London choir

Seven reasons NOT to join a choir

Seven reasons NOT to join a choir

There have been loads of studies recently about why singing is so good for you, particularly in a group setting like a choir. The Guardian, for example, listed it just a few weeks ago among their top ways to make friends. Articles like these must contribute to the fact that there are now more people singing in choirs in the UK each week than playing amateur football (what?! Do check out Voices Now if you don’t believe us on that one)

But we wondered why nobody is talking about the negatives. There are two sides to every story, surely? We run four, soon to be five adult choirs, with hundreds of South Londoners singing each week so we feel reasonably well placed to comment on this. After all, we do see the effects on a daily basis. So, here you go: our top reasons why joining a choir is a really bad idea and you should look for another hobby.

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1) You’re likely to gain weight

If you’re looking for something that doesn’t involve going to the pub, then look again. Singing releases those pesky feel-good hormones leaving you with a post-rehearsal buzz. This normally leads to a pub visit for a “quick night cap” that more often than not turns into a couple. These extra calories plus a potential decrease in gym motivation (let’s face it, you’ve already got the endorphins without the sweat) can be severely damaging to your waistline.

2) Your friends might get jealous

Group singing is proven to bring people together quicker than other activities. More likely than not, you’re going to make a bunch of new friends that live locally to you. Your social calendar will get busier because it won’t just be about singing together once a week. Your current mates might feel a bit put out that you’re not at their beck and call!

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3) Your work focus may falter

When you’re singing, you simply can’t be thinking about work. On choir nights, you will have no choice but to leave work at work. There will be no time to sit and worry about that big meeting the next day or go over and over in your head how that presentation went earlier. Developing a skill that has nothing to do with your job and having something else to focus on will have an effect on your work/life balance. If you want to be all about the work, better give singing a miss.

One tenor down at Waterloo Station raising money for the Red Cross.

One tenor down at Waterloo Station raising money for the Red Cross.

4) You’ll probably be way out your comfort zone at times

Whether your previous singing history is some drunken karaoke, shower singing or even if you’ve done quite a bit of choir before, you will be asked to do something that takes you over that comfort zone line. This has been known to cross over into other life areas so you might find yourself changing a little bit and doing things that surprise you. If you’re happy just as you are, better steer clear.

5) Life might seem a bit bland

Speaking of comfort zones, performing might not be something that you think you’d want to do. Standing up and singing in front of other might even feel like your worst nightmare right now. But honestly, once you get over the nerves and experience the incredible performance buzz, (especially alongside a live band) there’s no going back. Other day-to-day life activities might start to pale in comparison.

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7) If you’re single, you might go on less dates

On a weekly basis, you’ll find yourself in a room full of like-minded people with similar interests without the need to make awkward small talk. You will, however, have less time to scroll through endless profiles on those 5 different dating apps to make sure you find “the one”. And speaking of dates, if you sing in a choir your musical taste and knowledge is going to expand. When asked that awful question, “So what kind of music do you like?” you’re going to be that person who answers with “oh, lots of different types of music”.

6) People might assume you’re a better singer than you are

When you tell people you’ve joined a choir you might hear something like “oh, I didn’t know you could sing! Sing us something.. Go on..” What they don’t get is you don’t actually have to be an amazing singer to join a choir as it’s about the collective sound you make. This misunderstanding might prove awkward at times.. Particularly in a karaoke environment: “Chris will do it.. He’s a singer, he’s in a choir!” etc etc.

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So there you go. Those are our top seven reasons not to join a choir. As you can see, it’s probably better you look for something else that has a greater potential to impact your life in a more positive way.

If after reading this we haven’t managed to put you off, get in touch by emailing becky@realvoices.co.uk or submitting our quick online form here. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Buses, Glitter and Angel Wings: #RealVoicesOnTour

July 2017 saw the very first (of hopefully many!) tours for Real Voices! With at least one performance every weekend it was a fairly busy month for our Vauxhall and Brixton choirs! 

We kicked things off as every tour should: singing on a bus in Stockwell! We were privileged to start the entertainment on the Stage Bus at the Stockwell Festival.

We then got on an actual bus to pop up to the Southbank centre for the fabulous Chorus Festival. Organised by Voicelab, this takes place every year and brings many different choirs together for a celebrating singing. We performed a half hour set on the Clore Ballroom Stage to a fantastic audience. This was the first time both choirs had performed properly together and what a sound we made :)

The following weekend took Real Voices north of the river for the first time ever! Now, we’d only take our choirs out of South London for something as special as the Voices Now festival at the Roundhouse! As part of a weekend full of fantastic workshops and choral performances, the festival also offers choirs the chance to perform on the open stages. One performance at the Roundhouse and another down the road at Camden Market. An absolutely glorious day of singing in the sunshine, dressed to celebrate London Pride!

The Vauxhall choir then descended on the Wheatsheaf Hall the following day for their end of year gig. Joined by the Milton String Quartet and of course our fantastic regular band, it was a really fitting celebration of the first year of Real Voices. It was a fantastic evening all round - the perfect atmospheric setting, great music and a fantastic audience. More photos to come..

The following weekend we stayed close to home with a performance at the Lambeth Country Show! We were on the Oxjam Clapham stage, and despite the rain, had an absolutely fantastic time performing to a great audience. We don't have many photos but there are some amazing ones here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/…

To round off a great month, the Brixton choir had their debut performance as a collective at the Hootananny Brixton. We just about managed to squeeze on the stage, with the bases on a box at the front (as you do!) Having only formed in February this year, it was wonderful to celebrate the achievements and progress they’ve made so far.

So, a fairly packed July! We are now resting up before we get singing again in September. If you’d like to get involved, we’re actually full in Vauxhall and currently only have space for men in Brixton. However, we are launching a new Clapham Junction group on Tuesday evenings in September! Get in touch if you’d like to come along to see if you like it!