How the choir works
We sing together every week
The High Street Bells Choir rehearses for two hours every Monday morning, 40 weeks of the year, followed by a light lunch that provides additional opportunities for social interaction. (We don't rehearse during school holidays or on public holidays.)
Each rehearsal starts with a physical and vocal warm up. Warm ups are simple, quick vocal sounds that help open the voice to be able to sing songs. We then sing through the repertoire, usually learning at least one new song each session. Songs are chosen for their singability and their familiarity. We try and choose songs that have a connection for the majority of the choir.
The choir performs publicly approximately 6-8 times per year at community events, including at the Darebin ‘Carols in All Nations’. Several local songwriters have also been actively involved with the choir. Find out when we're performing next or book us for a gig!
We sing because it's good for us
Singing together has benefits for our members’ physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. The choir contributes to community health and well-being through bringing different people together in a vibrant, optimistic, safe and socially-inclusive environment.
When you sing, your lungs open more, your heart pumps a little bit more, and your mind lets itself wander through the journey of song. So if we sing about love, we feel love, if we sing about getting stronger we feel stronger. If we sing about helping others and reaching out, we feel we have something to offer and we feel confidence in ourselves.
All members of the choir, including volunteers, family members and carers benefit directly from community singing, which is recognised to have many positive effects including increased lung capacity, improved mood through release of hormones and improved memory. Members also benefit from having a regular time slot that motivates them to attend and participate in a positive, shared activity.
A feeling of community has developed within the choir and our members have gained confidence and trust in each other. Extended families are very supportive of the choir and they are able to celebrate the achievements of their family member and connect to the wider community in a social context.
Sometimes people who can't speak can sing
This is an extraordinary aspect of singing. The area of the brain that controls speech is different to the area that controls singing. People who have lost the ability to speak due to a brain injury may still be able to sing, and people for whom speech is a great effort may be more motivated to join in a song than to attempt words. It's sort of the adventure playground of verbalising.
Find out more about the benefits of singing
To understand why we remain so excited about singing together, have a look at some of the research behind the benefits of singing. Please note: we do not endorse any of the information on these websites.