Singing for the Sake of Singing
This October, Selkirk Sings facilitated by Jane Green, welcomes everyone from Selkirk College and the community to bring their voice– even if it might be a little shy – and join in weekly singing gatherings on the Castlegar Campus.
Singing has always been a part of Green’s life. As a youth, she participated in school, church and community choirs belting out songs in all genres. When Green went off to complete her undergrad degree, music was central to her studies. Her voice and ability to gather people through song has been a powerful tool she’s brought with her to Selkirk College.
Selkirk Sings has already been gathering people together in song on campus. EACSW Instructor Jane Green offered a Healthy Campus Discovery Day session that was well received.
Then, two years ago, Green jumped at the chance to take her passion for song to the next level. She joined 14 people from around the world to take the Community Choir Leadership Training led by Siobhan Robinsong and Denis Donnelly in Victoria, BC. Green trained in the approach of the Gettin’ Higher Choir which embraces the Ubuntu Choirs Network philosophy of deep listening, celebrating diversity and community, and that singing is an essential human birthright.
“It was the most intensive musical ride,” says Green. “I returned with a humble goal to create a space where people can come to sing for the sake of singing.”
In an Ubuntu choir, a person who initially sings off key is welcome: “A new singer may struggle to carry a tune alone but when other singers are helping to carry it, they can sing magnificently.” The Leonard Cohen line “forget your perfect offering,” from his song The Future resonates with Green who assures there is a place for everyone in Selkirk Sings.
“If you can talk, you can sing. If you can walk, you can dance,” she says.
An instructor in the Education Assistant and Community Support Worker Program, Green has used song in the classroom with her students. Their enthusiasm reinforces the influence singing can have –community strengthening, memory building and stress relief. Singing is an all-around healthful activity, she says.
“Singing is done with your whole body. It’s a mindful activity that requires you to drop away all your cares and worries,” says Green, adding with a smile. “Mostly, it’s just lots of fun.”
Selkirk College's Sing When Asked To (SWAT) Choir has shared songs at our annual Christmas party.
Selkirk Sings has already been gathering people together in song on campus. Green offered a Healthy Campus Discovery Day session that was well received and the SWAT (Sing When Asked To) choir has also gathered at International Women’s Day, the Celebration of Diverse Ability and the Selkirk College Christmas party.
Selkirk Sings meets in the Gathering Place on the Castlegar Campus from 4 -5 pm on Tuesdays starting October 9th and will include songs of resilience, peace, nature and acceptance that are good for the heart. The choir will start with a warm up including breath work and move on to familiar songs. Then, Green will introduce a piece to learn often using a call and response format. More breath work and poetry will round out the hour.