I'm not noted for my ability to hit the right notes. My renditions of the songs on Rock Band are less heavy metal, more nails on blackboard. So I went along to the first session of the You Can Sing Vocal Academy on Monday evening with some anxiety.
The St Michaels and All Angels church hall in Mount Pleasant (not in the church itself) was packed with budding singers. The class is run by Angela Pearson, and as soon as the warm-ups started I realised I needn't have worried about making a fool of myself. It's actually compulsory. But since everyone is making these odd noises, no-one feels strange about it.
Vocal exercises are weird: there were tongue trills, lip bubbles, exaggerated diction drills, and many more. We even did a few tongue twisters. It was a lot of fun, although the warm-ups took quite a lot of time because we were doing them for the first time so they needed explaining.
SingingEventually we got to do some songs, but first there was even more good news: no-one was expected to sing in tune. We covered the theme tune from Glee, and a medley from Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
Getting Our Boogie OnThe final stage was putting the song to movement. The posters did warn that there's "movement involved", but it's really not very much. Most people brought bottles of water but they were for our voices, and not because any sweating was involved. However it's surprisingly hard to co-ordinate even fairly simple moves whilst remembering lines from the songs you're not familiar with.
Overall the vocal academy was a confidence builder with lots of silly warm-ups and interesting stuff to get to grips with. It was a great experience, and one I look forward to repeating.
Sessions are on Mondays from 5-6pm for juniors and 6-7pm for adults, and they cost £3.50.
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