Sunday, September 27, 2009

Singing is good for you.

We have been watching an excellent program on BBC 2 called The Choir, where Gareth Malone, the Choir Master of a large well known orchestra, The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) goes to schools and in the last program to a community and encourages people to join the choir.

In the first program he transformed the kids from bored kids, who did not have anyway to express themselves into a choir.

It was beautiful to see the kids blossom and show the potential they had, that only needed to be encouraged and presented well.

The knock on effect was that kids became confident to apply for courses and jobs that they would not have done prior to joining the choir.

They even went out to the 2006 International Choir Competition in China, they did well, even just being there as they were just formed.

All the kids were so proud that they had got so far and went on to bigger and better things, most were still singing in choirs
The last program was in an unattractive town called South Oxhey, which was basically one huge housing estate and an ugly town centre shopping street.

They were next door to Rickmansworth, a more attractive, very middle class town, one with wood beams and ye old tea shoppes and people, who seemed to look down on their working class neighbours with contempt.

At first no one was interested, then he got some people and the rest followed, he went around town to everywhere there were people.

He went to schools, social clubs, boxing club, cafes and bars and the shops, karaoke evenings everyone was charmed by him and the first session he had 200 people turn up.

Gareth Malone is a very nice man and he went out and befriended this charmless place and the people loved it and you could see the feeling was mutual.

They became good choirs, he had two choirs, the Youth Choir and the Community Choir including the young men and the whole town turned out to see their first performance in the summer in the park.

There were people there at the concert, from neighbouring Rickmansworth who were full of surprised praise for the choir, they were impressed, that they had been so good.

When Gareth had visited Rickmansworth to invite people to0 South Oxhey, they could hardly believe that trhe people there could talk let alone sing.

After the performance in the park, the community spirit was alive and well and people were proud to be from the town, many who had been feeling isolated and lonely were now very obviously part of the community.

The Choirs were a source of pride to the community and this was lovely to see and was quite a transformation.

The choir was a source of great pride to everyone from South Oxhey, and at the end of the program Gareth Malone announced he would carry on being the Choir Master of the Community Choir and the Youth Choir.

An inspirational program, am now totally in favour of singing in groups, in choirs now I have seen how good it is for people to sing together.

Happy singing.


CrazyCris said...

I love the title of this post and couldn't agree more with you!

I've been singing in choirs since I was 9... have only not done it a couple of years. And I miss it dearly! Singing fills something inside me, makes me feel more zen, is an escape from my everyday worries.

Unfortunately not just an choir will do... you have to find the right fit. I tried to re-join the Unviersity choir in Alicante last year, and although I stuck with them to the year's end, it just didn't feel right. Now I'm in Belgium for 3 months so no point in looking for anything here, but once I get back to Alicante I'll have to start looking for a better fit.

In the meantime I'll have to make do with singing in the shower or while dancing on a Saturday night. ;o)

Herrad said...

Hi Cris,
Thanks for your visit and comment, hope you find the choir that will suit you when you are back in Alicante.
Have a good start to the week tomorrow.

Nat said...

I'm adding my vote. Singing is good for you. All through my teens I sang in our church choir... the community and friendship as well as the music is something I will always treasure. I sorely miss it too... but what with work hours and health issues I couldn't really give the proper commitment to a choir.

Nat x

Herrad said...

Hi Nat,
Thanks for coming by and adding your vote in favor of singing.
Choirs are brilliant, shame you can't sing with one now.
Have a goodd ay.

Amrita said...

Lovely post Herrad.
Gareth Malone is doing a super job .And should say he is a humble man too, as he works with the LSO.

I have also posted a music video by Libera - A south London Boy 's Choir on my blog.You must have heard them.

Thank you for the kitty photos, they are so sweet.The captions too.

Herrad said...

Hi Amrita,
Thanks for your visit and comment, you are right, Gareth Malone is a very modest man who is dedicated to getting many singing together, which is a good plan.
Have a good day.

Catherine said...

Hi if anyone knows the details of the London MS singing group please let me know at

In Belgium Zap mama run workshops, may be of interest.