It can be quite difficult to get to grips with harmony singing. My younger son Paul and I have dabbled a bit on our own, but now we are feel the need to learn more. This is why we have signed up for a harmony workshop in Lewes, where we find twenty or more other students keen to learn the secrets too.
We didn’t know much about Lady Maisery when we booked, but they turn out to be a group of three brilliant harmony singers keen to share their knowledge. Apparently well known on the folk singing circuit, they will also be performing later in the evening.
Their method is to teach, partly by demonstrating the art and then unpicking the process. They sing a simple folk songs and we all join in. We are then encouraged to emulate the individual harmonies in smaller groups then all sing together.
We move on to more complex songs and later to another form of singing, where a range of sounds are sung without words. There is a name for this but I have forgotten it!
We order lunch from the pub where the workshop is held, so tables are set up and a sociable lunchtime ensues.
After lunch we have a session on musical theory that actually makes sense to those of us who don’t read music, Paul does but I am a music theory beginner. This is followed by more demonstrations and wonderful voices and harmonies to emulate.
We are divided into groups again to experiment with harmonies on our own, then each group sings to everyone else. We are all surprised at the knowledge we have gained and how lovely we all sound.
At one point we wander around singing our harmonies but with our attention on the voices of others.
The last session involves yodelling, followed by each student sharing a highlight of the day with the finale a short singing session from the Lady Maisery. Such a lot covered by talented people with considerable musical knowledge, great performance skills and empathy with students of all ages and from all walks of life.
Yes, fantastic singers, seamless tuition and a very useful day. It was a pity Paul and I can’t stay to the gig, but it promised to be a sell out!
Onwards and upwards. Ann