Author Archives: glee

glee club cornell

What Is A University Glee Club?

Ever since the release of the popular US TV program Glee in 2009 many people have become obsessed with musical choir groups. However, Glee clubs have been around a long time before the TV show was ever released. Although Glee shed some light on the modern Glee clubs in America, it didn’t explore the history of them and how they were created. When people think of university clubs they often think of students getting very, very drunk or sitting in their rooms playing on League of Legends accounts or the sailing club out building their new modular pontoons – but the reality these days is very different.


So what exactly is a University Glee Club?


A Glee club is a musical group that is historically made up of male voices and specialize in singing short songs, also known as “Glees.” Nevertheless, it is still possible to get female and mixed groups, don’t think it’s only for guys.


These “Glee” songs that they sing are short songs from the classical and early romantic periods.


Most of these songs are written for at least 3 voices and are intended to be sung unaccompanied like acappella. These Glee songs fall into a different musical category from traditional college songs and are not to be mistaken for classical music or opera.


Although many Glees were initially written to be sung by male-only singing clubs, many of them often include soprano parts which were sung by boys. Specifically, church choristers until recently when mixed groups were formed were ladies took over singing the parts.


History of Glee Clubs

cornell glee club

The first recorded Glee Club was founded at Harrow School, in London, in 1787.


Glee clubs were very popular in the UK until the mid-1850’s when they started to be gradually taken over by choral societies instead. Around this time many North American colleges and universities began to introduce their Glee clubs with Harvard introducing the first one in the US in 1858.


Many other universities followed shortly after with Yale, Cornell and Princeton all founding their Glee clubs in the 1860’s and 70’s.


Glee Clubs Today


Today many universities all over the world have Glee clubs, most notably in North America.


Many universities still have Glee clubs that anyone enrolled in a university course can join. The Glee clubs founded at Princeton, Cornell and Yale back in the 1800’s are still going strong with some clubs having over 100 active members. Most of these clubs perform on a weekly basis and have several groups included all male, all female and mixed groups.


Many Glee clubs nowadays have evolved over the years and have moved away from small groups and single sex groups.


Glee clubs regularly perform to the rest of the university and host special events where they perform to members of the public. Some clubs even do the events for charity and donate all the proceedings from the event.


Glee clubs aren’t just limited to Universities, though; there are several community-based Glee clubs all around the world. Many of them are open to people aged 16 or above and don’t require any auditions.


Now you know what a Glee club is and the history of them it’s time to take your singing to the next level. If you enjoy singing with friends and family, then there’s a high chance you could enjoy a glee club. No matter your age or skill level there’s a place for everyone in a Glee club – even those who traditionally sat in playing on their League of Legends accounts!


Check your local area for community Glee clubs; then there’s a good chance your institute will already have one.

man performing on stage

Top Tips For Budding Singers And Performers

Performing in front of a crowd can be a scary thing even for the most experienced artists. Everybody gets those pre-performance jitters and butterflies, but there are plenty of great ways to overcome them. From breathing deeply to focusing on your body, these tips will make your overall performance much better as well as improving your self-confidence.


If you’re somewhat experienced, then you might already have some techniques that you use to help calm your nerves just before a performance. For the newer performers don’t worry if you don’t have any techniques yet, we’ll be covering plenty of helpful tips later on that will improve your performances. With that said, let’s explore these useful tips and how you can use them in your shows.


Top Performance Tips

There are many helpful tips that can greatly help increase your confidence and performance. From simple things such as using your hands more and moving around the stage more, or for slower recitals putting your lyrics/music on an iPad with a comfy stand, you’ll be surprised how beneficial they can be.

group on stage

Use The Stage To Your Advantage

If you’re a singer and spend a lot of time performing in front of crowds of people, then a great tip is to move around the stage and make it yours. If you’ve ever watched X-Factor or Pop Idol, then you’ll know how petrified some of the singers can be while performing. They stand in front of the microphone terrified of every one of looking at them and go into a defensive posture.


