Tuesday, November 2, 2010

going where angels fear to tread....

I've seen two episodes now of the BBC production The Choir: Boys Dont Sing that is being aired on ABC1 at 6pm on Tuesday nights. I believe this is the middle series of three which follows choirmaster Gareth Malone as he takes on seemingly huge challenges.  I believe it is a repeat so you might have already seen the whole series. In the one I have been watching, Gareth goes into an all boys school where they havent had singing since the 70's with the intention of starting a choir. Here, the belief that "boys dont sing" prevails. I am so inspired by the ways he overcomes resistance - really challenges and begins to change a whole culture. I love his gung ho belief in his ability to do this - even though all the evidence seems to be to the contrary. In tonight's episode he decides to form a staff choir so as to provide some positive role modeling for the boys.  After much persistence he finally gets one of the really popular male teachers to join.  A bloke who said he hated singing - a waste of time - would rather be playing rugby  but after the staff choir performs at Sports day -  this teacher discovers he is actually quite good at singing - and that he enjoys it.  I found the episode I watched tonight very moving as well.  The changes in the boys,  seeing them express parts of themselves that previously they kept hidden is really inspiring.  Gareth says of the 15 year old who sings a solo piece in the performance "he might never have sung another note after leaving primary school except for in the privacy of his own bedroom".  I'm also hugely inspired by the way Gareth tackles it all head on.  He has 170 boys volunteer to be in the choir. 50 auditon to sing solo. Only two of the boys have had any choral experience. But there is no nursing them along - no gently, gently.  He commits to a public performance that is just weeks away - a goal, something to work for is what is needed to build the confidence.  My experience would attest to this yet it seems counter intuitive.  It would be easy to think that confidence comes through practice then you do the hard thing but no, confidence is developed in doing  the hard thing.  I hope I can remember that and push myself to do more hard things.  What might I do this week, tomorrow, to get out of my comfort zone?

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