A Community of Voices
by Ramesha Nani
Music has a power. It changes those who listen to it and those who sing and play it. J. D. Walters, an American composer, said “Music is so much more than entertainment. It doesn’t merely reflect a state of consciousness: It also generates it.”
I experience the truth of this statement every Tuesday night, when I rehearse with the choir. Even if I’m tired, had a bad day, or am in a bad mood, I always know that by the end of rehearsal, I’ll feel light, joyful, and energetic, sometimes even to the point where I have a hard time going to sleep afterwards!
I found an interesting study on www.chorusamerica.org. Here’s an excerpt:
“Chorus America’s study found that an estimated 42.6 million Americans regularly sing in choruses today. More than 1 in 5 households have at least one singing family member, making choral singing the most popular form of participation in the performing arts for both adults and children.
That’s good news because the study also found that singing in one of the 270,000 choruses in the U.S., such as a community chorus or a school or church choir, is strongly correlated with qualities that are associated with success throughout life. Greater civic involvement, discipline, and teamwork are just a few of the attributes fostered by singing with a choral ensemble.”
Music can do that. But the group magnetism also plays a very important part. A choir is like a small community. Its strength and positive influence on the people in it, as well as the audience, is directly related to the singers’ willingness to blend their voices and energies together to create a unified sound. As long as the desire to stand out and be noticed is present, the true spirit of group singing is absent. It’s only when each singer humbly offers their voice to become part of something much greater than any individual that the choir can become a powerful instrument to uplift and inspire.
Here’s a short interview with John Rutter, a British composer, conductor, editor, arranger and record producer, mainly of choral music, about the importance of choir:
A lot of what’s happening in the world today seems to undermine people’s trust in one another, creating disharmony and division. Singing together is a simple, fun, and effective way of building bridges, fostering harmony, and creating a sense of community. Try it!
NEW AND UPCOMING
I’m very close to publishing my new online course How to Sing High Notes Without Effort!
It’s a series of 18 videos with instruction and guided exercises to naturally and effortlessly expand your vocal range, and overcome once and for all fear of high notes.
I will send out more information and samples soon. Stay tuned!