How about joining a “virtual choir” – or rather – a “light and lovely singing group”?
An opportunity to learn some gorgeous songs and connect with other wonderful women who share our story of childlessness in their own unique ways
*What do I mean by “childless women”? I mean women who are permanently involuntarily childless for any reason at all; women who may have struggled with their childlessness and/or may feel “recovered” and even contented with their life; women who are childless by circumstance or infertility. This is not suitable for women who are delighted to be “childfree” or for women who are trying to conceive or going through the adoption process. If you are a woman who is in the midst of the storm of grief over your childlessness you may really want to seek some support and I cannot recommend enough looking at Gateway Women and some of the other resources listed on this page of the World Childless Week website.
WHY NOT GIVE THIS SINGING LARK A GO?
DO YOU WANT TO:
- Make some connections with other women whose focus is not their children because they happen not to have any?
- Add to the positive, connecting things you’re doing in this life without children that was never your plan?
- Gently work towards developing your singing skills in a supportive environment?
- Fill your head with a repertoire of gorgeous songs?
- Spend time with a friendly group of women who have experienced some of the same life story you have?
ARE ANY OF THESE THINGS TRUE FOR YOU?
- Intrigued by the idea of singing being “good for you” to do?
- Frustrated that you’re not singing or not singing enough?
- Worried that joining a singing group near you, you might find yourself surrounded by parents who don’t “get” you?
- Sorely missing the singing you used to do long ago in school or church?
- Daunted by the challenge of singing at all, even though you love the idea of singing?
- Hoping to make some connections with other women like you while engaging in a light-hearted activity?
WHO AM I? (Clare)
- I’m someone who just loves singing with others and gets genuine delight from taking a disparate bunch of people from knowing nothing of a song to thoroughly enjoying singing a song they love
- I’m also a member of the Gateway Women community online founded by Jody Day, author of “Living the Life Unexpected” (an extraordinarily helpful book if you are exploring your own childlessness)
- I attended a Reignite Weekend in 2017 and did Gateway Women’s 12 month Online Bee course completing in March 2019 (both the weekend and the year-long course I could not recommend enough). For more details of all these please see gateway-women.com
- I’ve been leading group singing since 1994/5 when, having met and experienced the work of Frankie Armstrong and then, studying for a Certificate in Music Workshop Skills at Goldsmiths, I began a singing project at a London day centre for homeless women and was immediately hooked
- I’m a member of the Natural Voice Network and believe that singing is a birthright – NOT the preserve of those with special skills or learning as it’s just part of being a human.
- In Kendal since 2011 I’ve been running lovely, friendly, singing-for-wellbeing groups where we learn a variety of songs just purely for the joy of it and we don’t aim to perform
- Since 2020 (and discovering the potential for singing “together apart” using Zoom) I’ve found that my experience of leading singing and my experience of recovering from my own childlessness can enable me to help other women find and enjoy their own voices while also finding and enjoying each other’s support and understanding.
WHAT HAVE WOMEN SAID ABOUT GROWING SINGING CHILDLESS & WHOLE?
From September to December 2020 I ran an experiment to see if the zoom singing thing could be joyful and connecting with a group of childless not by choice women. Here is some of what women said about the experience:
“I found the sessions uplifting, powerful and a source of connection”
“this is my first step in reaching out to and meeting other childless not by choice women and it has encouraged me and made me feel I want to continue this. I think the singing gives it a lovely focus”
“combining our voices in song makes for a powerful energy and sharing”
“a very emotional (in a good way) experience”
“I enjoyed it and felt supported, connected and loved singing with women who have shared heartache as I have and want to find the healing and joy of song together”
“It provided me with a much needed space for reflection and emotional release – more like a secular church for want of a better comparison!”
“a wonderful combination of so many elements”
“I’ve really valued the songs you have chosen. They have gently connected with the core of who we are“
“I really enjoy being totally clueless and so enjoy soaking it all up. Singing for the love of singing is just so nice!”
“I felt as though I had a lovely bit of time that was enjoyable, friendly and warm. It is so nice to see everyone singing along”
“Fun, joy, community, togetherness, LOVELY songs, warmth, friendship”
“Good to meet all sorts of lovely women”
“I would never have taken a chance to be in a singing group and so it has opened my mind and my voice”
DO YOU WANT TO:
- Come and sing with us – simple as that?
- Come and sing just for fun?
- Come and sing because you like the idea of singing but don’t do it often enough?
- Come and sing even though you believe you “can’t sing”? (Can I assure you that you can?)
- Come and sing because you have always loved singing and are curious about this idea?
- Come and learn some new songs – gorgeous songs, uplifting songs, meditative songs and maybe even some silly songs?
