A Plymouth u3a Workshop
by Richard Keoghoe
Recently, I thought it a novel idea to run a short workshop spread over three weeks and hosted on Zoom. In the beginning of the New Year, a new lockdown was threatening to keep us at home for the winter. I had three applicants, Norma, Norman and Cheryl. We set about dreaming up a lyric in the first week. I had no idea whether the workshop would be successful or, indeed, if we could actually write a song between us. There was only one rule and that the song was written by consensus.
By week two, we had the bare bones of a song lyrics. Collectively, the group decided the rhythm and they were able to create a melody on a piece of Open Source music software called Musescore 3. To this melody, we decided on the basic chord structure. Together, we wrote a song called The Puzzle of Love.
At the end of the session, I worked on the music to tidy it up. I received two e-mails, one from Norman, who had set another verse to the music using his MuseScore. The other was from Norma, who sent me some more words. They completed the last four bars of the chorus I had been struggling with.
Our third and final week, we decided on how to arrange the verses into choral parts. Oh yes, full SATB! The song quickly grew into something very big and dramatic. What if it could be sung by a full Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass choir? The workshop surpassed my expectations. I was delighted with the result and it seemed Norman, Norma and Cheryl were as well.
I fully support the idea of workshops in U3A. They are short and punchy. But the great thing about workshops are that there is a product at the end of the experience. No doubt, you’ll want to hear the end result. You can view our efforts on this link: https://youtu.be/iHotlQncG7A.
Maybe there is scope to create another winter lockdown music workshop leading to the first Plymouth U3A virtual choir. If you viewed the video and you think you would like to come along to another set of workshops with a view to creating a virtual choir, I will be happy to set up another set of workshops. Any takers?