Today we have a guest blogger – Anna Wright – who joins the Pretty Clever team as musical expert and facilitator of music and percussion-based team building. Hot on the success of ‘The Choir’ we’re launching a range of team exercises and ice breakers that’ll have delegates singing, drumming and maybe even putting on a show… Interested?

Anna Wright musical team building facilitatorClever Choirs – by Anna Wright

I may not wear bow ties, glasses or cardies but my life’s story so far does rather resemble a full length feature film along the lines of the marvelous work that Gareth Malone (populariser of choral singing) produces on the BBC.  In fact, I am known to spontaneously erupt on groups of unsuspecting people getting them singing and laughing; I rarely stay in my seat at a wedding reception

Humans have been making music for tens of thousands of years. Singing bonds people together, exercises a range of muscles (including those all-important ones in the face for youthful looks) and makes you feel happy.  The camaraderie of communal singing has benefits – have you noticed how much everyone enjoys singing en masse at football matches and religious gatherings with no thought of their own ability?  Music is a great leveler – as soon as you open your mouth, prejudices and hierarchy melt away and people start to communicate.  There is no competition, selection or rejection and the best-known warm-up exercise for singing is to laugh – how can it not be a morale-boosting winner?

Whereas Gareth Malone teaches mainly choral music, I have always worked more in musical theatre – singing with moves and actions; using your bodies and being percussive.  However, do not be fooled into thinking that a group of Post Office workers (as in Gareth’s latest BBC series:  The Choir:  Sing While You Work) can go from learning a simple melody and the next second (literally) produce gorgeous three-part harmony.  This is the fantasy of TV editing and it probably took most of the morning to learn!

Fancy a “desk-top samba” as an ice-breaker, a session singing African music in gorgeous harmony or creating your own company song with the backing of boomwhackers?  Finish your day with a Big Performance – what an achievement!  As Gareth says, “it is a challenge to convince a diverse group of people that they’re capable of producing something really great” but “everyone can be taught to sing, or at least enjoy having a go”.

I could re-name myself Garetta Malonie and you could be one of the Pretty Clever Choirs. Go on, amaze yourself. Get in touch