Standing with their legs tightly shut and arms on their sides it’s not the best impression to give off to your audience. Most audiences enjoy an energetic performer who moves around on stage and engages with the audience. Moving around the stage and making it yours is the best way to improve your performance.


Coming to the front of the stage helps performers connect with their audience. It doesn’t mean that you should use every single inch of the stage, but it also means you shouldn’t just stand there and do nothing. You need to find a good mix. Run around too fast, and you’ll quickly get out of breath but stand still and your audience will quickly get bored.


A good tip is to watch YouTube videos of your favourite performers and singers. See how they move around and interact with their audiences. The first thing you’ll notice is they aren’t standing still and more importantly they have confidence in themselves. Make sure you do the same with your audience while you’re performing.


Incorporate Body Language into Your Routine

Another good tip for performers and singers is to include body language throughout your performance. This gives the audience an idea of how you’re feeling when on stage and can help convey emotion of the song. How can someone think your song is meant to be happy when you’re just standing there unemotional?


If you’re trying to convey a song as happy, then you need to include lots of smiles and dancing. No one’s going to understand how to react if you’re singing a happy song but look sad. Since body language will be your primary tool in expressing the emotion of the song, it’s important to make sure your movements reflect the overall theme.


You need to work out how you can express the emotions of the song by using your body language. Every song will be different, and the same body language won’t work for every performance.

man performing on stage

Overcome Stage Fright

Stage Fright, also known as performance anxiety is what happens when you focus on yourself and your performance. This anxiety arises from trying to resist and avoid it instead of accepting and working with it. It’s the result of thinking that the performance is a threat rather than a challenge.


Overcoming stage fright is possible by following some simple tips. The first step is to accept and expect that you will feel anxious, especially if it’s the first few times you have done a performance in front of a large audience before. If you allow yourself to work with the anxiety and not against it, then you’ll be able to calm yourself down and proceed. If you try to resist the anxiety and push it away, then you will make it even worse for yourself.


Another good tip to overcome stage fright is to channel all your emotions and passion into the performance itself. Don’t try to hold them back or suppress them, express them instead!


Breathing properly before going on stage can also do wonders for your performance. If you’re a singer, then you probably know how to breathe using your diaphragm. Using this breathing technique before you go on stage can help calm yourself down and practise your breathing at the same time.


The next time you’re just about to go on stage take a few deep breaths and imagine yourself out there performing calmly and confidently. With patience and practise, you’ll notice how these techniques can quickly reduce your performance anxiety.


group singing

Can Singing Improve Self Confidence?

Confidence in yourself is an important aspect of everybody’s life. When you have lots of self-confidence, you feel like you can take on anything the world has to throw at you. No matter how big the task, you always pull through and achieve the goal.


However, not everyone has such high self-confidence levels and doing simple tasks that other people find easy can be tough.


A common fear that people have is standing in front of large crowds. This might involve doing things such as presentations, talks or even singing.


With all those eyes staring at you and all those ears listening to your every word you can see why some people might get nervous or anxious.


There are plenty of ways to help increase your self-confidence from practising speaking in a mirror to simply just smiling more, but have you ever thought of the effects of singing?


Singing is a great way to increase your self-confidence no matter how good (or bad) you are. Not only does singing boost your self-confidence but it also helps in many other aspects of your life.


Singing might sound hard, but in fact, anyone can do it. If you can talk then, you can sing.

man singing


Boost Your Self Confidence With Singing


So how can anyone boost their self-confidence with singing?


If you already have low self-esteem, then the thought of singing to yourself or somebody else can be terrifying. Perhaps you have a voice in your head that keeps telling you how bad you sound, or you have been criticised in the past by others.


To start singing and to improve your confidence you need to face your fears and step outside your comfort zone. Although it’s only temporarily, you’ll quickly feel the benefits of singing, and with repetition, you’ll become a lot more confident with singing.


