If you can talk, you can sing; If you can walk, you can dance

If you can talk, you can sing
If you can walk, you can dance

The two statements above have always been a strong part of my philosophy. Every culture in the world has music, including some form of vocal music.

I have had the privilege of travelling through many countries. I will never forget the experience of moving though some of the African communities where not only does everyone sing, but they sing from the heart with an energy and conviction that is so powerful. I remember being so embarrassed visiting an orphanage in Kenya where the children, who lived with virtually no possessions, sang and danced for us with such powerful conviction, and then turned to us, a small group of westerners, and asked for our performance! 

We live in a world surrounded by music. Every movie, every TV show, shops, restaurants and so much of our world is full of music, but it is packaged music, highly produced by people we are unlikely to ever see. Most Australians do not have much of a repertoire of songs they could sing (we often know lots of first lines though!). It’s the same with art – all cultures have art; they paint or draw or use imagery to tell stories. So why in our culture is art reserved only for the ‘talented’? Everyone is creative, it just get squashed and jaded through pressures and expectations in our society. We are so privileged, but also so inhibited.

If I stood up in the Carey staff room and asked each staff member to sing a solo and then dance a complex series of steps, I would not be popular. Most adults would be terrified if asked to do these things in front of others. Thus I congratulate the one hundred Middle School students who so bravely both sang and danced for us at the Strictly Ballroom audition workshops. Singing and dancing are – or should be – natural activities for everyone.

Our Year 7 music classes all begin with singing. Apart from the joy and confidence that singing itself brings, singing is of enormous benefit to instrumentalists in assisting them to understand expressive shaping of musical phrasing. Our instrumental ensemble directors frequently use singing to assist players to perform more musically.

All students are invited to come and sing in the Orpheus Choir which rehearses every Thursday morning at 7.30am.

Martin Arnold
Head of Music