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So what is this "Sip & Sing" Anyway

I began my TikTok account early into quarantine, where I post light-hearted

videos containing singing tips. I expected to primarily have a following of teenagers,

which is somewhat true, but what shocked me above all was the response from adults

(who really do use TikTok!). I distinctly remember when, early on in my TIkTok journey,

a woman commented on a video and said “I’m so glad I found your page! My husband

hates my singing. I love to sing and I want my kids to keep loving it too.” As I shed a few

tears, I realized that my reach went further than I had anticipated, and I had the

opportunity to make a positive impact.


It was in this moment that I began thinking of what I could do to help adult

singers, who love to sing but have lost the momentum. I wanted to provide an outlet for

people who sang frequently in high school and college (in their school choirs and

musicals), who love to sing but feel self-conscious, who may take voice lessons but

want experience singing in front of other people, and who want to just have a fun social

outlet in the middle of this neverending quarantine. This was where the Sip n Sing class

was born. We had our first run in June, and are SO thrilled to be able to offer it again

this August. My concept was to combine a karaoke hour with a group voice class,

everyone meeting on Zoom in the comfort of their home. It’s a casual environment

(drinks in hand allowed!) and the singers become fast friends, laughing as they try new

things together and celebrating one another as they sing for each other, karaoke-style.

We encourage all styles of music, whatever the singers feel most drawn to and are most

comfortable singing. In our first round of Sip n Sing, singers performed both musical

theatre and pop songs (with pop as a general, blanket term!). There were beautiful

moments of singers performing while cradling their cats, children interrupting mid-song

(as their mom resolutely finished her performance!), and singers performing the songs

that speak most to them. In voice lessons, picking repertoire is often a dual decision

between teacher and student as they work on specific technical goals. In Sip n Sing, the

singers have full control of what repertoire they want to sing, just like in real karaoke

(although, you have the bonus of having a voice teacher with you to give you tips on

HOW pick that karaoke song!). In Sip n Sing, your classmates and I will all remain sure

of one thing: singing is a goofy journey. You may forget how a part of the song goes

(relatable), your voice might crack (SUPER relatable), and you might get nervous

(spoiler alert: so does everyone!), but you will be alongside other singers who are in the

exact same boat. It’s so nice to not feel alone!


When planning the class, I try to find a happy medium between having a good

plan, and not planning *too* much, because I want to tailor each round to the individual

singers who are participating. For example, in June, everyone wanted to work on belting

and pop music….so we did! I start the class slow, seeing where everyone is at in their

singing journey and getting an understanding of what each singer’s goals and expectations are. In the first class, we will get to know one another, and I will take you

all through some easy vocal warm ups where you will be primarily muted on your device

(so I won’t even be able to hear you, super low pressure). I might “check in” with each

student to see how they are grasping the concept, but I will mostly let everyone stay out

of the spotlight at first as we get our bearings. The second week, we will begin working

on some more complex ideas (belting and mixing!!!) and I will give everyone a little

more individual attention. The portions of the technical training are a casual

environment - I want singers to ask questions, laugh at themselves, and tell each other

“You sound so great!!” In the remaining sessions, we will always start with some warm

ups and work on our singing skills, and then dive into karaoke-style performances. Your

fellow singers will tell you what they love about your performance (#validation) and I will

give helpful, positive feedback. It’s all in good fun - no one is prepping for a Tony. I want

it to be a fun moment of your week - something that you do just for yourself!

It’s time to get back into singing! See you Wednesday nights in August. :)



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WHERE YOUR VOICE WILL             BE HEARD.

always

GRAND RAPIDS VOICE COLLECTIVE

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