…is surely where everyone is included: young and old, male and female, those who read music and those who don’t. In a community choir all should feel welcome. But how about those who live in a world without sound?
I can’t imagine what it must be like not to be able to hear music, to live in silence. I learned British Sign Language (BSL) not long after I left university and moved to Leicester. Leicester has a large and very sociable community of deaf people, and as many of them became my patients it made it much easier to communicate if I could speak their language.
BSL is a complex and very beautiful language with its own grammar, idioms and even accents! Two of my regular patients befriended me and took me to a deaf comedy club and also to see a deaf choir. The choir was a very mixed one, comprising of deaf, partially deaf and hearing, male and female, white, Asian, and black members. They used signs, singing and percussion, and most sang without shoes so they could feel the beat better through the stage. All were clearly enjoying the experience of group ‘singing’. In addition the synchronised signing was wonderful to watch. They even had different signing sections in some songs, rather like a more conventional choir has harmonising sop, alto, tenor and bass lines.
Today my deaf friend sent me this link to an article about a mixed deaf and hearing children’s choir. It’s very festive and I thought you might enjoy it.