Yes!!! We believe that all voices are worth celebrating and we want to sing with you. One of the silver linings of this virtual program is that we can’t hear you, so you can sing your heart out without feeling like you are being judged. Throughout the session, we will give tips and instruction on ways that you can make your singing feel freer and more confident and some tips about learning melodies and harmonies.
I’m not a dancer—is Rise, Shine, Sing! for me?
Absolutely. Now is a great time to start. We think of dance as movement, and the choreography is developed with a wide array of abilities in mind. We believe everyone can express themselves through movement and we want to dance with you. Our goal is to inspire confidence in movement and celebrate the ways that we can express our ideas through dance. You can also choose to turn off your video, if you’re more comfortable.
Does “music theatre” mean musicals?
Yes and No. We certainly sing songs from musicals, but we also sing pop, rock, and folk tunes. We add choreography to those songs so that we’re telling our stories through music, movement, and theatre.
What happens during a session?
This is what a typical session looks like: 9:45: Call opens --informal conversation 9.55: Trivia--we ask a few trivia questions and havechat 10:00: Main session starts with a warm-ups--we do a vocal and physical warm-up as well as a combined warm-up 10:10: Song rehearsal--we usually focus on 2-3 songs during a session. We teach the melody/lyrics as well as the chorography and then practise refining it or celebrate our accomplishment by singing it through. We also like to add our own creative flourishes to a song—whether that’s asking people for ideas about movements or by changing lyrics. 10:40: Dance out and good-bye--We end the session by dancing to a recorded song and then we unmute you to say goodbye to everyone.
Why is Rise, Shine, Sing! still virtual?
We decided to stay virtual for these reasons:
To better understand the ways that virtual programming can be accessible, particularly where travelling to a specific location is not feasible. Our research to date has shown us that people from various rural areas as well as people from outside of Kingston are able to join us. We are also heartened to see that friends and families from different locations are also able to engage in this program together, and we’d like to learn more about these benefits.
Singing in person isn’t back to normal, at least not where we are located. If we were to meet in person, everyone would still need to be masked for the duration of the session, and we would need to put up plexiglass between each participant. In terms of dancing, there is also limited movement that is allowed within the space.
We don’t think that virtual programing will replace in-person experiences, but we think that it is a viable option for those who cannot participate in in-person experiences.We want to research ways that we can make these experiences rich and rewarding for people who choose this way of engaging.
What do you mean by "CREATE"?
A few times a year we device a project where we invite people to contribute creatively to projects in a variety of ways: sharing photos, writing lyrics/poems, creating and performing choreographies, recording audio tracks. Like everything in Rise, Shine, Sing!, participation in voluntary, but we want to create opportunities to tell our stories in different ways and to celebrate the creative ideas of our participants. You can see some of our past projects under the "Create Projects" tab.
What exactly are you researching?
Our research team is comprised of specialists in Music Education, Musicology, and Music Performance. Our research questions are focused on the ways we can make opportunities in music theatre more accessible in our communities, ways to increase the comfort in participating in these activities (particularly for older adults), and ways to encourage the sharing and development of our participants’ artistic voices. We record our sessions, and by attending you are consenting to the research protocol. You may also be asked to complete surveys and interviews, each of which you will be given the opportunity to consent to. You can participate in as little or as much as you wish!