How do we want our choirs?

We want our choirs to be inclusive.- a choir for everybody who wants to join regardless of how people consider that they can sing or not. Even people who consider themselves to be “tone deaf” has proved considerable improvement with practice, relaxation, enjoyment and lack of judgement. I even had students in the past who said “they couldn’t sing” and ended up a three year period being able to sing solos from musical comedies in front of an audience! Never underestimate your skills.
We want our choirs to be embracing– a group that at the same time that they do musical and body training, are working towards community building and socializing with the others. This process is as important as any final concert, performance or presentation; what is happening inside the choir, that is a matter of days and weeks and months of collective practice. We become inclusive when we are able to recognize and accept everybody with disregards of their “apparent” skills. And I say apparent meaning that many people join choirs thinking they can do less of what they can really do, and on the other hand, there are skills that sometimes remain unnoticed in a first instance that mean a lot to a group, and they are not always related to singing: patience, empathy and not being judgemental are some of them. People who naturally stand out in this are a real treasure for any group, as positive attitudes are contagious!
We want our choirs to be a safe place where to express ourselves– to be able to balance what as choir singers when sometimes need to give in, in favour of a group sound, so may be our way of singing in a choir won’t be exactly the same as our solo singing. At the same time we enjoy and give the opportunity to create spaces where individual expression is supported by the group and each member is given it’s time and opportunity to make their own individual contribution to the richness and variety of the whole.
Where we are all on the same boat.
Are we ready to become in our choir the difference that we want for the world?
  ©2014 Maria Soriano