Sing across the border

When we received a Sing for Good entry all the way from London we were excited to connect with people from across the globe. Even more inspiring was the song entrants Tus and Natasha wrote titled ‘Border Door’ in support of breaking down barriers and welcoming refugees. The song aims to motivate others to change, act and heal as their message to ‘open up the border door’ plays in the minds of listeners. We asked Tus to share some of the highs and lows of her singing journey, how she came to Sing for Good and her new found confidence in singing every day for a year.

Where did you first hear about our singing project Sing for Good

I came across Tania de Jong’s talk “How singing together changes the brain” from TedxTalk. I tried to find her contact and sent her a message right away to express how much I was inspired by the talk. Listening to her speech, I felt very motivated to sing with other people more often and to set up a WithOneVoice London. Tania replied to me and also let me know about Sing for Good. I entered right away, such an awesome way to raise awareness and fundraise for people in need.

How long have you been singing?  

I have always been singing and humming since I was little. I performed sometimes in special school events. I have always been quite shy about my singing ability though. I went through depression 3 months ago because of many different reasons. During that depression phase I was very critical of myself, I had zero self-esteem and I could not sing, even just for myself. Then I met Melanie Garside (Maple Bee) who is a music therapist, musician. She offered me weekly music therapy sessions which changed my life totally. I was able to overcome depression. I started singing again and enjoying life much more. I now see life full of hopes and possibilities.


What sparked your interest to write the song “Border Door” to raise awareness about the refugee crisis? 

Here is what Natasha Gilbert wrote: “After holding a fundraising event for refugee support projects, I became very passionate about the future of those stuck between borders. I wanted to write a song that has a simple calling: ‘open up the border, open up the border door’. We hope that it will echo in the hearts of listeners  growing their empathy to the point where they are ready to read more , donate and volunteer for refugee services. Singing has the power to motivate others to change, or to act, as well as to heal. We can do this best as a community, which is why Tus and I came together to sing this.”

You are also singing one song a day for a year and sharing it on social media. How many songs have you recorded so far? And how has this helped you become more confident in your singing? 

I have been singing every day for 42 days now! In the first week, I was very shy and nervous when I posted a video, I thought a lot about whether I sang well enough, what people were going to think of me and now I’m not worried anymore! It has been so awesome! Lately, I have also been feeling much more energized and creative every day! I am a full time art student and singing has enabled me to have more ideas in my art practice. My friends have been noticing the changes in me and ask why I am so excited these last few days!

Where can we hear more of your beautiful songs to share with others?

Check out Natasha Gilbert music and follow Tus on her amazing Sing for 365 day project.

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We wish Tus all the best for the year ahead of singing, which will no doubt have a happy, healthy and positive impact.

Watch Tus and Natasha Sing for Good here and support them in their hope for opening the border door and welcoming refugees.

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Uniting the world with singing

By Aimee Heckel on Daily Camera

JD and Melbourne Sings (1024x683) (2)Scott Johnson imagines uniting the entire world with a common language: the language of singing.

That’s why the Boulder man started World Singing Day in 2012. It took him a few years to incorporate as a nonprofit and get the momentum rolling. This year, he’s finally bringing his idea public: to the Pearl Street Mall in front of the courthouse.

On Saturday, six local choirs will gather on the mall for two hours of a public, social sing-along of popular songs (ranging from Katy Perry to The Beatles), as well as classics such as “America the Beautiful” and a simple song that Johnson co-wrote titled “We Sing.”

On the same day, people in countries around the world will sing that same song, and others, in honor of the day.

He knows groups will be participating in New Zealand, Australia, Senegal, the Philippines, India, Canada, Europe and the United States.

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Creativity Australia is proudly participating in World Singing Day with a community singalong at Federation Square on Friday 23 October. Join us between 1-2pm for an afternoon of music, joy and entertainment. Click here and singalong. 

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Sing and win for your school

Sing for Good is calling on more schools to take part in our singing project, with prizes on offer for winning performances!

This isn’t a talent quest or a search for the best voice or school choir. It’s about having fun singing in a group, building friendships, inspiring others and being creative.

There are a number of categories for schools to enter such as Best School Sing, Most Creative School Sing and Best School Choir. The song possibilities are endless!

The winning schools have the chance to win $500-$1000 and percussion instruments to assist their music programs.

So far we have seen a number of talented primary and high school students take on the challenge and get involved with entries from Wantirna College, Eltham College, Latrobe Special Development School and the super cute kids from St. Francis de Sales giving us their rendition of ‘Flashlight’ from Pitch Perfect.

