I run fun, weekly community choirs around Kent. All abilities welcome. The focus is on enjoying singing & socialising. Songs in varied styles are taught by ear, mostly acapella with some accompanied by piano and some with backing tracks. Some of my groups are designed for people living with long-term health needs such as mental health and well-being or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), but everyone, with or without long-term health needs is welcome! Each year I aim to bring my choirs together for a combined performance somewhere in Kent. Each choir will also participate in local events a few times each year but participating in events and performances is entirely optional. The choice of songs is quite eclectic and I arrange harmonies to suit the strengths of each choir.
The focus is to have fun and each session is very informal. If we get it wrong – we laugh and try again!
As a former Registered Nurse and Care Manager, I have an interest in Arts in Health. I am an Associate of Canterbury Christ Church University and work from time-to-time with Professor Stephen Clift, Director of the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, evaluating the benefits of regular group singing and various long-term health conditions such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and mental health and well-being.
I am not an academic nor am I a trained musician or singer. However, I have been an intuitive musician (piano/keyboards) from a very young age and have worked with various genres of amateur and semi-professional bands over the years. I write and arrange songs and have recorded with other artists over the years. I have performed on many occasions at Broadstairs Folk Festival.
I have COPD myself and find that singing regularly and employing good breathing and singing techniques helps to maintain my lung health without a doubt. The NVN mantra that “Singing is a birthright” is extremely important to me and I cannot stress enough the importance of running inclusive, open-access singing groups.