The elephant in the room


Thank you thank you to Cerys Matthews and her book “Hook, Line and Singer” – a wonderful resource

We had a lot of fun with “Nelly the Elephant” this week, that toe tapper from the 1950’s – this may sound like a rabble down the pub to some of you but to my ears it is music indeed, as it is a small group making a BIG noise and that for a community choir leader is a fabulous thing as it means that inhibitions are leaving the room. “Nelly the Elephant” is actually a pretty tough song, lots of notes and very rangy and even those who are not sure of all of it are singing strongly the bits they know which is brilliant. It may all sound a bit chaotic but listen to the joy, to the laughter and to the freedom. This is so important and from here we can tidy it up a bit as needed but it is FAR harder to move from ‘tight and tidy’ to expressive and joyful so I am very happy indeed

`Here also is another pic, reminding me to work on my posture ……


Giving new singers a chance to play around with lots of different types of material and lots of different ways of learning songs is vital (ie call and response, notation, not notation, no words, words on the wall, words on sheets etc) – my favourite way to teach is certainly no words, no notation and call and response but my favourite way as a participant is notation and words, so different strokes for different folks

It is also really necessary to let people have a good old sing with no concern of making mistakes and really giving themselves permission to sing out – I also make mistakes on the piano, apologise but with laughter, not because I am not taking the session seriously, quite the opposite – what I am saying is, it is not the end of the world to make mistakes

In fact this session inspired me so much it is going to inform the way forward for the project

More on that soon

Final session next week and then final report

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