every tralalalala every whoa-woh-oh

you probably dont know this but i can sing. not like a diva soloist opera type singing or anything, but i can pick a note and go with it, up and down scales, i can follow along with what others are doing, sometimes i can lead, i can sing the harmony or the melody, mostly alto, sometimes mezzo-soprano. i have been in choirs since i was a kid, i was in the big state choir that performed at the opera house every year. i sang back ups for a friend making DJ mix tapes at uni straight out of school, and then with a friend and his guitar and a 4 track in a shared house. a few years ago some phd friends and i joined a small group called the sapphire lounge singers, so named because of our rehearsal/performance space in the Sapphire Lounge at the Heritage Hotel in Bulli. we disbanded a while ago and ive been missing it. i heard about a little group from some people at work but turns its more of a wine drinking singing circle. i wanted to do more than that, and i wanted to actually learn, to improve my technique, and my confidence.

so i joined the wollongong conservatorium of music.

i stayed at work till 6 last night (cos you know, i dont have much to do there at the moment!) then caught the bus around the botanical gardens (which stupidly shut at 5, which is a bummer because i wanted to walk through them, being careful not to get my bustle caught in a hedgerow!). my class was in the Orchestra Room, at the end of this little red brick building

tucked in amongst the trees. this is such a wonderful space, and it was so lovely to have the windows open and the warm air coming in and the cicadas and smell of flowers.

it was a motley crew, just a sing for fun group, but with some great strong voices, and our teacher, karen, is AMAZING. i learnt more from her last night than ive learnt in years. we did breathing, stretching and standing exercises, moved our jaws and mouths in funny ways, walked around the room making funny noises, like horses whinnying up and down scales, then singing number intervals, and then parts of songs in groups then together, than whole songs.

karen and one of the other members can play the piano, so we had accompaniment, and we sang ‘lean on me’ with an almost gospel arrangement, and then a stephen foster collins american classic ‘hard times come again no more’.  i sang the melody, or alto part, in both. next week we are learning one of my all time favourites, ‘down to the river to pray’ by allison krauss, and a new arrangement of the beatle’s ‘blackbird’. we are going to perform at the conservatorium’s ‘end of term’ concert, and then at a big vocal festival later in the year. im so excited, i cant tell you how good it feels to be letting my voice run free again! i have been walking around at work all day singing in my head, and its making the craziness that is life there at the moment a little easier to tolerate.

on that note (pun intended) the minions are settling in and that should start to take the pressure off over the next week or so, so i hope i will be able to return to blog reading, commenting, facebook and twitter, as one is meant to do at work. in between practising my singing parts of course.

k xx

About DrK

researcher, knitter, dog lover View all posts by DrK

18 responses to “every tralalalala every whoa-woh-oh

  • Tia

    Good on you! There’s nothing so soul freeing as singing. I miss that feeling of singing in front of people. Have loads of fun!

  • 2paw

    Oh It’s Yesterday Once More?? How fabulous, I am so glad you have found a wonderful creative thing to do. I loved being in choirs when I was at school, and later on. The poor Labradors have to listen to em sing all the time!!

  • RoseRed

    Hello Karen Carpenter! (I think…heh!)

    What a cool thing to do and what a funny little building is the Gong Conservatorium! (am thinking of the Sydney version, heh!) I am very envious of your singing ability. I am totally tone deaf – no idea if I’m in tune or not. Which doesn’t bother me but I do feel sorry for husby. Sometimes…

  • jp

    A friend of mine sings with a group that occassionally perform and it is wonderful to go see. For her there is a need to go to singing if she misses it she gets really antsy. I am glad you have stepped into such a great experience.

    Thanks for the Carpenters Earworm as well.

  • Ailsa

    I know you know that I picked that you could sing by your lovely speaking voice.. I’m so glad you’ve joined a choir. I hope to hear you one day soon..


  • shellauw

    Gorgeous! I love what you’re singing, and that you’re enjoying it! Hooray!

    I’ve been told to join one of the big choirs here. I was thinking of chickening out, but now that I’ve read your post, I may, but I’m waiting until the current choir master leaves for Brisbane, I’ve met him before and don’t really like him.

  • Bells

    i’m so glad you’re doing this. I think you’re so busy you need some lightness and music in your days!

    I’ve always loved to sing but I’m so damn shy about it I never do it outside the house anymore. I admire you for joining a choir!

  • Jan

    That sounds wonderful. Enjoy it.

  • Jeanie Babbage

    I sing along with the radio in the car, but it is only for me as I don’t do it well. But I love to listen to those who do. If your group ever makes a recording I would love to hear!

  • Melissa

    What other creative talents are you hiding from us!? I have always wanted to be able to sing, but I am too shy to learn. At least the smalls don’t laugh at me (yet).

  • 1funkyknitwit

    This is wonderful news that your doing this and I didn’t know you could sing 😀

    I’ve always admired people with musical talents being able to sing and actually sound good, I’m afraid if I sang people would faint.. of shock that is and then tell me to stop. I so admire what your doing.. great stuff !

  • Lisa ER

    Karen is an amazing singer and teacher too. My four kids and I are their the same night for orchestra and we stayed on and listened through the door! It sounded fabulous

  • donna lee

    I always sang in choirs and choruses in both church and school. I love to sing but like Bells, don’t do it in front of anyone anymore. I don’t know why we’re so shy about singing when it feels so good to do it. I don’t listen to music on my mp3 player on the train because I know I will sing and I don’t want to do that to the other riders! That’s why I have audiobooks.

    My oldest daughter loves to sing and can’t carry a note in a bag but I encourage her to sing anyway. It just feels so good.

  • missfee

    down to the river is my all time favorite – and i love how all of the voices join in as the song progresses

    what fun it sound like – and music as a balm for the soul

    good on you for doing this

  • Leonie Tewierik

    Exciting and probably terrifying at the same time. I hope it all works out for you.

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