We are pleased to introduce the latest addition to our family of online Advice & How-To resources: the Folk Sing Starter Kit, a valuable contribution from Julia Friend and Nicole Singer. Here’s Julia, to tell you more about it:
Hey look! There’s a new Folk Sing Starter Kit! It has great suggestions for forming singing communities and events, encouraging new singers, finding venues to sing in, and more. If you want to hear some great old voices check out the resources section, which is full of links to good source recordings, podcasts, and other listening. You’ll find an amazing amount of information organized under handy subheadings, making the kit equally suitable for browsing or avid study. Whether you want to get together with a few friends or are thinking of starting a public singing session in your neighborhood you’ll find some tips to get you started.
The truth is that I was nervous about writing this kit. There are countless styles of song gatherings and ever so many genres of folk music, and singers can have strong preferences and affinities for a particular format. Eventually my attention turned toward how we sort out our different expectations or preferences every time we get together to create a new event, and that is the basis of this starter kit. Clarifying our expectations and communicating with one another helps us create community and awesome singing in spite of our different singing backgrounds. This starter kit necessarily reflects the singing interests of its authors (myself and Nicole Singer), but it is fundamentally about how you can communicate your vision to create a group sing that reflects your own musical and social interests.I am an obsessively enthusiastic folk singer. The voice is the instrument we were born with and I think of group singing as the essential creative collaboration. I wish a capella singing were a universal pleasure, but instead some people feel uncomfortably exposed or unconfident when singing alone, or simply feel that a solo voice makes an incomplete musical sound. Thankfully these opinions can change with a little coaxing. Instead of emphasizing virtuosic vocal tricks, many forms of folk singing encourage full-hearted voices. A capella folk singing lets people get in touch with all the sounds they can make in pursuit of self expression beyond language.
CDSS Folk Music Week has been a guiding force in my life. I’m thrilled that when people ask where I learn my songs, how I formed opinions on singing styles, and why singing is essential to me, I can now direct them to the CDSS website for information about folk singing.
I hope you enjoy it!
This kit was put together with input from as many singers as I could wrangle. If you read it and have something else to add, please get in touch, using the contact info on the kit’s top page.