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Next Singaround

Join your hosts Sophie (me!) and Cooper on the third Saturday of each month for an afternoon of unaccompanied folk singing in Aurora, CO!

All ages/levels welcome to sing or to listen.

Please note: The March 16th singaround will be at a later time than normal due to an event in the space. We will be back to our regular time in April. Join us from 4-6pm in March!

Folk Singaround.png

Due to an event, March 16th will be

4-6PM

For the time being, we ask that everyone please have a same-day negative rapid covid test (let's protect each other best we can, eh?).

 

If you have cold/flu symptoms, test positive for covid, or are just generally not feeling well, please stay home. We'll see you at the next one!

What To Expect

What to Expect

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Singing!

Our focus here is on unaccompanied singing (singing without an instrument)

 

We love a guitar as much as the next guy! We just don’t really have another space here in the Denver Metro Area for unaccompanied singers, so we’re making one.

 

Unaccompanied singing is, on the one hand, singing at its most basic - no band, no keeping external time, no matching pitch with someone else - just you, your voice, and the song (and an enthusiastic crowd of folks joining you on the chorus if you have one!)
 

It is also, like any other kind of music, an art form all its own that can be stretched and developed into something truly exquisite

  • New to unaccompanied singing?

    • Just sing the song. I promise, that’s all you need! As singer Piers Cawley would have it, “The only harm you can do to a song is not to sing it.”

    • If you want a few tricks and tips to spice things up (or just some reassurance that whatever you’re up to is great, honest), you can check out Piers’ guide to unaccompanied singing here: https://tradfolk.co/tradfolk-101/singing-without-accompaniment/

       

Regarding song choice: we love a good “traditional folk song,” so that’s our starting point here, but the definitions of “traditional,” “folk,” and “song” are a bit nebulous and we’re not about to try to draw hard lines. My background is mostly in sea shanties/sailor songs. I sing a mix of “traditional” and composed songs (think “Drunken Sailor” versus “Barrett’s Privateers”) myself, and in my experience, most folk singers fall into that box as well. #TheFolkProcess, etc.etc.etc.


 

 
 
 
Community!

 

The goal here ultimately is to get together and sing because it’s fun. There’s no one here to critique your singing. No one’s going to be talking nonsense about how you sound or offering advice on how to improve or laughing if you miss a note or forget a word.
 

Singing is vulnerable, and it takes a bit of getting used to to sing in front of a group of people, especially strangers. We’ve all been there.
 

If you’ve been told you “can’t sing,” I’m here to tell you that that is absolute nonsense and your voice is welcome here. Singing is a fundamental form of human expression. Anyone can (and everyone should!) sing.
 

That said, there’s also no pressure! Everyone is warmly encouraged to sing - whether that’s leading a song or joining in on choruses - but don’t feel like you aren’t welcome if you don’t want to sing or are still learning or don’t have a song prepared or just don’t feel like it.
 


The practical stuff:

 

COVID Precautions: Please take a rapid covid test before you arrive. If you’re positive for covid, have any cold/flu symptoms, or just generally aren’t feeling well, please stay home! We do this monthly, so there will be another chance. Let’s keep each other safe and healthy, best we can, eh? <3

(Please note: this is not intended to create a barrier, but rather to foster a safe space for all of our visitors. If acquiring a rapid test is a barrier for you, please reach out to me and I'll make sure you get one. Alternatively, if you have extra tests you'd like to donate to the cause, please bring them with you to the next singaround!)

 

Accessibility: Our space is fully wheelchair accessible, including our restroom. The room we sing in has faux-florescent lighting, but most of the fixtures are covered with theatre gels to soften the light. Accessibility is a high priority for me - please don't hesitate to email me at SundaySeaSongs@gmail.com with any questions or additional needs.


Parking: There is a parking lot at the Stanley Marketplace, but parking can sometimes be a little tight on the weekends. You can also park on the street in the surrounding neighborhood, and carpooling is never a bad idea!

  • There are also bus stops on Montview (about a ten minute walk) and Colfax (about a twenty minute walk).

 

Entrance: I'll meet folks at the front door of Neighborhood Music at the scheduled singaround start time! Neighborhood Music is located on the north side of the Stanley Marketplace (this is the "back" of the building, on the opposite side from Colfax and Montview).

