photo by James Vaughan
There is often the assumption that I must have travelled to all the countries that I teach songs from and maybe even speak the languages. Not true!
I usually tell the story of my first choir back in 1997 when I had just a handful of songs – enough to last one season. I was worried what would happen when I ran out.
I needn’t have worried: I soon managed to accumulate so many songs that even now – after teaching around 700 songs over the intervening 17 years – I still have a room full, a PC full, a bookshelf full and a CD rack full of songs that I have yet to teach (many of which I haven’t even looked at!). Enough to last a lifetime.
It’s like when you learn a new word. Suddenly you begin to notice it everywhere even when you’re not looking for it: on the TV, in the newspaper, in the book you’re reading, on advertising billboards, in overheard conversations. It’s not that the word is being used more, but you are noticing it because you’ve become sensitised to it.
It’s the same with song hunting. When you’re not looking you wonder where songs come from. But as soon as you begin to search for songs your radar becomes hyper-aware and you will find them everywhere: on the radio, on TV adverts, on CDs, in songbooks, on movie soundtracks, drifting out of people’s open windows, on YouTube, at workshops, leaking out of choir rehearsal spaces, at festivals, from friends humming, on old forgotten cassettes, in charity shops – everywhere!
So if you’re starting out and wondering where you’ll find all those songs, don’t worry: they’ll find you.
You might also like to read Finding songs for your choir, Easy songs for your choir and Buy song arrangements for your choir.