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Singing social

Illustrations on this page are by Lara Conley


My name is Lara Conley and I am a local Singer and Music Leader. I run singing and wellbeing workshops and groups, including Appledore Singing Circle. I absolutely love sharing the benefits of singing with others and I am very excited to offer a project to sing outside with you in the beautiful woods at Appledore Primary School. I cannot think of a better space to be singing in, back to the land and sky and with the birds to accompany us!

So what is a singing social?

I aim to encourage adults to sing to children, to help keep alive the tradition of learning through song and rhyme, and to share the magic of music in our local community. Children are naturally musical and playful in the way that they learn and communicate. I believe that if we adults become more confident to be expressive, creative and unique with our varied and beautiful voices, then the children in our lives will learn that they can also be those things, and will explore their own abilities with confidence.

At our singing social we will meet in the outdoors and sing songs in a circle, with our children free to join in or play near us, surrounded by songs. I will lead you with a mixture of my collected songs, which will vary from children's songs to tribal and traditional songs from around the world, simple harmonies, and easy to learn melodies. There is no experience needed, it's all about having a go and being your wonderful selves! It will be fun and fabulous, with plenty of time for a cuppa and chinwag too!

Why sing?

Through my work in schools and community projects, I have found that many children miss out on hearing children's songs and rhymes in the early years. I think some of this is down to the changes in modern society. Our global community traditions of singing freely while we are going about our daily lives is becoming rare and, in many places, lost. Singing is left to the choirs, singing groups or performers, and we rarely hear spontaneous singing, or even whistling! We have become so busy, and so concerned with how we sound, and sometimes it seems far easier to select a song from a phone or iPad.

The consequence of this is that children have less natural music around them. Natural music in the form of singing and rhythm provides essential building blocks for children to learn and develop their speech, their communication with others and their ability to create with words and expression. It also goes further than that, in developing confidence to speak up and speak out, to value their own voices and to believe that they matter. Children and babies don't hear what we would term as 'good or bad' singing, they just feel the benefits of being sang to, and they blossom from being surrounded by it. Singing it is also a fantastic tool for managing children's behaviour, and making tasks more achievable and fun.

Singing is not all about being on a stage or in a band or choir, or doing it well or sounding like an angel. It's about expressing yourself, and being you. It is wonderful for growth and self-esteem and it is never too late to start. 


 Contact The Apple Tree Initiative to express an interest and get updates.