As a keen singer myself, I knew that a staff choir could be a real force for wellbeing. Research published by Oxford University found that choir singing improves both health and happiness. I turned up for a rehearsal of Cardiff University Staff Choir recently, and was blown away by the sound, the commitment and the warm welcome. Rachel told me all about it:
“The Tuesday lunchtime choir is a group of staff who enjoy an informal sing along together once a week. We learn to sing a variety of songs (pop, folk, choral) in 3 or 4 part harmony unaccompanied. We are taught by the talented Chris Strong, who gives his time voluntarily.
The sessions are relaxed and fun, like a community choir. There are no auditions, no reading music and singing in tune is optional!
We meet at 1pm each Tuesday (normally) in the Board Room on 3rd floor of the Students’ Union on Park Place. We have a Yammer Group – Cardiff University Staff Choir – where we post information about our rehearsals and have a link to our “Learning Tracks”, where you can hear the songs that we have been singing together.”
“Taking time out of a busy work day can feel like an impossible task, but every time I come out of the staff choir session, I know it was worth doing. For one hour I get to listen and participate in some amazing music-making, with harmonies and melodies that are easy to pick up and fun to sing. I return to my desk invigorated and with a renewed focus for the rest of the afternoon. It’s an easy going and friendly group and you’ll be singing along before you know it!”
Many thanks to Rachel, Colin, and the whole choir for letting me join in, and helping with this blog. If you have been thinking about giving the choir a try, I can promise you that it is really friendly, and genuinely open to all – come along and sing for the sheer joy of it, but also boost your wellbeing, and improve your health.