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Frequently Asked Questions

Answered by Pam Blevins Hinkle
SongSquad, down by the river!

What if I can’t sing … OR … someone told me I can’t sing?

l truly believe the Zimbabwe saying: “If you can walk, you can dance. If you can talk, you can sing.” Furthermore, you are already a spectacular instrument, and the only one of its kind on the planet. Isn’t that amazing? And singing is one of the most satisfying ways that we combine our gifts to make beauty and harmony in the world. SongSquad is a no-audition, judgement-free environment … so give it a try. Many people have found it empowering to sing with SongSquad and have increased both their confidence and capacity.

What if I can’t read music?

No problem! Our motto is “paperless singing in a perfection-free zone.” All songs are taught by ear … learn it by heart and you learn it for life … so can always draw upon the medicine of these songs when you need them.

What kind of music do you sing?

All kinds, from jazzy and bouncy to quiet and reverent. We sing old and new songs from around the world, from simple chants and two-part rounds to three- and four-part harmony songs from a variety of cultures and traditions. Check out the Learn Songs page.

What happens at a typical, in-person singing session?

We start with simple warm-ups for voice and body and we begin with fun and easy songs. We do this in a circle; some people stand, some sit, depending on their mood, energy, and/or ability (let us know if you need special accommodations). Melodies, harmonies, and lyrics are taught by ear by the two song leaders (Pam and Adam or special guests). After a mid-session break to enjoy ginger tea and home-made cookies, we learn more songs to celebrate being alive and to connect more deeply with other each other and the wider world. You’ll learn to “carry” these songs … a kind of bone-knowing you can draw upon throughout your life.

What if I don’t know what part I sing?

No worries! We have gender-neutral sections called nightingales (higher voices), otters (medium high), starfish (medium low), and rhinos (low). These names were chosen by the singers and are subject to spontaneous renewal or revision!) Singers choose what section to sing … and you can change your mind at any time (including in the middle of the song). Experienced singers enjoy the challenge of learning multiple parts.

Does SongSquad perform?

We get invited to appear at various events and happenings around town, and Squadron participate as able. Past events have included Mayor’s Lunch for Indy Parks, Robert Wood Johnson Equity Fellows Conference, Spirit & Place’s Civic Saturday events, Indy Parks Pack the Parks event, Earth Day Festival, Indy Festival of Faiths, March for Our Lives, and more. Our vibe is always about participation not performance, so our goal is to get EVERYONE singing with us as much as possible!

Money Matters

  • Sliding Scale Structure. We want you to sing with us, and no one will be turned away. We offer a sliding scale because it creates more equity and access, and mirrors our commitment to economic justice. It also requires greater trust and accountability from everyone. To quote ridefreefearlessmoney.com, it invites “each of us to take inventory of our financial resources and look deeper at our levels of privilege.” For help determining your payment level, please refer to this graphic, created by Worts & Cunning Apothecary. Use this to make an honest self-assessment of your ability to pay. There are no proofs or paperwork required. Don’t stress about it; pay what feels right to you (including no payment at all). If you have a service you’d like to offer in exchange, we’re happy to discuss that (but we’re really not interested in extracting free labor).
  • How do I pay? Make payment to paypal.me/songsquadindy or Venmo (@pamblevinshinkle).
  • How are my fees used? SongSquad expenses include guest artist feest, t-shirts, website maintenance, music purchase/licensing, social media ads and print materials, song/repertoire collection activities, and relationship development in various communities. Beyond these customary items, SongSquad also contributes to various justice-centered organizations such as Justice Choir, Decolonizing the Music Classroom, El Sistema, Peace Poets, among others.

Got more questions? Contact us!