"My weekly dose of endorphin rushing harmony has been a constant in my life now for almost two years. I first saw the advert for Singing Mamas Choir when my daughter was just five weeks old. It was through bleary sleep deprived eyes that I typed a message to Rachel, asking for more information. She didn’t know it then and I suppose I didn’t either, but that was where the lifeline began.
During those fragile days/weeks/months as a new mother, your identity is changing rapidly and it’s so easy to lose sight of who you were BB (Before Baby). Singing Mamas choir allowed me to hold onto that piece of me that was there before, those couple of hours a week were for me to do what I love to do… to sing.
Singing and music has always been a part of my life, from very early childhood singing around the house and on long car journeys with my family, to singing in front of the formidable choir teacher Mrs Jones, to gain a place in the school choir at age seven (seven becoming my lucky number as a result of this achievement.)
As an adult my job as an Early Years Teacher has equipped me with an extensive knowledge of nursery rhymes and my love for music continues to grow daily. During my pregnancy I played a lot of music and sang to my bump, during labour I had carefully crafted a playlist (aptly named ‘Labour Pro Playlist’ because I believed the music would make to me a ‘pro’ at giving birth) it did work wonders to guide me through the birthing journey.
Singing Mamas Choir is the only ‘Baby group’ I needed, I say the term ‘Baby group’ loosely, as babies are not a necessary accompaniment to Singing Mamas Choir. That is what I love about the group, to connect with people from all walks of life and people at different stages of their lives, to sing together in harmony and then to talk about all manner of things rather than just the ‘baby stuff’. Don’t get me wrong though, the Mamas who have been there and done that and can tell me solutions to coping with a teething toddler are much appreciated! To quote my fellow Singing Mama Fi, “I found my people.”
I look forward to my Friday afternoons, to know that I will be in a room with a group of women who want to sing together and hold harmonies under the expert direction of Rachel. When I am singing, all those little niggly parts of the week gone by slowly weave themselves together in my mind, before gently diffusing out into the space to be blown away with each exhale of sound and song. Holding a part in a song empties my mind of anything else, I can be free to enjoy the moment and let the harmonies wash over me. I quite like to drop out of my part sometimes and just listen to the sound we are creating, it’s beautiful.
It’s not just me who’s reaping the benefits either, my daughter loves it! She’s at an age now where she is remembering the songs and can join in with a few words, some weeks she acts like our biggest fan clapping away and dancing as we sing. She has been exposed to this experience for basically her whole life so far, watching her Mama take time for herself to do something she loves with a group of fabulous women. How empowering! I say this to Rachel all the time, singing is my therapy." Kindly written by Laura Fleming from Singing Mamas Choir, Crosby, Merseyside.
Laura and Darcy can be seen in the video below singing the Bowie Mash Up by Stephen Tabener. This was part of the event for Make Music Day 2019.