From the front of the choir

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Rhythm & Song: It’s Never Too Late to Sing

When I meet someone new in town and tell them I lead a community choir, they react in one of two ways. Either their face brightens and with great enthusiasm they exclaim, “I love to sing!” or they recoil with an, “Oh, I can’t sing a note. I’m tone deaf!” followed by, “As a kid I was told to just mouth the words”.  At the same time, I witness fear or sadness cross their face like time-lapse storm clouds rolling across the landscape. The latter, often off-hand comments made by some harried parent, teacher or choir director, have left that person believing their personal voice isn’t good enough for singing. OUCH! The good news is that, contrary to popular belief, a very small percentage of the population is scientifically tone deaf.

On the other hand, we think we should just be able to open our mouths and sing like birds. In fact, the voice is an instrument like a ukulele or recorder. We don’t expect to just pick these instruments up and play them with skill right away – so why should we expect ourselves to sing well, with little effort or practice. The more often you sing, and the more you sing with awareness, the better you will get.

Singing with awareness is understanding how to breathe, understanding which parts of our bodies we use to sing, and how to listen to our own voice as well as to those around us. Just like learning a new physical activity, we have to wake up those dormant singing muscles and condition them.

Rhythm & Song is for teens and adults. We sing for fun and for the heightened sense of well-being we get from singing with each other. We also work on all the things that help singers develop their own voices – breathing, posture, vocal tone, rhythm and listening skills.

Though the Wednesday evening session is full, there is still space in the Monday afternoon session from 1:00 – 2:30pm. New singers are welcome. For details of fees and locations please visit www.jennifernoxon.com/choir or call 613-256-8809.

-Jennifer Noxon