It’s a proven fact that singing can help to lift your mood and your spirits, and it is even more fun when we are surrounded by others, singing together. Studies show that choral singing improves our mood, with a decrease in stress, depression and anxiety as well as a number of health benefits. These benefits are enhanced in a group setting, compared to singing alone. So during isolation, why not try and join one of the virtual choirs that have sprung up in order to help bring people together and lift the mood of the nation through the power of song.
- If you’re looking for a Dementia specific choir, then All In Sound are opening up their weekly Dementia Sings choir session to anyone who would like to join. Thanks to a local grant, this local group for people with dementia and their carers, which used to meet up in Ely, is now open to anyone via their Monday morning Zoom meeting. A chance to see some friendly, sympathetic faces and to exercise your vocal chords, this regular chance to engage with the outside world is a great way to start the week. Kathryn Rowland, the director of the choir, says “We have a chat and a catch up so we can sing and keep connected. We’ve also got people calling to join from London and Belgium. It’s becoming international now, which is fantastic.” Anyone living with dementia can get involved and their carers too. For more information call Kathryn on 01353 662022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/AllInSoundMMT/posts/?ref=page_internal
- Everyone’s favourite choir master, Gareth Malone has created a national choir which is open to anyone who wants to join in. The Great British Home Chorus aims to give everyone the opportunity to contribute their voices and instruments to an ambitious and exciting digital music project. To register, visit the website and follow the prompts: https://decca.com/greatbritishhomechorus/ Once registered, a weekly schedule is emailed to you with music sheets and times for the Live YouTube tutorial along with a scheduled rehearsal. It’s possible to contact Gareth via comments during the live tutorial and then you can use the link they send you to record your version without having to share it publicly. You can also encourage friends to join you virtually by using Zoom or Facetime so that you can follow the tutorial on YouTube ‘together’.
- For the more experienced singer, the Stay At Home Choir is an online platform set up by Tori Longdon and Jamie Wright to keep some of the most amazing artists and ensembles in the world connected to the people who love their music. The music is shared with the members to learn at home before joining together to rehearse. Most of the pieces are at a fairly advanced level so would be perfect for a seasoned musician to re-join the musical community. For more information or to join in, visit https://www.stayathomechoir.com/
However you join in, whether it’s with one of these groups or just with family and friends, singing in a group offers us a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves it helps us feel part of a larger community which is so needed during a time when we can feel anything but. So go on, open your mouth and let the song fly out!