  • If you're running behind, no biggie! You'll just enter through the back door off of the patio. There will be a sign on the Neighborhood front door with directions.  :)

 

The Space: we'll be in a good sized room that has a ventilation fan in it; because of that, it can sometimes get a little chilly in the winter, so bring a layer or two to be safe. Weather permitting and if we feel like it, we can also sing on the patio instead!


 

Food, etc.: There are plenty of food and bev options in the Stanley Marketplace if folks would like to gather afterward!

the space.jpeg

Cooper leading Bonny Ship the Diamond

Mailing List

Mailing List

The mailing list is powered by MailerLite. You'll only get emails/updates about the singaround, generally announcements of future dates and notification of any schedule changes.

Neigborhood Music

Mutual Aid Monday

Neighborhood Music is a donation site for Mutual Aid Monday - if you've got any camping or cold weather gear going spare, bring to the next singaround!

Mutual Aid Monday

The Venue

We meet in the back room at Neighborhood Music, a music school located in the Stanley Marketplace in Aurora, Colorado. Neighborhood offers private music lessons to students of all ages (4+) in a wide variety of instruments. Check out their website for more information about their offerings!

Singaround FAQs

Singaround FAQs

What a singaround?

A singaround is sort of what it sounds like! Sometimes called a "song session," the idea is that we go around the room leading songs. Some songs have a chorus - join in! - and others don't. Song choice is entirely up to the singer. Anyone is welcome and encouraged to sing, but there's no pressure - totally fine to just come along to listen!

What kind of songs are welcome?

We love a good “traditional folk song,” so that’s our starting point here, but the definitions of “traditional,” “folk,” and “song” are a bit nebulous and we’re not about to try to draw hard lines.
 

My own background is mostly in sea shanties/sailor songs. I sing a mix of “traditional” and composed songs (think “Drunken Sailor” versus “Barrett’s Privateers”) myself, and I suspect most folk singers fall into that box as well. #TheFolkProcess, etc.etc.etc.
 

What kind of songs are not welcome?

Please be thoughtful of your song choice in regards to things like race and gender. Folk songs come from all manner of places and all manner of times, and part of the folk tradition is embracing changing sensibilities over time! The goal here is to make this a place welcoming for everyone, so please avoid overtly racist lyrics. If you are unsure, ask! You won't be kicked out for getting it wrong on accident.

Can I bring an instrument?

The focus of this singaround is primarily on unaccompanied singing. We like a guitar as much as the next guy! But there aren't really any spaces for unaccompanied singing in the Denver Metro Area, so we've created one.

Several of our regulars play things like flute or rhythm bones and use them to embellish their songs and that's entirely ok! There's not an instrument ban, by any means; however, we are not a tune session (though if you're looking for a tune session, there are plenty around!)

I'm worried I'll forget the words. Can I bring them with me?

Absolutely! Lyric sheets (or a quick Google on the phone) are more than welcome. That said, don't worry - forgetting the words happens to the best of us, and there's nothing wrong with starting over or changing your song or asking to go later or whatever you might need.

New to folk music?

New To Folk Music?

Welcome!!

Folk is a big world and can be a little daunting to dive into. I've gathered together some resources and suggestions from my own interests. Here's a (tremendously non-exhaustive and tbqh really Anglo-centric) list!

Websites:
  • Mainly Norfolk is frankly invaluable and a tremendous labor of love. It's an excellent place to find information on basically any folk song you can think of. I've linked here the entry on the Penguin Book of English Folk Songs (not to be confused with the English Book of Penguin Folk Songs), but you can also look up individual songs as well.

  • The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library and EFDSS are a great resource for anything British folk

  • Tradfolk has excellent articles on a variety of subjects (see also the Old Songs Podcast below)

  • For American folk music, can't go wrong with Smithsonian Folkways

  • Folk London is an excellent little mag with articles and listings and album reviews (occasionally written by yours truly). Can be a good resource to get a feel for the culture around British traditional folk singing, particularly articles like the Folk FAQ. This recent feature on collector Doc Rowe and last year's article on Angeline Morrison are also particularly worth a read.

  • Mudcat is an old-school forum with just an endless wealth of knowledge. There can be a bit of...grumpiness among its members, but don't let the cranks put you off. The site also has an approximately thrice-weekly nap, so if it's down when you try to visit, just pop back round later.

 
Podcasts:

 

Listening:

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