For many years I have been concerned with 'access' to music and singing in the community. Opportunities to sing are rare for the average person! Unless you have an acting bent and are prepared to audition for a local music theatre society, you are relegated to joining a hobby band being a 'shower idol' or karaoke at your local pub. Chances to simply take the stage and sing are almost none and I know as I was training as a singer I frequently had to create my own opportunities. This was a LOT of work and along the way I realised I was also teaching wonderful singers who had simply chosen another life - a far more stable corporate career, a marriage or partnership with children, a mortgage, and so forth.
When I began teaching back in Sydney after years performing overseas, I set up The Fabulous Jazz Babies, a community jazz ensemble of my students that held fund-raising concerts for various charities over more than a decade. This was one of the most satisfying, creative, and fun endeavors and I am still friends with many of those people to this day, another decade after it all stopped because I moved away.
Today, I have Pitch Perfect Vocal Studio which holds twice-yearly concerts for the students and this year I am introducing the Poptastic Karaoke afternoons for the Junior Singers and the Shine and Cheese Karaoke evenings for the Senior singers!
The aim of the Poptastic afternoons is to allow new junior singers to debut their voices in a supportive environment - no adults or family or public allowed - just their fellow junior singers!
This allows our Nervous Nellies to take the microphone in an un-pressured event, WITH SNACKS :) Kids can bring a bean bag and have pizza while supporting their fellow singers - it is a win-win for everyone and a super way to provide more opportunities to perform. Most of all, it is a chance for the younger singers to watch their peers get up and have a go, and to realise it's not as scary as they may have assumed, everyone has their own issues and everyone messes up sometimes but that can also be fun and it is all survivable, LOL.
This is a great way to build resilience in a young person and to also extend their circle of freinds and supporters beyond school or even their neighbourhood. I am proud to be assisted by St Andrews Uniting Church for the Poptastic afternoon!