Are we,as a country,in danger of only having citizens who have to be entertained,and not ones who can entertain themselves?
Yes,it’s probably not as simple as the question implies,as there are always nuances in every issue that we might raise.However,it’s something that bothers me as a musician,and as a music teacher.
I like so many others,grew up in a community where to sing in a choir was quite a normal activity.It didn’t cost you anything,you had a sense of shared ownership,and quite often,as in my case,it lead on to other musical interests.
Many of my pupils have volumes of music available to them on their devices,and many listen to music in various forms for hours in a day.However,trying to get them to appreciative other genres that don’t form part of their cultural identity is often a real challenge.
Many associate singing as something that is done in a studio,or in the voice,or x-factor,or some such reality TV programme.Whilst we all can applaud the success of these shows,it’s a shame when the focus is on celebrity and not just the joy of singing for its own sake.
Recently,a good friend of mine visited Cape Town,in South Africa.He remarked that in that city there were over 1,ooo choirs.That figure floored me.I doubt weather there are 1000 choirs in 20 of our cities put together.He put a lot of their love for singing down to their roots,their interdependence,and their general poverty.
Yes,all those factors may,or may not be true,but wouldn’t it be lovely if we could start a resurgence in singing in our country too.
Music at its most primitive,starts with vocal folk song,and folk music has played a marvellous role in our musical consciousness in this country.By started a debate about entertaining ourselves,we offer a counter narrative to this obsession with celebrity culture.
We all have a voice,we all can make iat least some noise.
Have a go.One your own.In the bath,shower,with you brother,sister,parent or carer.