The first step is to prepare to sound bad. We all start with baby steps, and nobody wakes up a great singer, it takes years of practice and honing your voice. Instead of listening to your voice, focus on the process and enjoy the moment.


Just remember, you don’t have to be an amazing singer to benefit from or enjoy singing. It’s the process that counts. Start alone in a room where nobody can hear you. Singing along to music so you can’t hear your voice is a great way to overcome that hurdle if it’s a big problem for you.


Always pick songs you enjoy, after all, you want to enjoy singing. You don’t want to feel like you’re being forced to sing anything you don’t want to.


There are several ways in which singing improves your self-confidence. First of all, it helps lift your mood and distract yourself from any negative thoughts. In addition to this, it helps relieve stress while also increasing your focus and concentration.


Singing has also been shown to be challenging and rewarding, not only does it take you out of your comfort zone but it also gives you a great sense of achievement. Sometimes people just need a reminder of how good achieving something feels. This feeling can then encourage them to improve other aspects of their life.


Once you’ve developed your confidence and singing voice, you might even consider getting a singing teacher if you enjoy it that much. Singing in front of someone else might be hard for you, but they’re there to help and won’t make you do anything you don’t want to.


Now you’ve got a great voice and higher self-confidence it’s time to take it to the next level, singing with other people! Why spend all that time practising just to sing in an empty room? Join a singing group and enjoy the moment with everybody else. Nothing makes you feel better than singing your favourite song with a group of friends.


As you can see singing is an excellent way to improve self-confidence and no matter what level you are everyone can benefit from it.


classical music

How Classical Music Can Make you More Productive

You probably listen to music almost every day of your life. No matter if it’s the latest pop hit from Justin Bieber or some golden oldies like the Rolling Stones we all love a song to relax to. But have you ever stopped to think how music can make you more productive in the workplace?

No, we don’t mean listening to music for 10 minutes during your break, we mean listening to music while working. You might be surprised at just how beneficial listening to music while working can be.

In a noisy work environment, music is a great way to escape the constant distractions of the workplace. Printers humming, telephones ringing, keyboards clanking, office gossip, the list is endless!

All of these noisy distractions can constantly distract your trail of thought. These distractions mean less time thinking about the job in hand and more time trying to remember what you were just thinking about!

performing music

So how can music help?

A research paper from the University of Windsor, Canada explored the question of just how useful music is in a workplace environment. The paper concludes that music is beneficial when doing repetitive tasks that are clearly defined. This means tasks that you’ve done before and have a clear idea of what needs to be done and how it needs to be done.

This could be anything like running a weekly report, sending a batch of emails or even hovering the office floor.

The research paper also went on to say that:

“The results indicated that state positive affect and quality-of-work were lowest with no music, while time-on-task was longest when music was removed. Narrative responses revealed the value of music listening for positive mood change and enhanced perception on design while working. Evidence is provided of the presence of a learning curve in the use of music for positive mood alteration.”

As you can see, the quality-of-work was the lowest and the time spent on the task was the longest when not listening to music. When the music was introduced for the tasks, workers moods improved dramatically.

So now you know you work better while listening music is it time to blast out the latest Justin Bieber song? Think again.

Lyrics are often too distracting when it comes to intensive work such as writing. Lyrics in songs destroy your focus, just like trying to hold a conversation while another person talks over you.

So what’s the best music to listen to? Although you might have heard this before, it’s actually classical music. Any classical music as long as it doesn’t have singing is the best choice.

Other instrumental music such as dance, trance, and dubstep can be too fast and wild. These types of music often have a range of frequencies that can trigger headaches after prolonged listening.

classical music

If you want a good idea of some classical composers, then we would suggest the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and Chopin. Although none of them are alive today, their music lives on. If people are still listening and performing their work hundreds of years on, then you know it’s good music!

Give it a try yourself, the next time you’re distracted at work put on some classical music to drown out all that unwanted background noise. You’ll be surprised how focused you feel after a quick 30-minute session.