When I’m booked to run a singing workshop for someone, I always make sure that I get there early. I usually arrive to find people milling around, chatting and drinking tea.
The hardest part of the day is to then get them singing!
I often joke that a singing workshop is simply an excuse to string a series of tea breaks together and have a good natter. It’s always difficult to get people back singing after a break, it’s as if they’d rather chat and drink tea all day.
Of course, the social aspect of singing together is very important. Somebody once said to me that if there’s a lot of chatting in the breaks, it means you’re doing something right.
It shows that people are relaxed with each other and feeling comfortable, which is a good basis for making music together.
Singing in a group creates a sense of community and gives people a chance to get to know others from all walks of life, regardless of background. See also We’re all equal here: singing together is the great leveller.
One of the delights of starting a new choir when I moved to a different part of the country, was that we very quickly met and got to know a large bunch of people in the area.
The only thing I ask, is: please put your cup of tea down in a safe place when we do actually start singing.