Answered by Pam Blevins Hinkle
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 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.
See our Fear of Singing Workshop on the events page!
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, no musical terms are used, and audio files are available for weekly session singers to enhance learning. And the bonus is that if you learn it by heart, you learn it for life.
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.
Can I bring my baby, children, grandkids, nieces, nephews, god-children, etc.?
Yes! We welcome ALL ages, and youth under age 19 are admitted free (unless otherwise noted in event description).
What happens at a typical 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). After a mid-session break to enjoy ginger tea and home-made cookies, we learn more songs from around the world to celebrate being alive and to connect more deeply with other human beings who believe in the power of singing. You’ll learn to “carry” these songs … a kind of bone-knowing you can draw upon throughout your life.
Is it ok for a woman to sing bass or a man to sing soprano?
Yes! We have gender-neutral sections called nightingales (sopranos), otters (altos), starfish (tenors), and rhinos (bass). (These names were chosen by the singers and are subject to spontaneous renewal or revision!) Singers choose what section to sing in … and you can change your mind at any time. Experienced singers enjoy the challenge of learning multiple parts.
Does SongSquad perform?
We get invited to appear at various events and happenings around town. Past events have included Mayor’s Lunch for Indy Parks, 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, so our goal is to get EVERYONE singing with us as much as possible!
- 12-Week Sessions:
- Free First Class. The first class of each 12-week session is free for newcomers who want to try before they buy.
- Costs. The sliding scale fee for the 12-week session is $132-$204 (accompanying children under age 18 are free), which breaks down to only $5.50-$8.50 per hour. 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. Partial and full scholarships, as well as work exchanges and payment plans, are also available (Contact us for inquiries). No one will be turned away!
- Why a sliding scale? It creates more equity and access and mirrors our commitment to community building and 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.”
- How do I pay? Pay in advance at paypal.me/songsquadindy or in person by the second class session.
- What does the fee include? One free t-shirt for first-timers, plus online access to scores (when available) and audio files to support learning.
- Optional Drop-In Card. Buy a drop-in card for $240-$300 (see sliding scale info above), which gives you access to 12 weekly sessions on a drop-in basis for one year from date of issue. (Does not include one-off events or special workshops.)
- How are my fees used? SongSquad expenses include space rental, hospitality, t-shirts, website maintenance, purchase of music and songbooks (for song leaders), social media ads and print materials, and song/repertoire collection activities such as attendance at Village Fire and other choral conferences. Beyond these customary items, SongSquad is making these additional financial commitments for the coming year:
- SongSquad supports the Indy Justice Choir.
- 10% of SongSquad income will support marginalized artists in the Indianapolis area. This may be direct artist support or sponsorship of events. Please direct inquiries or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- SongSquad is co-commissioning new music. For example, SongSquad is part of the Trans Chorus of LA Rainbow Trans Ally Consortium that has commissioned a new work by composer Michael Bussewitz-Quarm. The work will be voiced in multiple ways, including a SongSquad-style version. This is a great way for us to make a meaningful contribution to the larger community-based singing world.
- Both co-leaders will receive modest stipends for their time; they’ve been doing the work without compensation for 3.5 years and both invest significant time.