Monday, April 11, 2022

Are you dependent on something that enables you to sing or lead singers?

It might be your singer’s water bottle or conductor’s baton. We all have something important that enables us to do our singing.

What happens if you lose it or it breaks?

I’ll soon be leading my first singing workshop for over two years.

As I was gathering my necessary ‘stuff’ together (How much ‘stuff’ do you need to lead a group of singers? Far less than you think!), I realised I couldn’t find my “blowy thing” (also known as chromatic pitch pipes).

I teach acappella songs by ear, and use pitch pipes to give out starting notes. What was I going to do without them?!

If you have a smartphone there are plenty of tuner or piano apps available. I could have gone that route. But fortunately, I found my old, battered, pitch pipes hiding in a bag I hadn’t use for ages.

It did make me think though. We all have one vital piece of kit which we need in order to either sing or lead singers. It could be a tuning fork, a conductor’s baton, a sheet music folder, a pair of reading glasses, a favourite water bottle.

It makes sense to have a back-up in case you ever lose that thing or if it should break. Or at least a second copy put in a safe place.

Or maybe it’s time to wonder why you’re so dependent on something? It does make you vulnerable if it goes astray. Is there an alternative?

What if it’s a favourite singing jumper, or fancy case for your sheet music, or that old music stand that belonged to your grandmother? Not so easy to replace.

It might be that you’re using an object as a talisman or security blanket.

And getting a bit philosophical, it might not even be a physical thing you’re dependent on. It could be ‘confidence’ or the need to sing only Alto or always having your basses on the left as you conduct.

Time for a rethink? Or maybe a set of new pitch pipes? (mine are over 25 years old!)

Chris Rowbury


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