How to Enjoy Music at Home

12 June 2020

Music is powerful and can transform our mood – whether it’s the background music to a film or when a certain song comes on the radio. But it’s especially powerful when we take part in it ourselves. Not only do we enjoy it, but studies show how beneficial music is for mind and body health.

While we’re still waiting for choirs and other local music groups to start up again, here are some suggestions on how you can take part in musical activities from home.

If you’ve had a go, or to share other suggestions let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

1. Singing for Wellbeing

Singing for Wellbeing is becoming more and more recognised, and Newbury Corn Exchange are hosting a weekly online session on Wednesday afternoons with this focus. Take part live in a gentle physical and vocal warm up, and then singing along to classic songs from a range of genres. This week’s songs include I could have danced all night from My Fair Lady, as well as favourites from The Beatles, Abba, Taylor Swift and S Club 7! Places are free but need to be booked in advance.

2. Online Community Choir

There have been many community choir projects in the news, but it doesn’t have to be record-breaking to be fun. You may like locally based community choirs Jericho Singers, or Duet Yourself from Cat McGill who even includes signed singing. For a bigger national experience, join Gareth Malone (off the TV!) for daily rehearsals, on the Great British Home Chorus.

3. Open Mic

The closest you can get to a pub at the moment might be to join a virtual Open Mic session – musicians can offer to play live, or perhaps for more of us, listen to the talents of people in your area. Cornerstone Arts (Didcot) have fortnightly Friday Sessions, and The Furry Mic in Oxford have been holding online sessions too – look out on their Facebook page for sign up links.

4. Karaoke

Sing Karaoke! This way you get to choose your own song, and make it your own. On Youtube, Sing King has lots of hits old and new to try out, or with a karaoke app like Smule you can add reverb, pitch correction and more effects to your voice – but you will probably need to pay a subscription fee after a free trial! It’s worth trying to use a device/computer with the best speaker you have, to get the most support and encouragement from your backing track – but don’t worry if a phone’s all you’ve got!

5. Dance

If making your own sound isn’t your thing (yet) then start off with a dance! Put on a fun tune and dance or clap along. Perhaps pick a disco playlist on YouTube to suit your taste (and era!), or join with others on “Disco In-Furlough” from Silent Adventures. For some gentle encouragement and instruction, try this introduction or an online tutorial for your favoured style of dance.

We hope this helps you on your road to enjoying music, and letting it help you! Take a look at other ways to enjoy music with others with our dedicated live music from home guide. Finally, don’t forget to tell us which is your favourite track to dance or sing to on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks to Soundabout who told us on Facebook about their Inclusive Choir, which is made up of people of all ages and abilities. They have been meeting and singing together virtually while in lockdown every Saturday and Tuesday at 2pm.