On November the fourth I was lucky enough to take part in a day of song and inspiration. Clare Bowditch and Big Hearted Business run an annual Sing-Song Showtime day for anyone who loves singing, and to reinforce that they can indeed sing (whether they have been told they are good at it or not). It is a day of: the basics of singing, shared stories of childhood dreams and fears, conquering those fears, sharing a love of song, and finally, putting voices together in a showcase of songs for family members and friends at the day’s end.
I knew Clare Bowditch was a beautiful singer but I hadn’t bought any of her albums or seen her perform live. In the last few years that she has been on ABC radio in Melbourne I have enjoyed listening to her talk the afternoon away and found her to be a very genuine, witty and likeable person. From the beginning of the day, when Clare introduced herself to us, I was delighted to find that she very much was that kind of person! Her musical talents were also confirmed as absolutely remarkable.
As someone who has enjoyed singing from a young age, had brief singing lessons in my teens, busked with my sister in the city and sung at friends’ weddings, I was totally in my element on this day. It was so lovely to be around so many other people who loved singing. While I don’t think I am the most amazing singer, I do believe what Clare says, “if you can talk, you can sing”, to be quite true. My biggest problem with singing is getting nervous when performing in front of many people. This is magnified by about ten times if I am playing my guitar at the same time.
Clare shared her story of how she had also had anxiety before singing to audiences and wondered to herself, “Can I really be a singer if I am feeling like this?”. Obviously she overcame this problem to be able to do what she loves. Clare shared her story and various calming techniques to inspire and give us confidence in ourselves. In many ways, singing on the day with people we had never met before and in front of an audience, of whom most we had never met before, was a good way to test ourselves.
While I honestly was completely stoked just to get out of the house for an entire day and do something for myself, it was an absolute pleasure to make friends with like-minded people and sing our guts out. As an essentially untrained choir leader of my own little primary school choir, it was also pretty awesome to see how Clare got us all to sing different harmonies and parts of songs together within such a short time frame. Who am I kidding, it was also super cool to get a photo with the lady herself! Super girl crush happening there!
If you love singing but feel that you aren’t particularly good at it, or you would like to learn how to add to what you already know, I absolutely recommend this program. There is good company, amazing food provided, and a chance to sing with abandon, and not feel like a complete dag. It is the ultimate crash course in singing and performance. One of the participants aptly named our choir ‘The Daring Greatly Big-Hearted Choir’. I can honestly say I left with my heart and mouth both singing.