Sunday, December 25, 2011

The 10 most popular posts of 2011

First of all, if you’re reading this post on Christmas Day: shame on you! Can’t you leave the computer alone for just one day in the year??!!

father christmas

Photo by Paul Wittal

But since you’re here, I thought I’d highlight the most popular posts of 2011 in case you missed any of them . . .

the 10 most read posts of 2011

  1. Why singing is bad for you (and 7 reasons why you shouldn’t stop doing it) 
    A tongue-in-cheek look at 7 terrible things that might happen to you if you start singing. 
  2. Handy hints for hesitant singers – 10 tips for singers new to choirs
    It can be tough joining a new choir, especially if you’re an under-confident singer. 10 tips to help you make the most of being in a choir. 
  3. Flying in choir formation – placing singers effectively 
    The pros and cons of having all singers in the same part standing together versus mixing parts up within the choir. 
  4. Music notation: what is it good for and do we need it to sing?
    Do you have to be able to read music to sing? Lots of people believe so and are put off joining choirs as a result. I don’t believe that it needs to be a barrier. 
  5. Why tenors shouldn’t sing on their own 
    Tenors and basses often don’t have recognisable tunes so it’s not very pleasant when they’re practising at home!
  6. “Everyone can sing” – what the hell does that mean??!!
    The whole of my work is based on my belief that everyone can sing. But what does that mean in practice?
  7. Are you tone deaf? Very unlikely!
    Very, very few people are tone deaf. Tone deafness is is an abnormality of the brain, so it’s extremely unlikely that you suffer from it. 
  8. What songs do atheists sing?
    I was asked to create a choir specially for an inter-faith event which set me to wondering what songs atheists sing. 
  9. Breathing for singers: it’s not what you’ve got it’s how you use it
    The size of your lungs isn’t important in singing, it’s how you use the breath in them.
  10. Keeping a choir happy – you can’t please everyone
    Is it possible to keep everyone in a choir happy or will there always be complainers?

7 posts that generated the most comments

  1. Is this blog for singers or choir leaders? You decide!
    Over the years I have written some posts which are directed at singers, and other posts which are directed at choir leaders. Am I trying to write for two completely separate groups of people? Should I focus the subject of this blog on just one group?
  2. How to stop singers using word sheets in concerts
    “In our choir we’re not allowed to use words in concerts.” Great idea. In principle. But how do you achieve it? 
  3. Standing up for your choir (or do you use chairs and sit down?)
    To sit or not to sit, that is the question. Whether ’tis better to be standing whilst singing, or to rest one’s weary bottom on the nearest chair.
  4. Confession: I don’t like to sing much
    I love singing. I earn my living by teaching songs, I enjoy singing with others, I adore listening to singing on CDs and the radio, but I don’t sing around the house. What about you? 
  5. We’ve come to sing, not to learn!
    People come to my singing workshops because they love to sing. But first they have to spend time learning songs. There needs to be a balance between learning and singing, with the emphasis on singing. 
  6. Do you care what songs you learn in a workshop?
    I’ve come to believe that it’s irrelevant what songs you teach in a workshop. People come to my workshops to have a good sing pretty much regardless of what songs they sing. Do you agree? 
  7. Read now to avoid disappointment – don’t miss out!
    Places strictly limited. Book now to avoid disappointment. How many times have you heard these kind of pleas for a concert or singing workshop? But the tactic can seriously back-fire.

the one post that I think got overlooked

I thought a post dealing with performance anxieties and how to overcome them would get lots of readers, but I was mistaken. Maybe none of you out there get nervous when performing!

But in case you do, you might want to check this post out:

What’s the worst that can happen? Dealing with performance nerves

merry christmas!

I do hope you’ve enjoyed my blog during 2011 and look forward to hearing some pithy comments from you in 2012.

Don’t forget, if you have any burning questions about choirs or singing, do drop me a line and I might use it as a general blog post in the future. You can contact me here:

And I’m always open to guest posts and suggestions for future articles.

Thanks to all of you out there who read my blog. I couldn’t do it without you!

Have a great Christmas and I’ll see you in 2012!


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