- Come and sing for one completely free taster and only then decide if this singing lark could be fun/helpful/lovely on an on-going basis?
WHAT WILL I GET OUT OF DOING IT?
- You would learn some gorgeous, simple songs in different parts – the kind of songs that it’s rather lovely to have in your head as you muddle through life, (as we all do!)
- You would get a chance to make connections with other childless women who like singing
- You might even gain or re-gain the confidence to join a choir or singing group locally to you. And you might find you want to include singing with others in your “Plan B” (as Jody Day calls it in her wonderful book “Living the Life Unexpected”).
- Who knows? You might even start dreaming of starting a group near you! (and I can definitely help with your thoughts of that)
WHAT’S THE COMMITMENT?
Have a free taster to see if you like the format and then join us for £20 a month (see below). There is no on-going commitment beyond the month ahead. You can join for just one month if you chose to.
SUMMARY OF THE OFFER:
- Complete the little joining survey below and you’ll be automatically added to the mailing list
- Come to a free taster session (you’ll get the zoom invitations once you’re on the mailing list)
- If you like it then sign up for £20 a month that you can stop at any time – so maybe you’ll just come along for one month and that’s fine! If you need to talk to me about a concessionary price, please ask me.
- The upcoming dates will be advertised as below at least 4 months ahead
- There’ll be at least 50 live sessions a year (that’s 2 a week for 25 weeks) to choose from (pick the ones that suit your time zone). The plan is for 60 of them held over 30 weeks, but I can’t guarantee 60 as life isn’t very guarantee-able, is it! but I can be pretty blooming sure of fitting in 50)
- These are held (in UK times) on Sunday evenings at 6pm and Monday mornings at 9.30am (click here to translate those times into your own time zone). They’ll be weekly except when I’m having a break of some sort and the dates will be up on this website at least 4 months in advance
- In every session there’ll be an hour of singing and an optional 15 minutes more of connecting time
- You’ll have a log in to access the website where:
- There’s a private blog just for us in the group – on which you can comment and stay connected with others in the singing group that way
- There are details of all the songs and links to videos and song recordings of some of the songs we’ll learn so you can enjoy them outside of the sessions
- There’ll be lots of encouragement and pointers to find real life singing groups locally to you
WHAT TO DO IF YOU WANT TO JOIN IN A FREE TASTER
Firstly, please note this group is suitable only for childless women* (see definition above).
Secondly and lastly, click here to sign up for a free taster by completing a very brief survey.
WHAT TO DO (after your free taster) IF YOU WANT TO PAY TO JOIN
If you have already come along for a free taster and you know this is something you’d like to join in for a month or so (or for longer of course!) click here to sign up for £20 a month.
UPCOMING DATES FOR GROWING SINGING CHILDLESS & WHOLE
The sessions will be the same (well more or less!) on Sunday evening as on Monday morning and they allow for different time zones I hope. You are welcome to come to both sessions if the times can suit you, you’ll meet more women that way and get more chance to sing the songs. All the times below are expressed for the UK click here to see what time that is where you are
- Sunday 20th June 6pm
- Monday 21st June 9.30am
- Sunday 27th June 6pm
- Monday 28th June 9.30am
- Sunday 4th July 6pm
- Monday 5th July 9.30am
- Sunday 11th July 6pm
- Monday 12th July 9.30am
- Sunday 18th July 6pm
- Monday 19th July 9.30am
- Sunday 25th July 6pm
- Monday 26th July 9.30am
- Break over 2 weekends 1st August to 9th August
- Sunday 15th August 6pm
- Monday 16th August 9.30am
- Sunday 22nd August 6pm
- Monday 23rd August 9.30am
- Sunday 29th August 6pm
- Monday 30th August 9.30am
- Break over 3 weekends 31st August to 24th September
- Sunday 26th September 6pm
- Monday 27th September 9.30am
- Sunday 3rd October 6pm
- Monday 4th October 9.30am
- Sunday 10th October 6pm
- Monday 11th October 9.30am
- This was a diary mess up so I’m not around Sunday 17th/Monday 18th October. Sorry!
- Sunday 24th October 6pm
- Monday 25th October 9.30am
- Sunday 31st October 6pm
- Monday 1st November 9.30am
- Sunday 7th November 6pm
- Monday 8th November 9.30am
- Sunday 14th November 6pm
- Monday 15th November 9.30am
- Sunday 21st November 6pm
- Monday 22nd November 9.30am
- Sunday 28th November 6pm
- Monday 29th November 9.30am
- Sunday 5th December 6pm
- Monday 6th December 9.30am
- Sunday 12th December 6pm
- Monday 13th December 9.30am
- I’ll advertise the following dates as soon as I have them planned