What singing taught me about bravery

This last weekend I had the great pleasure of joining a singing weekend.

I love singing. I sang all the time as a teenager but ‘lost’ my voice during my twenties for a time.

We moved to Kingston upon Hull in 2016 and I knew no one. I found the wonderful Freedom Chorus and have never looked back.

So, this weekend was a full weekend of workshops with a performance Sunday afternoon.

We started Friday night. I have been battling a cold all week and it has truly taken hold by then. I was more run down than anything. And I’d signed up to do this weekend, and I didn’t want to let anyone down.

I got myself to the first rehearsal and off we went.

The weekend was all about the Fisk Jubilee Singers. They were freed slaves who travelled the world to raise money for their University back in America. Their music is sorrowful, but equally joyous.

On Friday night, I found myself on the front row of the choir ready to sing. It was a great night and I felt invigorated by it. But there was something not right. I was struggling to hear the other alto voices which should have been hitting my ears.

I thought nothing of it, feeling I was probably just tired and a bit fuzzy headed.

We started at 1oam Saturday morning – frankly that’s an ungodly hour at the weekend – but we began again.

This time, due to a reconfiguration of the choir, I was at the back of the alto section with a couple of friends. As we turned to move to the back there were horrified faces greeting us.

“Don’t go too far we need to hear you” said one fellow chorister. “I’m going closer to them so I know what I’m doing” said another.

Now don’t get me wrong, these comments massaged my ego quite a lot. However, they also got me thinking.

Why weren’t they able to do this without us. I was struggling with my voice in any event, but these people were experienced choristers.

And then it hit me. They weren’t confident in what they were doing.

These people with lovely voices weren’t singing out because they didn’t feel brave enough.

At home, I reflected on this. I had done some research with some of my colleagues and peers around what confidence means to them.

I got answers that included: bravery, integrity, permission, self belief.

These singers weren’t brave enough to sing out, nor did they have enough self belief to do the same.

I don’t have quick answers for those choristers, but I realised that ultimately lack of confidence lead to a lack of action.

If that lack of action leads to you not singing then it’s a quiet performance.

But, if that lack of confidence leads to a lack of action in a child protection situation then children’s lives can be at stake.

Gaining that confidence isn’t easy. It needs experience and learning. There are some tricks you can use (see my e-book) but experience and learning will win out.

Learning is vital in child protection. It must be continuous and relevant. Your inner alarm bell needs to be trained to ring. And then you need to have the bravery to take action on it.

Next week I’ll be sharing the story of our singing march and what that taught me about stamina.

In the meantime, if you’d like to talk to me about your training needs, give me a call on 07502907157. Let’s get that inner alarm bell ringing.

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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Katherine T Young Ltd & Kate Young disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.

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