Why sing in a choir?
There are so many obvious health benefits to singing in a choir. A joint study published in 2008 by the Universities of Harvard and Yale found that singing as part of a choir actually extended life expectancy.
Other amazing health benefits include:
- developing a sense of belonging and being a part of collective pursuit.
- lowering levels of stress, depression and anxiety.
- improved heart regularity.
- improve symptoms of lung disease and Parkinson’s.
- increase brain activity.
There is so much research available to back up the health benefits of singing in a choir and all you need to do is a quick internet search to find some amazing articles. There’s no question about it really – singing is just a good thing to do!
“Singing in a choir is cheaper than therapy, healthier than drinking and more fun than working out!”
What is a Male Voice Choir Practice Like?
Most practices begin with some warm-up exercises that get everyone singing together straight away. For those that are a little apprehensive or nervous about the prospect of singing on your own, the good news is that this doesn’t happen! Warm-up exercises and song are often done in unison and everyone sings the same thing together. This may split in 2, 3 or even 4 parts.
Within a male voice choir you are a member of a section. If you sing with a high voice you will be in the tenor section. If you prefer to sing with a lower voice, you will be in the bass section.
You sit together with members of your section, and very often music is sung that is in four parts:
- Tenor 1
- Tenor 2
- Bass 1
- Bass 2
In a male voice choir you will get the chance to sing the melody in your section as well as sing harmony parts too. Usually this is true within just a single piece of music.
After a quick warm-up, it’s time to start looking at some songs. Sometimes these are in preparation for a concert and sometimes just because they are fun to sing.
Traditionally when you think of a male voice choir you may automatically think of a Welsh Choir singing hymns and religious music. However, this is not the only type of music that a male voice choir would sing. The music covers a wide range of styles and genres including music from the theatre, popular music, classical and of course traditional Welsh Choir songs as well.
It is not essential to be able to read music as you will be taught how the part you have sounds. A number of members of the choir have joined without being able to read the notes of the music, but with practice and time have learned how to follow the shape and direction of the notes.
We learn music by listening and copying what we hear. This way it is possible to develop an instinct for harmonies and rhythm in a really natural way. Developing and building these skills are much more important than the need to be able to read music fluently.
When you sing as a member of a choir, the audience hears a group of voices not individual voices. This produces an overall, collective sound. To be a member of a choir it isn’t important to have the voice of Pavarotti or Russell Watson. The more voices that are singing together, the better the sound will be. It also means that you don’t need to worry about letting yourself go and singing out. If you happen to hit a wrong note here and there it doesn’t matter too much as there will be people around you that get it right!
The other real benefit to joining a choir is that there is no need to go out and buy expensive instruments that require insurance!
We all have a voice, and a male voice choir is a great place to come and use your voice. Singing is a great way to relax, meet new people and experience that feeling of being part of something.
Come and Get Involved!
Brackley Male Voice Choir is a friendly group of enthusiastic singers that meet on a Wednesday evening in Brackley Baptist Church, Waynflete Close. Our rehearsals start at 7:30pm and all you need to do to get involved is contact our Secretary (John Gleave) or our Musical Director (Shaun Humphries).
Please do feel free to contact us for any more information or to ask any questions – we would love to hear from you!
― Marty Rubin