10 reasons why your next singing workshop should be a residential one

Listed on May 19, 2013 in Blogs!

There is something different and special about a residential learning experience.

residential courses

photo by Martyn Gorman

A whole day of singing is great, but to spend an entire weekend (or even a week) with a bunch of like-minded people, getting away from the rat race, is just magic.

Here are ten reasons why your next singing workshop should be a residential one.

  1. social time – make new friends, hang out with like-minded people, “time off” for walks or evenings in the bar, spontaneous sing-a-longs, getting to know fellow singers in more depth, exchanging songs and ideas
  2. escape and hide – from the busy ‘real’ world into a calm oasis, get away from it all, step aside from the rat race for a few days, return refreshed, re-invigorated and inspired
  3. focused learning – no distractions, just there to sing, away from everyday demands
  4. relaxed and informal – a proper ‘chill out’ learning break, plenty of humour, time to truly let go, no need to stand on ceremony
  5. more time – scope for in-depth study, all about the singing, time to really get inside songs
  6. have fun – and learn for learning’s sake – no exams or performance, just the pleasure of learning and being part of a singing community, plenty of laughter too!
  7. reinvent yourself – unfamiliar surroundings, can step outside your personal comfort zone, open to new experiences, chance to reinvent yourself, be the best singer you can possibly be (without your friends/family being around)
  8. supportive group – everyone on the same page willing you to succeed, all want the same thing, real team work
  9. great venues – lovely location, often in the country, grand old houses, magic places
  10. value for money – accommodation compares well with many posh hotels, full-on experience with individual attention from tutor, all meals included plus tea/ coffee breaks (and biscuits!)

and the 11th extra point: chance to visit new places – go to wonderful new places in the UK (and beyond) that you might not have visited before. Discover new parts of the country.

And to help get you started, here are a few of the residential singing courses I will be running in 2013.

Sing the world – songs from many cultures

21 – 23 June, Farncombe Courses, Cotswolds
Learn a bunch of songs from a wide range of cultures right across the globe.

Photographer Nick Meers

Singing for all – a weekend in harmony

26 – 28 July, Brathay Hall, Ambleside, Lake District
A fabulous weekend of harmony singing for anyone who loves to sing – no experience necessary.


Singing for everyone – a week in harmony

15 – 21 September, Creative Vacances, France
A relaxed and informal week creating a safe and comfortable space to explore your voice.


Sing ABBA!

27 – 29 September, Farncombe Courses, Cotswolds
Learn some of ABBA’s finely crafted pop songs. For those with some harmony singing experience.


A whole world of song

19 – 20 October, Stratford-upon-Avon YHA
Learn a range of songs from across the globe. No experience necessary.


All aboard the gospel train!

22 – 24 November, Alison House, Cromford, Derbyshire
Discover your inner Elvis or Aretha. For singers of all faiths and none.


And on into next year …

Better harmony singing – the small group challenge

2 – 4 May 2014, Claret Centre, Buckden, Cambridgeshire
A chance to fine-tune your harmony singing skills in a small group. Must be able to hold a part on your own. Strictly limited to 16 singers max.

Claret Centre (8)

as well as weekends at Farncombe Courses in February, June and October, and back to the Lake District in July.

Chris Rowbury’s website: chrisrowbury.com