Creative programs that transform lives
Creativity Australia News
Sing in the shower: Tania de Jong’s tips to be more creative in businessAugust 12, 2015
Tania de Jong’s goal is to get the nation singing.
A leading soprano herself, de Jong says singing changes the brain and encourages creativity. She has even given a TED talk on that topic. (See video below.)
De Jong is also a social entrepreneur and her latest project, Sing for Good, is seeking to raise much-needed funds to support disadvantaged Australians.
“We want to be the next Movember, but instead of moustaches, it’s about singing together,” she says.
“The goal is to get everyone singing … we also want to remove the stigma of singing.”
Sing for Good is part of Creativity Australia, one of de Jong’s two charities, alongside The Song Room, an education program for Australian children that won her the Ernst & Young award for Australian Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006.
De Jong is also the founder of leadership and innovation organisation Creative Universe, Creative Innovation Global conferences, opera group Pot-Pourri and MTA Entertainment & Events.
Speaking to SmartCompany ahead of a keynote address last week at Creative Fuel, part of the Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising’s Global Forum, de Jong says her passion is fostering creativity and innovation.
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Do good. Feel good. Sing for Good is now open!August 7, 2015
Please help us get communities singing in every postcode of Australia!
Our inspirational community singing project Sing for Good has just opened and we’ve already received amazing video entries from office workers, flash mobbers, OzHarvest, Cambodia, a yoga class and more! Check out the gallery
About Sing for Good
Sing for Good aims to get communities singing for joy in every postcode of Australia and beyond. Families, workplaces, schools, sports teams… everyone is welcome.
- sing with a group (two or more)
- enter your video
- vote, donate + celebrate
There are heaps of categories, plus cash prizes for schools. Winners are announced at our huge With One BIG Voice concert at Melbourne Town Hall (3pm Sunday 8 November). Book tickets.
Donations raised help people in need through Creativity Australia’s With One Voice program.
How to help:
- vote, share, comment and donate to support your favourites
- submit video(s) (as many as you like) and challenge friends
- spread the word (connect Facebook and Twitter; or see the attached Guide to Sharing Sing for Good)
With One Voice welcomes people aged 9 to 90, from all cultures and backgrounds. Through the Wish List, diverse people grant each other wishes like music lessons, language tuition and jobs. Swinburne University research showed 98% of With One Voice choir participants experienced less stress, 91% improved social bonds and 66% feel less depressed. The program has also been named in Anthill’s SMART 100 social innovations in 2015, 2014 and 2013.
Do good. Feel good. Register now at www.singforgood.org
Why can’t we all just sing-along?June 10, 2015
Favourite songs from a closet karaoke king.
Run out of song ideas for your shower, choir or Sing for Good entry? Fear not! Here are a few great tunesI love that sound amazing when sung with a group. Some are well known. Some are outside-of-the-box. All of them are amazing! Are you game to try them?
- Bohemian Rhapsody
Queen’s epic song is a masterclass in lyrics, dynamics and pitch. It also sounds awesome when sung by a large group. Considered one of the greatest songs of all time, the three verses mark different states of mind and allow for huge vocal range. The song starts slowly with an a cappella intro before building to its explosive and defiant ending. Instantly recognisable and endlessly fun.
- California Dreaming
The Mamas and the Papas
This song is a perfect for a choir because of its distinct harmonies and repeated lyrics. When sung together it sounds amazing. Simple lyrics make it easy for everyone to remember and learn quickly, while also painting a vivid picture of a sun-loving Californian feeling the cold in the autumn streets of New York.
- Stairway To Heaven
This is one of the greatest songs to ever be written thanks to its beautiful musical composition and amazing lyrics. Stairway To Heaven is another one that starts off slowly and gradually builds to an epic climax. Each verse is sung at a different tempo as it builds to its final conclusion. The song’s lyrics are cryptic and rich allowing for endless interpretations.
This is a slightly more modern rock song with wonderful harmonies. The song is about dreaming of falling in love and involves some pretty challenging harmonies in between verses. Nonetheless, when performed correctly it can be both beautiful and rousing.
