In conversation with Emma Mutter, Singing Mamas Choir Leader and Founder of Mums in Tune.
Tell us about your choir?
At Mums in Tune we sing gorgeous harmony songs in a fun, uplifting and supportive small group setting. There’s no need to read music as we learn everything by ear and I set the pace according to who’s in the group. We start with a gentle stretch and a good warm-up, and stop halfway through for a tea break and a chat, so you can connect socially as well as musically!
We sing a range of song styles and there’s a mix of familiar and new songs for each block. The babies are happy on comfy quilts or snuggled up with you, but Mums in Tune is quite different from a baby-focused group. You’re focusing on your own voice and the joy generated by singing in a group of women. It’s liberating and energising! So far Mums in Tune has been aimed at new mums of young babies, but I’ll be soon opening up to toddlers, and all-women-welcome sessions when I can.
Why did you set up the choir?
I’ve always enjoyed singing and as I neared the end of pregnancy I realised I’d met some lovely women who might just enjoy singing too! So I sent a few messages out… When my daughter was about 6 weeks old, about 5 of us met up to try singing at my house. A couple of years and a few different venues later, Mums in Tune is becoming well established in Letchworth as a lovely option for mums who’d like to sing more grown-up songs! It seems to have struck a chord (pardon the pun) with many women as it’s really something for them. Singing in a group has so many health and well being benefits, many of which I’m still learning about!
Tell us about why you decided to do the Singing Mama Choir Leaders Training?
I attended the Singing Mamas Choir leader training in February 2020 and was awestruck by the energy and the song sharing mission of the network. It felt like coming home – I’m so happy to have found Singing Mamas and become a Partner member. It’s such a supportive network, inspiring me to improve the way I lead my choir and stay connected with other choir leaders.
The training made such a positive difference to how I lead my choir now and gave me lots of ideas. For example, during a session, at the end of the break, instead of saying ‘right everyone, let’s start again’ which always feels like interrupting, I just started to sing a simple repeated phrase, as I’d learned during the training. The women nearest me joined in, then the others, until very soon we were all singing! We added a tune and harmony part over the top, it was an arrangement of a familiar song so quite easy and natural to pick up. I looked around at everyone rocking their babies to the rhythm while fully absorbed in singing together and I just marvelled at the magic of it all. Everyone looked so content, I hadn’t given any instructions, we were just singing and it felt like all was right with the world!