THE NATURAL VOICE
EVERYBODY CAN SING
WorldSong is a choir that is run on the principle that everyone can sing and that nobody should be excluded from music. This means that there are no auditions, the choir is open to anyone who loves singing, and you don't have to be able to read music as all songs are taught by ear. Many of the people who join the choir have never sung outside their bathroom, but we also have more experienced singers who have sung in other choirs.
THE NATURAL VOICE
Our approach to singing draws on what can be referred to as the natural voice, that is the voice that is released rather than forced or trained, the voice that is unique to an individual and which is very much rooted in the body: the whole body supports the voice and needs to find a subtle balance between relaxation and alertness. Many of our songs are drawn from cultures where people begin to sing naturally from an early age and are not 'trained' in any way. Singing in such cultures is often associated with physical work so the voice becomes organically linked with the breath and the body.
NATURAL VOICE PRACTITIONERS' NETWORK
Both our musical director and founder are members of the Natural Voice Practitioners' Network (NVPN). The NVPN is an organisation for Practitioners who share a common ethos and approach to voice work. We believe that singing is everyone's birthright and are committed to teaching styles that are accepting and inclusive of all, regardless of musical experience and ability.
PHILOSOPHY AND WORKING PRINCIPLES
As Natural Voice practitioners we believe that singing is our birthright. For thousands of years all over the world people have sung — to express joy, celebration and grief, to accompany work and devotion, to aid healing — without worrying about having a 'good' voice or 'getting it right'. Song has been a part of life, a way of binding the community together. We aim to recreate the sense that vocalising, singing and singing together is natural and open to all.
Each person's voice is as unique as their fingerprint and, respecting that individuality, we aim to provide people with opportunities to express themselves vocally and to develop their full vocal potential. The voice we are born with is capable of freely expressing a full range of emotions, thoughts and experience — this is what we mean by the natural voice. However, the tensions and stresses of daily life create physical and emotional blocks to the natural voice. We therefore focus on breath and bodywork as the foundations of healthy voice use.
We are principally concerned with the melodic voice — the voice as it moves from speech to melody — the voice that is instinctively used in folk traditions around the world. In this culture many people see themselves as non-singers because of previous experiences of criticism and judgement. Many are excluded from singing groups if they do not have music reading skills. Therefore, in our work we aim to counteract these experiences and to give people confidence in their melodic voice by providing a supportive learning environment.
We believe that vocalising, creativity and song should be accessible to all regardless of previous musical ability or experience. Therefore, creating a sense of an accepting community is an essential element of our approach in working with groups.