“We sing because it makes us feel good. It gives us a way to express our emotions, and most importantly, it shows who we are.”
– St. Francis de Sales Primary School singers

Check out the rockin’ entry below and let the MAC Boy’s Choir from Eltham College inspire you to grab a buddy, sing a song and have some fun.


Click here to find out more information and enter your school today. Entries close 31 October 2015.

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The (G)love ladies continue to climb the leaderboard

A mutual love of karaoke and a background working in mental health inspired our leading Sing for Good entrants The Clinical Notes to take to the stage and have some fun! We decided to find out how this success entry came about, the reason for the (G)love and the hours spent perfecting their love song medley.

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  1. Tell us, how did you form the group The Clinical Notes and what inspired the name?
    This was actually the last thing we came up with – as we were all sitting around the dining table having a meal together.  We were interested to show that we had a clinical background, and we couldn’t resist a good pun!
  2. What is the significance of wearing the Glove?
    Just a bit of silliness really.  We were planning to go all out and wear some glitter but it was all a bit last minute so a glittery glove was as far as we got.  Plus, it adds a clinical dimension to it.
  3. Your performance is smooth and rehearsed. How many hours did it take to get the (G)love Medley ready to shoot?
    Sumitra had the idea one weekend after reading about it in the Big Issue. The following weekend, after many text messages and singing sessions over the telephone we were ready to give it a go. Everyone had a great deal of enthusiasm, and we were lucky to have some help from our friends Gwyn and Lynn.  It was a blast.
  4. What is your favourite song to sing in karaoke?
    How can you make us choose just one???
  5. Working in the mental health sector, what are some of the benefits you feel both physically and mentally when singing in a group?
    All of us have sung in choirs at different times in our lives, and we all enjoy the sense of companionship and camaraderie that it provides.  It is also great to be able to express ourselves in a creative way.  It’s essential to let loose and have a bit of fun!
  6. What do you think the world would be life if everyone sang together (in perfect harmony)?
    We think variety is the spice of life, so an odd note here and there is great.
  7. Besides karaoke and singing, do The Clinical Notes have any other loves?
    Well, we all like lots of different things, but we have a common love of eating!

The Clinical Notes are truly inspiring and have received an outstanding amount of support and donations. We hope this inspire others to add some spice into their life and give it a go!

Watch their entry here and donate or vote to show your support.

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It’s never too late to start singing.

This is a story about a man named Joe and his quest for love.

Joe leaves his hometown, becomes a locomotive, travels to Persia and ends up finding his one true love in the romantic country of Italy.

But this isn’t just a love story…

While Joe travelled far and wide, he was never alone in his search for love as the members of With One Voice Altona Meadows choir at Benetas St. George’s were always there singing by his side.

This musical story and creative Sing for Good entry provided the choir members with more than an afternoon of entertainment.

It allowed the members to embrace the joy of singing, engage with each other and step into a loved fuelled world. It was a fun adventure as they sang, acted and filmed a beautiful love story (with a happy ending).

The entry features a medley of five storytelling songs, opening with “Bye Bye Blackbird” and ending on the popular Italian song, “Arrivederci Roma,” where Joe reunites with his love before saying goodbye to Rome.

Every Wednesday at Benetas St. George’s aged care facility residents look forward to choir practice and other members of the community are invited to sing-along.

Through the choir’s open door policy we are able to engage with a diverse mix of people from the broader community who share the joy of singing and by doing that together with our residents it has the added benefit of providing a great sense of social inclusion.

– Siusan MacKenzie, Manager Community Engagement, Benetas

Singing in a choir is one of the best activities that senior citizens can engage in as it boosts their mood, stimulates their minds and increases social connectedness. The Ballad of Joe Sing for Good entry is a true example of the health benefits of singing and it is joyful to hear the residents singing so enthusiastically together.

The star of this entry, Joe (Giuseppe) also features in Benetas’ Unexpected Heroes film putting on another stellar performance. It’s amazing what you can discover under a few wrinkles.

Donate and vote for the With One Voice Altona Meadows choir and help get them closer to winning the Best Healthy Ageing Sing, which is proudly supported by Leading Age Services Australia

There are plenty of categories you can enter. Join in the love story and Sing for Good.

Creativity Australia has teamed up with Benetas, a leading aged care provider in Victoria, to bring you With One Voice Altona Meadows.

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World Singing Day: a catalyst for global transformation

An interview with World Singing Day founder Scott Johnson

Scott-Johnson-World-Singing-Day-2015Music has always been my therapy. Whenever I need to express my feelings, to feel better, to connect to that wiser part of myself, I sit down at the piano and sing.

