops music camp, held in May, last year. (NB it’s from the ‘challenging’ section of the website.)
Big thanks to Maurie for starting all of this off, and here’s to another community music filled year. Let us know how you go!
Online Editor, Community Music Victoria. February 2015