The Way We Were

Posted on 22nd February, 2015

   Did you look at the title and think "Memories"?  Well, that is the idea behind it.  If you didn't, then try "Memories, like the corners of my mind....."

   The choir is challenged with the goal of memorising every song in its current portfolio.  For someone who still can't seem to get the exact words for verse 2 of Barbara Ann correct with total confidence, you can imagine how much of a challenge this is!  Yet, "No more new pieces until we manage to do this", says MD, William. 

   While this is a tall order, the benefits are clear:

  •  We can all look at the conductor (if we are tall enough in some cases) during a performance.
  • At most venues there is little room for holding large folders as we sing
  • We can concentrate on the live performance, listening to the other parts and consider the words as we sing them
  • There is a feel good factor at knowing we can and are a better choir as a result

   These are some of the benefits for the choir.  You may think of more than these.  Please share via a comment.  But, I started to think about the wider benefits.  Most of the choir are (how to be PC and sensitive here) shall I say, at a stage in life where memory can be quite tricky.  This task may reignite a number of brain cells, or at least keep them working for a while longer.  To put it scientifically, memory training can stave off cognitive decline.




"Memory-forming can become a healthy lifelong habit. Researchers from the National Institute on Health and Ageing have found that adults who went through short bursts of memory training were better able to maintain higher cognitive functioning and everyday skills, even five years after going through the training. Practising memorization allowed the elderly adults to delay typical cognitive decline by seven to 14 years."

From posted Monday July 23, 2012


    I often wonder why it is that the older we get the less inclined we become to take up new challenges.  Perhaps, as we succeed in memorising the words AND music of our portfolio, we will have the confidence to set other goals, try something new or accept change (e.g. technology) with less fear.

   So, let's embrace the challenge, get excited about being able to perform anything from our portfolio without dipping into our folders.  Let's get younger!     

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Comments (2)

Couldn't agree more! I much prefer not having to juggle & do battle with a sometimes unruly music file! The way William is 'encouraging' & helping us to LEARN our words by repetition of phrases in practice sessions is really building confidence and means we can actually enjoy what we're singing. (He's not bad at mouthing the words & gesticulating too- he mostly gets them right!!??!) I know it takes more effort these days of course for we older members,( 'nuff said!), & not everyone is comfortable with it yet but we're definately getting there and getting braver! In the opening words of one of our songs........."Courage My Soul......." :-) :-)
Really good comments Alan.
Just say it as it is.
Not many of us are under late 50s shall we say