A little about online singing:
An online choir will never be able to replace the sound and feeling of singing in person with a local community choir. So yes, I use the word choir loosely. These sessions will probably feel like something of a hybrid between a choir, sing-along concerts, some campfire jam sessions, a playful creativity workshop series, and sometimes even a bit like private singing lessons (as you'll be singing along with just my voice).
We will be using the Zoom platform for these sessions, so we'll be able to see each other and type messages in the chat, and wave and smile but participants will be muted most of the time, especially when we sing (because of our varying internet speeds and time lag issues). However, I will often use my two 5 track loopers to create layered harmony vocals for everyone to hear and sing with. Yay!
I am excited to say that my Summer Choir is currently in session and we are collectively finding musical growth, a feeling of connection and fun!
Here's a neat thing about online singing, Pssst! No one can hear you... tee hee hee. This will be a choir where you still get to see the smiling faces of your fellow singers, but with the anonymity of being muted while singing, you can also go ahead and try stuff without throwing your neighbour off their part. Woot!
So feel free to make this your own and try the stuff you want to try. If you want to sing the verses and be the lead singer on every song... go for it! If you want to keep it light and easy and just sing along with the melody on each chorus, go for it! If you want to use this experience to really work on your harmony singing and holding down parts, this will be a great place for that. If you want to randomly try singing a different part on a song than the week before, or even try coming up with your own parts... go for it! If you want to try out scat solos and improvised soul licks a bunch, go for it! If you have a tired voice or sore throat one week and you simply want to tune in to see the smiling faces and listen to me sing, that's cool too.
The vibe of these sessions is intended to be very relaxed and playful and soulful and fun. Each singer can choose how deep into the learning they want to go (with the audio learning files available on the members page, you can use them for extra study/singing time or not). I arrange songs into high, middle and low parts and singers can sing those parts in any octave they like, and can freely switch around and try different parts whenever they want. Some songs will have extra layers, like 3 part harmony "ooo's" happening under 3 part harmony lyrics and maybe a vocal bass line as well. In songs like this, my looper will be doing all the heavy lifting and covering all the parts, and each singer at home can still just pick whichever part they feel like singing and we'll always have all the parts covered...woot, thanks looper. :)
Right now we can't come together and sing in the same room, but we can still sing. So let's do this. Let's get our sing on.
More about online singing...
Still want to read more about this choir, my ideas on singing in general and also online singing? Cool, I shall write more!
Here's one specific example of a group singing activity that works better online than in person:
If I'm leading a workshop in person with 50 people and I say, "let's try some improvised call and response. I will improvise some phrases and you guys can sing back exactly what I just sang, together." Well, that will probably be a bit of fun and sound pretty great.
But what if I say after that, "ok, let's give you guys some room to explore. Let's do the same thing but when you sing your replies, try playing with them a bit. You could stretch the timing or sing something back a little higher or a little lower, or you can just go ahead and get crazy and sing whatever in the spaces between my phrases."
Hmm... you can see how that would get pretty messy. Well, with online singing, all the participant singers are muted and everyone is singing with just me, so it's the perfect platform for exploring this type of open concept singing together.
My current summer choir has about 100 members and they get to sing each week with the feel and spirit of a community choir (because they can see each other singing and smiling and they can chat in the chat feed and all that good stuff), but the sonic experience has lots of space for each singer to be developing their own ear and sound and style. In a way, each singer is having a private singing session with me, because they are singing with just my voice.
Yes, when us humans sing together in a room we sound awesome and we all love to feel that energy and the vibrations of 100 voices ringing out together. Woo! But this crazy alternate universe we've all stepped into has led to this brand new discovery that online singing sessions have something new and unique to offer us. They are actually a better place for singers to explore their solo voice, their individual creative ideas, going out on a limb and trying to find a different harmony part, hopping between the high, the middle, and the low part so you can always sing the melody... or doing the same thing so you always sing a harmony!
We always spend some time in every session doing some light and easy singing that is fun, joyful, and soulful. But we also spend some time in every session where I share some ideas and sing some examples and then give the singers room to explore their own voices and ideas... with everyone except me being muted, all the singers have privacy and space. This is the choir where I can give singers ideas to try and then the room to play. And is it so much fun!!!
If this already sounds like fun to you, well, you're in the right place... come sing!
If this sounds a bit scary or intimidating, I promise I lead in a very invitational, open, and gentle way. I always give multiple options so people can explore and sing how and if and what they feel comfortable with. I also work hard to make these sessions feel approachable, engaging, inspiring and satisfying for singers of all levels of experience and confidence. I 100% believe that each of us was born with a voice because each of us was born to sing.
Here is an analogy, think of singing a bit like riding a bike. When we were first learning it was scary and awkward, right? We were always worried about falling and scraping our knees... and we did! We did fall, and we did scrape our knees! But, once we got to a certain comfort level, we could get on our bike and feel the ease of momentum and the wind in our hair. We could fly! Well singing is much the same. Whenever we're trying a new thing it can feel a little daunting, but when we let ourselves try, in an environment that feels supportive and safe, we can open up new areas of singing for ourselves. And just like with biking, we can feel like we're flying!
I love every voice, scraped knees and all! So whether you're already an experienced and fearless mountain biker or perhaps feeling like someone who just happens to own a bike, but hasn't pulled it out in 20 years; I invite you to come sing with me.
If you have any questions, you can drop me a note here.