Choir practice

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The choirs I’m inlearn mainly by repetition. We usually have the choir leader teaching us a line at a time. Some songs have simple repetitions, others have verses and choruses. We can sing in unison or are split into high, low and middle parts. We are kept in tune either with a melodion or a guitar. I actually find it harder to sing along with a guitar because it can be drowned out by our singing.

A new choir member asked how we can just start singing a song that we have never seen BEFORE. When that happens it’s usually because we have sung it in the past and it’s part of our old repertoire? Our song book is extensive and covers old and new songs and many languages including African songs, European and Indian.

I think joining a choir is one of the best things I have ever done.

Ear worm

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Dah, da, Dah Dah, da da da Dah, da da

Argh! Being part of a choir is wonderful. Until you learn a really catchy tune. Dah da da Dah… Then it sticks in your head.. Da dda… And won’t go away! Especially when it’s quiet.. Dee Dee Dah…. Apparently older women tend to get auditory hallucinations based on old hymns. Glad I don’t have that problem. But… Dah da… But… I do have an ear worm… Wiggling about in my head …. Dah de da de Dah….

Hoe Down?

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Who fancies coming to a Barn dance up at Penkhull village hall, Stoke-on-Trent on 19.10.19? It’s in aid of the annual Penkhull Mystery Play, next due to happen in July 2020. A huge community project that includes theatre, creative writing, music and FUN !

There’s dancing and spinning, hornpipes and all sorts of mad frivolities at the Barn Dance. Plus pie and peas (and a vegetarian option), oh and yes there’s a real ale bar.

The band is the Shropshire Heroes and the caller is the inimitable Baz Parkes who cajoles and explains the steps of the dances, gets the right numbers of people to join in and encourages people to miraculous efforts, including me!

So if you happen to be in Penkhull on the 19th and you are feeling energetic, why not come along?

Tired

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I want to sleep, I need to sleep. The noise is keeping me awake. I drift off into slumber, but wake because I can hear the noise outside, loud shouts and broken bits of arguments. Screams and music. But I nod off- +bibb ghn – typed on the screen without my knowledge.

Sleep tries to take hold and yawns crack my face. The screen on my phone darkens and I have to dart out a finger to keep it on. So tired…… Then car doors bang, two men shouting obscenities, a woman shouts and screams to be let in. Bright light in my living room burns through my eyelids… Awake again…

 

Singing

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I’ve missed singing for the last couple of weeks, one choir I’m in breaks up for the summer and the leader of the other is away on holiday. I love the boost singing gives me. It releases endorphins which improve your mood and helps lower stress. What prompted this was hearing an item on a radio programme where choirs who have a complaint about something ( like the price of fuel?) get together and write a song about the issue then sing it out. The idea is you sing cheerfully but express your complaint. Apparently this is happening all over the world. The item was on BBC radio 4 and may be on the BBC sounds app.

Learning the trumpet

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This is the finger positions fit the New world symphony that Im trying to learn. I can get the lower notes ( I still need to learn which notes are which). One thing with loud music being played outside is that no one can hear the notes I’ve been murdering in here!

I need to get my lips stronger to get a good embouchure. Practice is the only way to do it. At the moment the air escapes from the side of my mouth instead of going down the trumpet. Then there is the moisture from your breath. That’s why you have drainage holes to let it out.

Anyway maybe I will learn it well enough to play to people? We will see.

Thudding music

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How do I draw the loud music coming from the pub over the road? It’s been going on since before we got in at 4pm and it’s 7pm now. It’s the base beat, it’s shaking the house. There are also people screaming and shouting. I’m trying to ignore it. But the window frames are rattling! It’s literally making my head hurt. My shoulders are tense. I feel very angry. But, the people there are very aggressive and I don’t feel able to challenge 30 or 40 of them.

Imagination is a good thing. But some of the things I’m thinking are very violent! How I wish I lived in the middle of a field, in the middle of the countryside. Trying to think of quiet things, but I’m still annoyed.