Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Celebrating Age Singing Group

On September 10th a new singing group will be starting, based at the Celebrating Age Centre on Victoria Street in Hamilton, New Zealand. I cannot tell you what it will be called as the participants will decide that. They will also decide what style of music they will sing, and how they will be accompanied. The only conditions are that they are at least 60 years of age, and that they want to sing, whether they think they can or not. I also hope that the group will take themselves, i.e. leadership will come from within the group. I want to have a mentoring role, and also be able to research the group.

This morning (and yesterday morning) at 7:30 a.m. I met with a group of nearly 30 of our MMP students here at the University (mixed media presentation).(there are 126 in the whole group) They do most of their learning via computer, and are here on campus this week for an arts intensive, with lessons in dance, drama music and visual art for 6 hrs for each Arts discipline. This singing session was added on to an already full programme, but they came!

Last time they were on campus I had some voluntary singing sessions with the whole group, and got the message that some lacked either confidence, or thought that they could not sing. These students, who self-selected, made up this morning group. Do I need to write that of course they can sing, and they did sing, and as a group made a really nice sound. Average age probably late 30s. Two 25-minute sessions will not change decades of lack of self belief in singing ability, but they have started, and they have heard what they can do. It is certain that everybody can sing!! I do not mean singing solos, in the same way that if you can write you don't have to write novels or poems. The new group at Celebrating Age will be founded on that knowledge.

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