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New Year's Inspirations 


Dear <<First Name>>

Happy New Year!
Hope you had a safe and peaceful, if strange, Christmas.
In this bumper-packed January Edition of The Rose Window Newsletter enjoy:
* New BLOG - How stay tuned to our New Years Inspirations
* Poem of the month - And Still We Sing
* Vocal Revolution Zoomcast - The Voice of Celebration with Gill Manly
* Singers Salon - one space left!
* Choirs - New Year update
* A Year In Song - Big thanks to all who came to sing in 2020!

New Year's Inspirations
So here we are in January, the month of two headed Janus, the Roman God of Doorways, looking back over the last year and forwards to what we want to create in the next. As we make our resolutions for 2021, here's some insights on the art of getting down to things, gleaned from my experiments
in the time-warped pyjama zone of lockdown.  

Celebration gives us a foundation to build from - a place of strength anchored in gratitude for all the learning and growth, including the bumps along the way.  When we celebrate how far we've come, we generate momentum for what we want to do next.
Undoubtedly there's been massive amounts of challenge, loss and still much uncertainty about what lies ahead, but if nothing else, let's celebrate that we're still here. That in itself is huge. And, if you haven't already, write down at least 10 things from 2020 you can celebrate and feel proud of. 
It will put wind underneath your wings for 2021. 

In times where breath has become even more precious, inspiration is essential for staying on track. It's a magical thing, we breathe in and life happens.
We don't have to resolve to do it - it's organically happening every moment.  Inspiration kickstarts creativity, breathing life and love into our dreams.
So I can take my list of resolutions, breathe life into them and make them happen right now from a place of magic, creation and adventure. 
Resolving to lose weight becomes being inspired to learn about nutrition
and take an online dance class. 
Resolving to do yoga becomes being inspired to spend time stretching and breathing in the morning because I love how it makes me feel
This is much more exciting than repeatedly telling myself I must do something and that I'm wrong if I haven't done it.  Eventually my inner rebel gets tired of that old punishing way of doing things and mutinies,
but it will get fired up and run with inspiration. 

Motivation gets things moving. And the secret to motivation, as any good detective will tell us, is understanding WHY Colonel Mustard took the Candlestick to Miss Scarlett in the Ballroom.  So we have to regularly remind ourselves of WHY we want to do a thing, especially when the going gets tough.  During lockdown, I sorely missed being on my feet conducting and needed to keep my mind, body and spirit moving. Inspired by friends, I started the Couch to 5k and since June I've been running 3 times a week. Some days I don't want to, but I know it's keeping me sane and well, so I run.  Even today, when it was almost snowing and I thought my fingers were going to fall off, I ran.  My Why literally kicks me out the door - Auntie Katie wants to be able to run fast and play chase with her 7 year old nephew when she can see him again, so she runs - which brings me onto...

Connecting and sharing our resolutions, dreams and goals with others exponentially increases success rates. 'Accountability Buddy' is a buzz term which I find a bit off-putting, because it conjures up the image of someone with a clipboard counting what I have/haven't done.  I am however deeply motivated by authentic connection with those who inspire, encourage and cheer me on.  It does not even have to be a real person - my 'coach' for the Couch to 5k was the recorded voice of Olympic runner Michael Johnson telling me how far I'd come and urging me to keep going. By the end I had internalised a new way of talking to myself about running. Previously I said 'no way am I a runner, I will never run,' now I inwardly cheer myself on.  (Hypnotherapist Marisa Peer calls this Installing the Inner Cheerleader
Having set myself the ridiculous task of running home up the steepest hill in London with a 20% incline!?, I congratulated myself each time I ran a bit further to the next car, post box, or lamppost.  I was inspired and motivated by the thought of celebrating with friends, and am now running up the hill!
Developing this encouraging, connected dialogue with self and others has helped me stay the course with creative projects and lockdown challenges. 

Despite the constrictions many of us are still facing, do gift yourself the magic of breathing life, love and inspiration into your dreams and goals, knowing that they have a purpose to fulfil which will bring you into connection with others and be cause for celebration.

If you'd like support staying tuned to your voice and creative projects in 2021,
please do get in touch for a free 20 minute consultation.