- Build Me Up Buttercup
Time for some fun! Fans of There’s Something About Mary will remember this song from the end credits. The song can be divided up between groups nicely with repeated lyrics. Unlike some of the others on the list, it’s a little less serious and a good one when you’re feeling the mood to just let it all out!
Not a song traditionally sung by a choir, but that’s what makes Thunderstruck so much fun. While the harmonies may not be as polished as some of the other bands and musicians on this list, there is no doubting the intensity of the song. Get into your old school uniform (if you should have it) and unleash your inner Aussie rock god!
- Kiss From A Rose
The song begins with wonderful harmonies and then the familiar lyrics: “There used to be a greying tower alone by the sea”. Despite what many people think, this song isn’t about Seal’s love for Heidi Klum, as it was released long before the two became a couple. Regardless, it’s a powerful and rich song!
- Rolling In The Deep
Disclaimer: Must be sung with energy! This song has been performed by many choirs, and for good reason. It’s an incredible song sung with and about power and strength. When performed by a choir it’s hard not to feel yourself rallying behind Adele as its lyrical power is fully realised. Its catchy lyrics and infectious rhythm will be enough to win over even the toughest crowd.
This one perfectly lends itself to a choir thanks to the change of pitch between the verses (sung in a lower pitch) and the chorus (higher pitch). You may want to check out and try the amazing rendition of Africa by Perpetuum Jazzile. This Slovenian choir managed to notch up 17 million views on YouTube! Have a look and listen here to see if you’re up for the challenge!!
Are there any I missed? Post your suggestions!
Marg and daughter unite With One VoiceMay 26, 2015
For resident Marg Walker, the With One Voice Altona Meadows community choir at Benetas St George’s is more than just an opportunity to sing along to her favourite tunes.
Read more in this great article from DPS News.
It’s never too late: raise your voice, lift your heartMay 25, 2015
Adrift after the loss of her great love, Angela Quigley re-discovered joy and a new community at With One Voice Brisbane.
Read more in this lovely Reader’s Digest article by Hazel Flynn.
Nerves On A Choir: My First RehearsalMay 14, 2015
My first choir experience
I had no idea what to expect heading into the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins for my first With One Voice choir. I had just landed a gig as an intern for Creativity Australia and assumed I’d be there in an ‘observational’ capacity. That assumption proved to be incorrect. I’d never sung in a choir before, let alone publicly, and was nervous about to be doing so.
As I stood awkwardly wondering what I had got myself into it was suggested I go and join the “boys”. The boys, or the bass section, consisted of six men all much older than me, yet some were years apart from one and other. Summing up the situation I attempted to sneak into the back row unnoticed, but this close knit gang of basses weren’t about to just let anyone in. A tall older man turned and looked at me. He offered me his hand and joyfully asked “do you sing often?” “No, not really,” I said. He smiled before saying, “You have a voice. That’s a start”. (more…)
Top 10 Songs To Sing In The ShowerMay 13, 2015
A Music Buff’s Guide to Singing In the Buff
Not only does everybody sing in the shower, everybody also thinks they sound better in the shower. The reason why we sound better is fairly simple, it’s due to your voice bouncing off the smooth hard tiles and glass surfaces, giving it more power. This makes a regular Joe or Joanne sound as powerful as the late Roy Orbison or as soulful as Adele.
Research into shower singing has provided even more reasons to belt it out first thing in the morning. A Swiss study found singing to have a huge effect on your heart rate, so much so that it can even reduce the risk of heart disease. Swedish neurologist Bjorn Vickhoff said that singing “gives you pretty much the same effect as yoga breathing”.
So what other reasons do you need to realize the beauty of shower singing first thing in the morning? Maybe you’re just stuck for ideas on what to sing next? If that’s so, enjoy 10 songs selected to belt out in a hot shower on a cold morning.
Give Happy, Live Happy: Volunteer WeekMay 13, 2015
Volunteer Week 2015
It’s National Volunteer Week and Creativity Australia’s With One Voice family wants to say a big thank you to our 100 volunteers who support and contribute to the community every week.
