Soundabout Inclusive Choirs FAQs

Q1. How do I sign up to join the choir?

  • The best way to join up is by filling in the registration form for your choir on this website. Go to our Choirs page to view the list of Choirs.

Q2. Which choir should I join?

Q3. How long does the choir session last?

  • Virtual sessions last one hour.
  • Face to face sessions last between 60 minutes and 90 minutes (an hour and a half). This is because at some choirs there is the option to have tea and cake at the end.

Q4. What days do the choirs happen?

  • Please check your specific choir page for each choir day.

Q5. What happens if you are non-verbal?

  • The choir celebrates that everyone has their own way of sharing their voice. Here are a few examples of ways you could join in;
    • Singing or other vocalisations
    • Making sounds with an instrument or sound maker 
    • Using technology e.g. an iPad or EyeGaze 
    • Movement and dance
    • Signing; We use a mix of movement, Signalong, BSL and Makaton to interpret lyrics*

*Please note – we do not claim to be Signalong, Makaton or BSL accredited. We work closely with volunteers, choir members and use resources available on YouTube to create our signing videos and inform our delivery. Our aim is to support engagement and enjoyment through movement. Please visit SignalongMakaton and/or BSL for more information and more accredited ways to learn. 

Q6. What can I expect to happen in a choir session?

  • Each choir session follows a similar structure:
    • Hello song
    • Warm-up
    • Learning and playing songs
    • Creating new music from our sounds
    • Sharing circle (when you can share a song, poem, story, sound, birthda or a piece of news!)
    • Announcements
    • Goodbye song.
  • You can join in as much or as little as you like.

Q7. What do I need to bring to the choir?

  • There is no need to bring anything, but if you would like to, any of the following list of items might be useful to you:
    • Sound makers
    • Lyric sheets
    • Big smiles
    • Soundabout t-shirt (if you have one and you’d like to wear it)
    • If you are joining a virtual choir session you will need a phone or tablet or computer.

Q8. Does it matter what age you are?

  • Each choir is different. Please check the individual choir pages for more information on age. If you are unsure please email choir@soundabout.org.uk

Q9. Does it matter what your disability is?

  • Definitely not! The choirs are for people of all abilities. We would love it if you could tell us how we make the sessions more fun and easy for you to access.

Q10. Do we need to pay for the choir sessions?

Q11. How do I buy a Soundabout T-shirt?

Q12. Can anyone wear a t-shirt? What if I don’t want to wear one?

  • Yes, anyone can wear a t-shirt and it’s totally your choice if you do/ don’t.

Q13. What‘s the difference between a Soundabout Choir and an Associate Choir?

  • A Soundabout choir is run and managed by Soundabout. If you need any help please email choir@soundabout.org.uk
  • An associate choir is run and managed by the local music hub/ organisation, but still part of our choir network. You will need to get in touch with them if you need any help.

Q14. What types of rehearsals are there?

Each choir runs a little differently but there 3 different ways to rehearsal:

  • Online – this is hosted on Zoom – you can just click the link in the email which will be sent to you before the session.
  • In-Person Only – For face-to-face sessions there is no need to have Zoom as we will meet at a venue in your area.
  • Hybrid – you have the option to join in-person at the venue or via zoom; which ever suits you best!

Q15. How do I find any forms to be filled in?

  • You can find the registration forms for Soundabout choirs on each choir page: view the list of Choirs. Please click the blue button labelled “Sign up to (Choir Name) Inclusive Choir” to go to your local choir registration form. If you have any problems filling it in, please call the charity on 01235797747.
  • For associate choirs, please click the blue button on the individual choir page to take you to the external sign-up pages.

Q16. How did Soundabout start?

  • Soundabout was launched in 1995 in Oxford with the aim of empowering school staff working with children and young people with special needs to make music interactively with their pupils with severe and complex disabilities. The overwhelming and enthusiastic response to this project by both pupils and school staff suggested that a permanent staff training programme would be welcomed in schools across the UK and in December 1997, Soundabout was officially founded as an independent charity, with our first inclusive choir starting in February 2018. We have grown from there!

Q17. How do we receive the Zoom links?

  • They are sent to you via email.

Q18. When do I receive the Zoom links?

  • They will be sent to you before the choir sessions, followed by a reminder shortly before the choirs start on the day of the session.
  • If it doesn’t arrive please check your junk email box and if it is not there please get in touch.

Q19. Who do I contact if I have a question?

Q20. Will I be able to add my voice or instrument to backing tracks?

  • Yes – any and all contributions welcome.

Q21. When do I do my recordings?

  • We will always give a clear deadline for when recordings need to be completed (and you will always have at least one week to send them in), but you may complete them whenever suits you best within that timeframe.

Q22. What kind of music do you sing?

  • We sing a mix of lots of different types of songs. We pick songs based on suggestions that come from our choir members and sometimes write our own! We have also done some collaborations with other choirs such as The King’s Singers and have worked on shared songs with them. All suggestions welcome.

Q23. Can I keep my camera off in a Zoom session?

  • Yes – occasionally we’ll record and if you don’t want to be recorded you can turn your camera off then too. We’ll always make it clear when we are about to record. If you are feeling shy and would like to keep your camera off, that’s fine too, but we politely ask that you email us to let us know if this is the case for you. If we don’t recognise your name in a session we may ask for you to quickly turn on your camera and give us a quick wave at the begging of the session just so we know its you – this is for safeguarding.

Q25. Does it matter if I miss a session?

  • Not at all. We understand that people’s lives are busy and things happen that mean sometimes you can’t attend.

Q26. Are there opportunities to do solos?

  • Yes, through the session we ask if anyone would like to share what we’ve been performing or you can perform during our sharing circle. Just let us know by email, but there is no pressure to share anything.

Q27. Where are the choirs located?

  • Please have a look at the ‘choir’ tab in the main menu. This will drop down to a full list so you can find one closest to you.

Q28. Do I have to attend the choir session for my area?

  • We encourage you to join the nearest choir to yourself. If there is no choir in your area, we recommend joining the Oxford and Beyond choir. If the timing of your nearest choir doesn’t work for you, we recommend you join the Oxford and Beyond choir.