Wishing you a joyful, peaceful, songful start to 2021

Be well, be safe, breathe deep, sing loudly 
Lots of love, virtual hugs and good singing vibes

Come and share the singing love on Social Media
Vocal Revolution Zoomcast
Transforming the world through voice
The Voice of Celebration with Gill Manly
How do we celebrate when our important occasions and rituals - birthdays, weddings, funerals are disrupted by lockdown? Renowned Jazz Singer and Celebrant Gill Manly shares her top tips and pearls of wisdom on staying courageously creative and celebrating in new ways.
Watch out for an exciting new episode on January 22nd
and do let me know if you have any comments, feedback or a question...

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel
Being the Song -
A Six Week Online Course. 

Work on a song of your choice in a safe, supportive group of six singers.  Tips, techniques and personalised coaching to help you discover, refine and enjoy  the magic of your true voice.
** Just one space left!**

Weds 6.30-8pm on Jan 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th, Feb 3rd & 10th 
£120 - Book Here

Be sure to attend these Six Singing Salons! Move from singing in the shower to a supportive group, while learning new skills and building confidence along the way. - Bella, London

Singing Our Way Into the New Year
It is looking like a virtual start to 2021, with London in Tier 4, but we've got lots of fabulous songs and good company to lift our spirits, liberate our voices and warm our hearts as we look towards Spring and the coming of the light.
For more information about:
Caterham Community Choir, Croydon Carers Choir, Lung Songs, ManSong, Welcome Choir, please visit:
A Year in Song
This is my way of celebrating the year, to share a singing card, as a thank you to everyone who has shared the beauty of their voices with me. 
It really is a miracle that we found ways to carry on singing through 2020
And the good vibes ripple out...
Through my Honesty Box, over Lockdown 1.0 together we raised £442.50
and over Christmas £76.75 for St George's Hospital Charity.


A Singing Christmas Card 


A Year In Song 2020
Singing our way through a pandemic!
Love Must Flow....
Dear << Test First Name >>

A Singing Christmas Card 
From me to you with huge singing thanks
for staying tuned this year

2020 has been a very different Year in Song!
Big shout out to all the singers and teams involved in:
The Hive Community Choir, HeartSong,
Caterham Community Choir, ManSong, Welcome Choir
Lung Songs & Croydon Carers Choir
Sing for Water

Singers Salons
Wonderful 121 clients
Vocal Revolution guests

It's been a joy, honour and delight to sing with you all this year
I've been deeply moved by seeing how the magic of song continues to sustain us even when socially distant, on screen or through a mask.

** Plus 2 Christmas Bonus Christmas Videos below **
 1. Have fun with this cheeky version of
Have Yourself a Yellow Little Christmas
I made for my Digital Friends at Yellow Tuxedo.
2. If you missed out on Carol Services, do enjoy the Community Carol Service with my Welcome Choir at St John the Evangelist

Wishing you a magical Solstice and safe, peaceful Christmas
Hoping that despite the difficulties, you can find nurturing ways
to stay connected to loved ones.
Here's to brighter days ahead in 2021

Thank you so much for singing your song
and sharing the magic of you in the world

Be well, be safe, breathe deep, sing loudly 
Lots of love, virtual hugs and good singing vibes

Come and share the singing love on Social Media
A cheeky version of an old chestnut for my Digital friends at Yellow Tuxedo
Community Carol Service 
Thanks to Fr John and the team at St John the Evangelist for inviting Welcome Choir to sing at their Traditional 9 Lessons and Carols Service.

A Singing Christmas Stocking! 


Dear Singing Friend

A Christmas Singing Stocking!
Happy December! - here's this month's offering -
a Singing Stocking full of music, musings and magic.

At the end of this extraordinary year, I share with you these gifts...
feel free to share the love.. they're free and widely available!

Thank you for being here, for staying connected and reading this!

I am so grateful to everyone who has sung, donated, contributed.
Thank you for your generosity, kindness and resilience.

2. The Power of Breath and Song to hold us 
In the midst of multiple forms of loss, lockdown has shown me how breath and song can hold us. Just taking a deep breath in sync brings us into empathic connection.  Choirs have discovered that even when we can't hear each other we can still sing together. Amazing!  

3. Vocal Freedom
Despite the restrictions of lockdown, this has been an unprecedented year of people claiming the freedom and power of their voices.  The global Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd released marginalised voices and put dialogue about anti-racism centre stage.  It was heartening this week to see supermarkets uniting around Christmas adverts that truly represent our diverse communities. 
In my Vocal Revolution Zoomcast, Esther Austin and I reflect on this powerful liberation of voices and how we can stay tuned to our own authentic voice.

