Regular readers will know that I do not do well in the bleak months of winter. Given the choice I would probably go to bed on New Year’s Eve and set the alarm for somewhere around the 1st March but as this is a bit impractical I have to find some other coping strategies.
My January mission this year was to try something new that is not connected to either work or parenthood. I hate the expression but, for want of something better, let’s call it the dreaded ‘Me-Time’.
Option one was the new Clubercise class at the gym. Leaping around to dance tracks in a dark room waving glow sticks? Yes please. Only problem is that all the super keen January gym bunnies have taken the spaces and it is fully booked for weeks ahead.
Option two was Rock Choir.
If you are not familiar with Rock Choir it is the current extra-curricular activity du jour for the Great British public. Six or seven years ago the menopausal masses were flocking to Zumba classes, evangelical about the new found freedom of shaking their cellulite to the Latin beat. These days it’s Rock Choir that commands the attention. You can barely walk down a UK high street without having to fight your way through a flash mob belting out a tune in perfect harmony.
I am not a big fan of Gareth-patron-saint-of-all-choirs-Malone (irrelevant really as he has absolutely no connection to Rock Choir) and this, combined with the general flash mobbiness had put me off having a go in the past, but over 20,000 members can’t be wrong. Right?
So off I trotted to a taster session at my local group.
Masses of people! Everyone was very focused on finding their chair and this made sense when someone explained that you sit according to your voice range from bass at one end of the room to high soprano and the other end. I sat in soprano as I had a friend there but it was bit high for me in bits, think Barry Gibb on speed, so I think I’ll be moving down the hall.
The session was led by an amazing instructor who was so full of energy and smiles and enthusiasm that even cynical old me was totally swept up in it. There is no music to read, all done by ear and by the end of the hour and a half session we were belting out the first half of UpTown Girl and sounding pretty good!
The hardest thing was remembering which part of the arrangement you are supposed to sing, I kept getting carried away and leaping in at the wrong bit. You also need to focus on hearing your own voice; several times I was thinking “Blimey, someone is singing way out of tune” only to realise that it was actually me. Bit awkward.
So I have signed up for the term. I’ll report back at Easter and let you know if my mood is lifted, immune system strengthened, and if I have managed to sit in the right chair and stay in tune.