No Hairbrushes Required! Singing with Dynamic Meladies by Liz
Why come to the Dynamic Meladies singing group?
I've never been one to parade in front of a mirror with a hairbrush microphone, doing a Kate Bush. But I always did like singing, after a fashion. Sadly, my own fashion, which was just a few notes in the middle and a squeak for anything high, and pot luck for the words. But that was ok, I only sang in the car.
When I arrived in Glasgow about three years ago at age 56, I didn't know anyone, and had to make a start. Having seen Gareth whatshisface on the TV, I thought I would join a community choir, where it wouldn't matter if I couldn't sing or went wrong, because it was the singing and taking part that mattered. The first choir I tried was very friendly, but I didn't know any of their songs and I can't read music, so I felt useless. Then I read about the Dynamic Meladies on Meet Up, and contacted them to say I was pretty rubbish, didn't want to perform but if I could stand at the back I'd quite like to come along. They replied saying I was exactly the kind of person they were looking for. So, along I went, very apprehensive, thinking, 'Oh well, I'll just sing quiet'.
The group was just starting off at that time, and the first song was Lean On Me. It was quite emotional, as I didn't have anyone to lean on at that time, and wished I did. The two teachers sang it through, melody and harmony, and I thought, I'll never be able to do that. So, it was with some elation and wonderment that two hours later, the group of ladies, all of us beginners, produced what I thought was an amazing performance. Goosebumps. I was hooked and have been going ever since.
A lot has happened over the past three years. Firstly, I've made some fantastic friends, the ladies are a hugely supportive group, with a great sense of fun. Secondly, I've learnt how to sing much better - we do stress-busting stretches, breathing exercises, and scales before we start. And we learn each song slowly, going over any bits we find tricky - it's a very easy place to speak up and ask - there's always others in the same boat as you. I've also found that singing does something good - no matter how down I might feel when I arrive, I come away on a high. I don't know why this is, but I'm not going to argue with it. The third thing that's happened is that my confidence has increased beyond recognition. This is an amazing group, with wonderful (slightly zany) teachers who work incredibly hard to help people to sing, with fantastic results. I now get asked to sing at a local guitar group - in the past, I never, ever, ever would have sung.
Each week we learn a new song, or polish a previous one - it's mostly popular, well known songs, including Christmas ones, a bit of Burns, occasional folk tunes; or if there's a 'gig' coming up (these are completely optional) we practise for that. There are also workshops every so often, where we focus on such things as story telling, or how to sing high notes, or pitching (how to jump from one note to another when it's difficult), or performance.
I still don't do Kate Bush with a hairbrush in front of the mirror, but the classes have certainly broadened my knowledge and increased my enjoyment. If you are thinking of joining a singing group, do come along and give it a try. It's a brilliant group and we’d love you to be part of it!