4. Creative Contribution
This year of collective retreat has prompted reflection on how we contribute and connect locally and globally.  The shared crisis of Covid has, I hope, made us more aware of being a global community, whilst still honouring our diversity.  For many of us, experiencing restrictions renews our commitment to address ongoing social oppression - poverty, inequality, war and violence. 
One cause that is important to me is The Circle, Annie Lennox's Charity for Girls and Women Worldwide. Reflecting this year on the Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women (25th Nov), it feels even more important, given that lockdown has precipitated a crisis in domestic violence.  I talk more about this in my Facebook Live and invite you, if you are able to contribute their End Violence Appeal - donations given between 1st-8th December will be doubled.

5. LOVE 
As the preciousness of life and love has truly been brought home this year,
here's a little song that came to me and a whole bunch of music, reflections and invitations to fill your stocking full of singing...

May this unusual Christmas be full of the true gifts of what really matters,
the fundamentals of life - the solace of nature, the love of friends and family, the songs in our hearts.

Thank you so much for staying tuned! 
Be well, be safe, breathe deep, sing loudly 
Lots of love, virtual hugs and good singing vibes

Come and share some festive cheer on Social Media
Don't Hold Back 
A little 4 part, 2 beret ditty that came to me
at the end of a year that showed us how precious life is.

How to Sparkle in the Dark 


Dear Friend

 How to Sparkle in the Dark

Sending lots of singing sparkles to you, wherever you are and however you're feeling at this moment on the Coronacoaster ride. 
At this time of year in the UK, we would usually be gathering with friends and family to enjoy the tricks and treats of the festive season.  As we face a second lockdown with many different levels of loss, it is absolutely understandable to be experiencing grief, anger, anxiety and disorientation. 
So here's a little offering to help us sparkle in the dark.

1. Connect with Contagious Joy and Laughter
Joy is a fundamental part of our being, of our psyche, because it’s just such a WOW experience. - Joe Hoare, Laughing Yogi, Vocal Revolution Zoomcast
We've all seen how the infectious burbles of a baby laughing can get everyone smiling.  Humour is an incredibly contagious tool in tough times.  
I've long wanted to share the wisdom of my inspirational friends and colleagues and lockdown has given me the space to do it - as we've all now become Zoom Video Stars, I've created a monthly Vocal Revolution Zoomcast
My first guest is Laughing Yogi, Joe Hoare, because laughter, as they say, is the shortest distance between two people and we all laugh in the same language.  Do enjoy chuckling along with us on the video, where Joe shares his top tips for staying connected to joy in tough times and shines light on how
there's been lots of the right sort of contagiousness from some of the wrong sort of contagiousness.

2.  Be Guided by Shining Lights
We had to play because the Red Cross came three times a year. The Germans wanted to show its representatives that the situation of the Jews in Theresienstadt was good. Whenever I knew that I had a concert, I was happy. Music is magic. We performed in the council hall before an audience of 150 old, hopeless, sick and hungry people. They lived for the music.
It was like food to them. If they hadn't come they would have died long before. As we would have. - Alice Herz-Sommer

In times of great challenge, we can draw solace from the wisdom of shining lights who endured, survived and found a way to alchemise great suffering.  Listening to their voices can bring us hope, encouragement and guidance. On our Zoomcast, Joe told the inspirational story of pianist Alice Herz Sommer, who describes above how music supported her to find joy and survive in the horrors of the Holocaust.  Alice lived to the age of 110, and her wisdom has been shared in many documentaries where she says: 
Life is beautiful, love is beautiful, nature and music are beautiful.
Everything is a present.

3.  Groovy Gratitude Celebrates Everything! 
Stop and smell the flowers
And lose it in sweet music and dance with me
Cause there is beauty in the world - Macy Gray, Beautiful World

Gratitude is an essential part of any self-care toolkit and helps us celebrate ourselves, our lives and each other.  During lockdown I learned to treasure every small victory, every beautiful thing - seeing a friend in person is now a five star deluxe treat and autumnal walks are a technicolour feast.  
As music can help tune us into thankfulness,
here's my Gratitude Grooves Playlist. 
What and who would be on your sparkly Gratitude Playlist?  
As the word compliment comes from Latin meaning to fill up or complete, who can you uplift and celebrate by gifting them a big thank you?
Together, we can sparkle in the dark and spread contagious joy, wisdom, laughter and gratitude.
Thank you for being sparkly you!