Music has always been more than just entertainment to me. It’s been a way for me to feel at peace, and a way to connect with others on a very human level. That’s why I founded World Singing Day — to create peace within ourselves, and connection and peace among others around the world.

Sing for Good is a proud partner of World Singing Day and we encourage everyone to get involved in our shared vision. Melbournites are warmly invited to join our With One Voice choirs and Sing for Good Ambassadors for a free Community Singalong in Federation Square on the eve of World Singing Day. Event details.

Last year was essentially World Singing Day’s first year and I was pleased what we accomplished in just one year. We had several thousand people in a dozen countries participate; we awarded $4,500 USD to choirs, schools and musicians who participated, with the money being spend on music scholarships, music education, and in some instances, even basics like food; and we established solid connections with a variety of individuals and organizations, from Creativity Australia and its Sing for Good project, to the famous Indian singer Shankar Mahadevan.

My vision for World Singing Day is to have millions of people from every country singing on the same day each year to celebrate our common humanity. I imagine a global wave of singing, starting in New Zealand and going west around the world for 24 hours. Our ultimate goal is that, in time, the power of millions of people singing together will reach a critical mass and overwhelm the conflict and strife that is so prevalent in the world today. At least for one day each year.

I invite you to join us on Saturday, October 24 and sing wherever you are and whatever you’re comfortable with. Sing in the shower. Sing along to your favorite songs on the stereo. Sing with your family and friends at home. Or organize a community sing-along of popular songs in a local pub or gathering place. For more ideas, visit www.WorldSingingDay.org.

Just like Sing for Good, this is a singing event for everyone, even those who say ‘I can’t sing.’ It’s about connecting, celebrating and having fun.

Post videos and photos on social media of you participating in World Singing Day and help spread the word (use the hashtag #worldsingingday). Sing and create some peace within yourself and share it with others.

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Up close with The Pacific Belles

We get up close and personal with our Sing for Good ambassadors and retro trio The Pacific Belles and ask about their 1940s inspiration, the benefits of group singing and of course, vintage fashion.

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1. Let’s go back to the beginning. How did you all meet and form a retro singing trio?
Betty (Laura Monaghan) came over from Blighty with her love for the era and set up the trio by auditioning for Belles. There is now a fleet of seven Belles, we’re taking over Melbourne!

2. What inspired you to create music from the 1940s and take on persona’s as Betty, Dot and Mabel?
The music is something that appeals to all generations. It’s great to bring back the nostalgia of it’s time when music was used to lift sprits and ladies were ladies. We love the 40s style make up, hair and fashion.

It’s wonderful to have different personas when we perform and be able to take the wigs and costumes off when we go home after a performance. It’s like living a double life!

3. If The Pacific Belles could sing one song for the rest of their life what would it be?
It would definitely be our favourite Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy made famous by our idols The Andrews Sisters.

4. As our ambassadors for Sing for Good and the With One Voice choir program we admire the positive energy that radiates from your singing trio. What are the benefits of singing in a group rather than solo?
Thank you, we believe that singing with others makes you happy and it’s a know fact that it improves you’re mental health. We just love singing in a trio together it gives you strength and confidence, we’ve formed a special bond.

5. What is it like singing and working along-side everyone’s favourite Neighbours star Alan Fletcher?
Alan is a gem, he’s our very own Bing Crosby. He’s so professional and yet so personable at the same time, he brings so much energy and positivity to our projects we just can’t help but adore him!

6. What do you think the world would be like if everyone sang together (in perfect harmony)?
The World would be an incredible place if everyone sang together in perfect harmony; we can at least try to imagine that.

7. We absolutely love your vintage fashion! Where do you source your amazing outfits?
The outfits are very special are’t they. They are made by Vivien of Holloway. We get them from Christine’s on Brunswick Street. She has great 40’s and 50’s fashion.
Help make the world a better place by joining us in song and show your support at Sing for Good #singforgood

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Singclusion becomes a reality

By Eloise Mahoney

Imagine what the world would be like if everyone sang when they talked and danced when they walked. A world where we were all united through the pure joy of music. A world where ‘singclusion’ was actually a word and we all sang in perfect harmony.

Imagine waking up every day and instead of saying ‘Good Morning’ you begin belting out a bit of Wham! before you ‘go-go’ on your merry way. Crazy, I know, but one can only dream!

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This utopian world where music is the universal language is a far-fetched dream for some. Like many, you may have been told you can’t sing. The reality hurts. Trust me, I can barely sing in tune!

And while we may never sound as dreamy as George Michael, we need to stand up and push past the ‘shushes’ from those demanding silence. Absolutely nothing is stopping you from stretching your vocal chords a little further than your shower or car.