Without their ongoing support, the With One Voice choirs wouldn’t be able to operate as successfully as it does and for that, we are truly grateful.
Together, our volunteers and other wonderful team members are helping change the world… one voice at a time. Creativity Australia’s aim is to bridge the gap between people experiencing disadvantage and those more fortunate through the neuro-scientific benefits of community singing, choirs and singing projects. We build supportive networks that help people connect to brighter futures.
Coinciding with Volunteering Australia’s motto this year, our team members share the same value: Give Happy, Live Happy.
Community Choirs Vs. Fight ClubMay 7, 2015
A film blogger’s left-of-field comparison between Fight Club and community singing…
Everybody knows the first rule about Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. Less are familiar with the second rule of Fight Club: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club. What people do not know is how Fight Club creator Tyler Durden’s rules echo Creativity Australia’s With One Voice choirs. The first rule of the choir is: you do talk about the choir. The second rule of course is: you DEFINITELY DO talk about the choir.
The parallels go further than simply changing an environment from one of exclusivity to one that is wholly inclusive. However, that being said, it must be made very clear that the With One Voice choirs are peaceful gatherings where anyone is welcome!
Food for the soul: supermarket flash mobApril 20, 2015
Some familiar faces appear in this wonderful flash mob at Ritchie’s Mt Eliza!
Thank you, Shaun: celebrating our conductorsApril 16, 2015
After seven years as Principal Conductor of the With One Voice program, we are bidding a fond (yet not final) farewell to the wonderful Shaun Islip.
Shaun said his life has been transformed and enriched immeasurably through his association with Creativity Australia.
“It has been an immense privilege and joy to help shape the community, culture, creativity, music and ethos of this remarkable organisation,” Shaun said.
“It has been a hugely difficult decision to move on after seven fruitful and life-giving years, and I say my farewells with a heavy heart,” he said.
“It is wonderful to welcome, recognise and affirm the new blood, life, energy and skills embodied in my very worthy successor Kym Dillon. His passion, energy and enthusiasm will undoubtedly prove a great catalyst for the forward momentum and future success of Creativity Australia.
“Dearest friends, choir members, staff of Creativity Australia, Tania… you will always hold a huge place in my heart, I will miss you more than I can say. This however is not a final farewell, and I am confident that it will not be too long before our paths cross again.
“Until then dear ones, may you all find new strength in the journey, fresh wind in your sails as you continue to extend hope and encouragement through the joy of song. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for everything.
“Until next time… Siyahamba!
On behalf of the whole With One Voice family, we extend our warmest wishes to Shaun and look forward to seeing him as a guest conductor in the near future.
Kym Dillon, who has been a With One Voice conductor for five years, said he is excited to take all the skills he has gained so far to the next level.
“Working with the wonderful, dedicated choirs of Geelong, Ashburton and Altona Meadows over the years has given me an invaluable insight into the nature of these singing communities, and I have them to thank for the readiness I feel to take on this challenge,” Kym said.
“I’m sincerely looking forward to working with a very talented team of conductors to achieve the best possible outcome we can for the people who sing with us,” he said.
“I look forward to us as a team heightening the sense of community, not just in the the individual choirs but in the program as a whole, and celebrating each individual choir for their particular character.
“Finally, I honestly look forward to doing my utmost to listen to the needs of the choirs, and do my best to serve them as a fellow musician.
“Shaun has been an invaluable leader for the past few years, and I wish him all the best with his future endeavours!”
You can enjoy Kym’s energetic stylings at our Melbourne, Ashburton, Geelong and Altona Meadows choirs.
Just start singing! Karaoke jam open now.March 30, 2015
You’re invited to join an online karaoke jam! Have a listen to the simple tune below and add your voice to the track.
Your smartphone*, the Smule app and some headphones are all you need!
- Click on the song title ‘We Sing‘
- Click ‘Join Now’
- Follow the prompts
*Your tablet or computer would work too!
Everyone’s welcome, so join us in song!