Come Sing and Sparkle! 
All sessions are taking place online via Zoom in November
Singers Salon - Being the Song 
develop your special solo singing sparkle - 6 Weds evenings starting Nov 4th
Creative Coaching - claim the joy, power and magic of your voice.
Choirs - connect with sparkly singing communities

Sunday Session - Chai Day- November 22nd 3-4.30pm - dedicated to helping end gender violence - bring a cup of chai, poem, story, song or reflection. Donations welcome to The Circle.
More info on my website

Thank you so much for staying tuned! 
Be well, be safe, breathe deep, sing loudly 
Lots of love, virtual hugs and good singing vibes

Shine Up Your Voice This Autumn 


Dear Katie

 Shine Up Your Voice This Autumn
Shine Bright Like a Diamond
We're beautiful like diamonds in the sky - Rihanna

As Autumn leaves start to fall in the UK, many of us are feeling understandably anxious about the prospect of a long socially distant trek through to spring.  More than ever, it feels important to soak up nature's consolation for the loss of summer - the abundant harvest of flame coloured leaves on cool crisp days.  Like squirrels, we can trust our natural instinct to hunker down and gather resources for the time ahead (that doesn't include stockpiling loo roll!) 
There are so many forms of self-care and creativity to help us rise and shine together - inspiring choir members in their 80s are up doing early morning yoga.  To help shine up your singing radiance here's...

3 Ways to Sing and Shine 

1. Breathe Deep
Breathe in the sweet air of limitless possibility, and make life as rich as you know it can be - Ralph Marston

Our voice rides the waves of our breath and our breath is the foundation of life, so it's fundamental to breathe deep when singing.  This helps alleviate nerves, steadying our being so we can fly on the wings of song, swooping through melodies and enjoying the richness of each musical moment. You've been doing it from the moment you were born - so there's nowhere to go, nothing to do or be - you just come present to the magic of each breath. Right now put your hand on your belly, allow yourself to receive a deep breath, then let go, give, express. Cultivating this long soft belly breath gives us the foundation for singing - gently open into a hum, a sigh, a vowel, a phrase.  

2.  Warm Up - Breathe, Move, Intend, Sing
Allow some warm-up time each day to stimulate your creative flow. A pianist does keyboard exercises. A gymnast stretches. An artist needs to loosen up, too. It takes a few minutes to shift from the real world into a creative mode. - Nita Leland
Singing is a whole body, whole being experience and a good warm up sets us up to sing by aligning our mind, body, spirit and voice in a creative, fun way.  My favourite daily warm ups include getting my mind and spirit tuned with meditation, intention and gratitude practices, getting moving with yoga, dancing, a walk /run in nature and getting my voice in gear with scales and vocal straw exercises. These help me feel relaxed, centred, energised, focussed and ready, not just to sing, but for life!
Top to toe warm up - I made this video for members of my choirs with shorter session times in the time of covid - more videos and audios coming soon!

3.  Shine from within
Let your light shine bright, believe in yourself, believe that you can rise - Khushaal Sharma

One of the amazing benefits of singing is that it brings us into the present moment, quietening down the distracting voice of our inner critic. 
Take the reins of your mind before singing,  focus it towards a positive intention and be your own cheerleader - find your own singing mantra:
I can do it, I love singing, I sing and shine!   
When singing for others set a clear intention to gift your listeners with love, happiness, joy, calm - whatever it is you want to beam out to them through song.  Your love, passion, purpose and the present moment experience of singing is far more powerful than fear and self-consciousness.  When you share your singing shine you make the world a lighter, brighter place!
I am cheering you on!  Go get em Tiger!

Warmly inviting you to Shine Up Your Singing this Autumn
Singers Salon - Being the Song starting Nov 4th - for those wanting to explore solo singing in a safe supportive small group
Creative Coaching - bespoke 121 coaching for those looking to claim the joy, power and magic of their voices for singing, presentation and creative projects.
Choirs - heartwarming community singing in a hybrid of on /offline options

More about all of that below or head over to my website

Thank you for shining your light and staying connected,
I really appreciate you staying tuned!

Be well, be safe, breathe deep, sing loudly 
Lots of love, virtual hugs and good singing vibes