One thing I have discovered from opening up my voice is that it’s good for you! Neuroscience has proven time and time again that singing – especially as a group – makes us happier, healthier, smarter and more creative.

Singing releases those little feel good endorphins you get from eating chocolate, but without the unwanted calories. Sounds like a diet for life if you ask me.

Not convinced yet? Let me introduce you to a group of do-gooders who are making the singclusion dream a reality. Playing for Change is a social movement inspiring and connecting everyone through music.  They believe that music and song has the power to break down boundaries and make us more connected globally.

It is the vision of an ideal world, but its working! Just like Michael Jackson sang to Heal the World, Playing for Change are ‘gonna make a change, it feels real good… they’re gonna make a difference, gonna make it right…’ mj
The Playing for Change movement was founded in 2002 by Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke when they hit the streets of America to sing with the soul shakers of the suburbs. Since then, the musical team has grown and they have been tirelessly globetrotting to record a series called “Songs Around The World”. Each musician is welcomed with open arms and hearts into the global music family.

A Playing for Change band was also created as a result of this journey, bringing the greatest musicians together through song. The band members come from all different countries and cultures, but the best part is they all speak the same language: music. It’s real life ‘singclusion’ happening right before our eyes.

“With music we are always working together – the musician and the audience create the shared experience. This is a great foundation to build social change”
– Playing for Change

Playing for Change is in tune with the message we hum for Sing for Good so it seemed fitting they enter our community singing challenge. Their video ‘Cotton Fields’ is an oldie by Huddie Ledbetter from the 1940s being played by Blind Boy Paxton, Luke Winslow King, Esther Rose, Takuya Kuroda and the California Feetwarmers.

It’s a toe-tapping folky performance that is bound to leave you with a smile from ear to ear and feel-good goosebumps all over! Watch the Playing for Change video here and donate or vote to show your support.

Playing for Change Day is taking place on 19 September 2015, where musicians and music lovers can gather together for a global day of action to help bring music into the lives of children and promote positive social change.

The day sees 400+ musical events take places in over 60 countries around the world with money raised go towards providing instruments and music inspiration to today’s youth.  To support the day and get involved check out playingforchange.org

Are you ready to step out of the shower and master the new universal language?

You can also join us in Sing for Good and help us spread the singclusion movement. Simply enter a video, share it with friends and celebrate the power of the voice.

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Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive

Last week our lovely ambassadors The Pacific Belles and Neighbours star Alan Fletcher took to the mic to promote Sing for Good on the Melbourne radio station JOY 94.9. The dynamic team sang the popular song ‘Accentuate the Positive’ giving the audience a taste of their delightful harmonies with support from the toe-tapping ukulele. The song was first written by Harold Arlen in 1944 and later performed by The Andrew Sisters and Bing Crosby. The song choice couldn’t be more fitting for Sing for Good with the key lyrics explaining ‘you got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative’.  Watch their radio performance below. 

“It’s important to reach out and connect with people and we feel so lucky to do this through our favourite pastime, which is singing”
Betty, Dot & Mabel (The Pacific Belles)

JOY 94.9 is a gay and lesbian volunteer-based community radio station listened to by 329,000 people in Melbourne as well as online, podcasts and blogs. The station is self-funded and committed to enabling freedom of speech and breaking down the barriers of isolation. JOY 94.9 is also joining us as community partners for Sing for Good 2015.

Working together our ambassadors and community partner put on a fantastic show and we can’t thank them enough for their continual support.

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Supermarket Flash Mob by Pot-Pourri

ritchies4

It was a normal day at Ritchie’s Mt Eliza. Everyone was strolling around doing their regular supermarket shopping and minding their own business. Then something amazing happened, leaving the customers stunned and cheering for more.

Appearing in disguise as store workers, the singers from acclaimed Australian group Pot-Pourri stopped everyone in their tracks with their Flash Mob style performance singing a beautiful rendition of Bocelli’s ‘Time To Say Goodbye’. Pot-Pourri has performed in over 40 countries and released 7 CDs and share their beautiful voices and interactive style with audiences in major concert halls, outdoor under the stars and at conferences, private and special events. They encourage everyone to find their unique voices and sing together.

Ritchies are proud to partner Sing for Good’s Best Family Sing category. They invite families from all over Australia and globally to video themselves singing a special song together around the dining table, the house, garden or even in the supermarket and submit their entries for Sing for Good. Ritchie’s love to surprise their customers and their Sing for Good entry was an incredible experience for everyone involved.

You can watch their amazing tear jerking performance here and remember to vote, share, donate and #singforgood

ritchies

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Submissions close 18 November