Monday, March 29, 2021

If you don’t sing (or lead a choir), are you still a ‘singer’ (or ‘choir leader’)?

Many of you won’t have sung with others or led a choir over the last year.

Does that mean you can’t call yourself a ‘singer’ or ‘choir leader’ any more?

People often define themselves by what they do. This is usually connected to your day job, but can also simply be how you occupy your time. However, a lot of us haven’t worked over the last year, or been able to practice our pastimes, so who are we?

If you sing regularly, it’s fine to call yourself a singer. If you lead a choir, then a choir leader is who you are. But if you do neither of those things, what and who are you?

During lockdown many of us have discovered that we are more than just our job. We have perhaps realised how vulnerable it makes us to put all our eggs in one basket. If we define ourselves by one thing, what happens when we can’t do that thing? See Be the best singer you can, but don’t forget there’s more to life.

The solution is to develop a broad range of interests and skills. Even if we end up doing one type of thing as our main occupation or pastime — singing or choir leading — having a wide range of other interests and skills will only deepen and enrich our practice.

Even when we do sing or lead a choir regularly, there are times when we might feel a bit like a charlatan or not a ‘real’ singer or choir leader. You might like to read Can I call myself a ‘singer’?

And, of course, there’s that other thorny issue: having not done it for a long time, can we still sing or lead a choir?

You might like to read this: Not done it for a while? Can you still do it? – the worries of singers and choir leaders or check out last week’s post The biscuits for singing workshops have gone stale. Have I gone stale too?


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Chris Rowbury




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