December 11, 2013: Group Singing

When I was young, singing was an important part of my life. My mother would sing around the house, the family would sing together at meal-time prayers, and the church we attended included many opportunities for singing. We children were taught to read music and encouraged to sing. We all took part in church choirs or school choirs. I started at 4 years old, and kept singing through high school.

Then my life took me in other directions. I went to college, acting and dancing instead of singing; I worked; got married; went to graduate school; had a child; set up a chiropractic practice; had another child. There was no time or energy for singing, other than quiet lullabies to help the children sleep. I still loved to hear others sing; but my throat became tight and I stopped thinking of myself as a singer.

Now, many years later, I am singing again! When I returned from the trip to Lourdes, I saw an announcement that a small group was forming locally to sing songs of the winter season. With a required commitment of only 6 weeks, I decided to jump in! My throat was tight and ticklish at first, as I was still clearing the congestion I wrote about one month ago. I released old emotions and false beliefs from my throat, and now my vocal cords are loosening up. The congestion is gone, and it feels good to sing!

What a marvel it is to sing with a group of people! It is especially so when they can all sight-read the music, and sing their parts on first reading. The leader passes out printed music, gives us our first notes, and behold — instant beauty and wonder fill the room as the song comes to life in full harmony! I am awe-struck with each new piece presented. We then rehearse, learn lyrics, and fine-tune melodies and harmonies. Yet the simple magnificence of voices blending together reminds me that there is an ancient joy in humans singing together.

Our 6 weeks comes to an end this coming Saturday with a public sharing of the songs of celebration we learned. I know already that I am going to want more group singing after this one ends. I hope that you too can have some opportunities to sing with others!

December 11, 2013