A choir is defined as being "an organized body of singers," being part of a choir has been by far one of the best experiences in my college career.
One day, as I was registering for fall courses, I needed an art class to fulfill my art requirement. As I was scrolling through the ARTS section of the fall schedule, I noticed choir, and I thought, "Why not?" To this day, I don't regret my decision. My experience in choir has not only taught me so much about myself, but it has also taught me so much about music.
I have always been a musical dork, and signing up for choir just released that inner music nerd. It wasn't just the music that I learned to sing, but there was so much more I learned. Discipline, by far was the one thing most of us had, and the rest of us had to learn. To be able to stand completely still, no sudden movement, and most important keep your eyes open for instruction from the instructor, Lorraine Walsh. Day by day, we were taught how to read music, which is not an easy task to do in the blink of an eye. We were taught much about music theory, it was the first thing we did before learning a new song. And day by day, the singing began.
For me, that definitely was the hardest part of the class, how a note could just, at a slight pitch, sound so different than the other. In choir, the group is broken into sopranos, tenors, bases and altos. And depending on which piece we were singing, also depended if there were multiple parts of each part, so at times there would be six or seven parts singing at a time, instead of four. I was an alto, meaning I was better at singing the lower notes, it took too much out of me to sing a high note. For the most part we were essentially given a new song almost each week, we were required to study the music, and be ready to sing the correct notes. In the beginning, I wasn't used to listening to so many different voices at once, yet at the same time singing my own part. It was tough, in one ear I could hear the bases singing low notes, but on the other side of the room I could hear the sopranos singing the high notes, and at times I found myself singing the high notes. It was undeniably difficult to process, and I was constantly getting my notes mixed up.
At times, we were also required to sing in different languages, and that was difficult, especially when it came to Latin, or Swahili. Or if we had to sing a slow song, yep that meant being able to hold our breath for good amounts of time. As Professor Walsh always says, "Don't breathe! I forbid you to!" The staggering of breaths could be heard, so if we had to breathe, we had to do it at the right moment during the song. This sometimes became a problem if we were singing a slow song or a fast song. Therefore, it required us to heavily discipline ourselves.
Being able to focus and work as a team are key points of being part of a choir, if you can't focus and work as a team to create music, then there will be a big mess. At times this happened, and it was frustrating. Frustration and singing is a hard combination to be a part of. At times we were frustrated because we didn't sound like we were making music, it sounded like we were making noise. Whoever was in that class, understood we needed to focus as a team to create music, we weren't going to get anywhere being frustrated with each other. It took a lot of sucking up, learning your notes and getting it right the first or tenth time, sometimes it felt like it was the twentieth time. But this was a good case of practice makes perfect, and it happened for each song! As singers we never gave up, and neither did Professor Walsh, she was always there, helping us learn notes, and also getting very close to make sure you had your notes right. She didn't give up on us, she had faith that we could make music.
Essentially, choir was such a great experience, I am glad to have sung for three semester's as an Alto, and hope in the near future to continue to sing. Nothing comes easy, even if you enjoy it, there will be trials, and we made sure to do our very best. Choir was fun, stressful, and hard all at the same time, music isn't easy, but when one enjoys it, one is willing to go through anything to make it happen.. That's what we all did, we dedicated ourselves to singing, constant practice and a lot of lemon tea helped me get through the class. But I would do it all over again, if I had the chance. We may have made noise at times, but in the end, we made music.