I really believe in community singing as a way for anyone to have access to music making. You don’t need to be able to play an instrument, you don’t need to read music, you don’t even have to have been part of a music group before. Whatever your level of experience, there will be a group that sings in a style you enjoy. So I was excited when TEDx University of Manchester asked me to come along to their event on Saturday and lead a barbershop singing workshop. What a great place to encourage people to try singing, especially when the theme of the whole day was to try something new! And, of course, as you’ll know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I’m a sucker for TED talks!
After some confusion about whether we would be teaching people to cut hair, the workshop was great. None of the people taking part had sung in an acapella harmony group before, so it was definitely a new experience for everyone involved. Even though there was a quite a bit of ambient chatter around us, everyone was very enthusiastic and we learned a round and a tag in only twenty minutes! As Camillo Cosentino said in his talk at the event, the one thing that computers cannot replicate is human creativity. Taking part in music making helps to enhance your creativity. And that’s just one more reason to make it as accessible as possible for everyone.