So I did a music session the other week, and though I says it as shouldn't, it went really well - girls were all joining in enthusiastically, they were suggesting verses for Quartermaster's Stores, laughing in the silly songs, etc. I had been wary because I had been warned beforehand that the girls and Leaders 'didn't know any songs' and 'didn't do music' which meant I had to stick fairly strictly to the well known and new-words-to-old-tunes - and I gave the Leaders copies of the words of all the songs I'd used so they would have them for reference, and I encouraged them to record the session so they would have a record of the tunes and could use the recordings for the girls to sing along with in future if they were nervous of leading songs. So I was more than a bit sad that at the end, they said 'we'll have to invite you along next year to do some more music with the girls'.
I'll admit to being a camfire enthusiast, but yes, what they meant was that that was their one music session of the year - one session, once a year, and that's them 'done music'? No follow-up in the next few weeks so the girls could get to learn the songs or have another go at any favourites from the session, no question of doing any other music activity? And I couldn't help wondering if they also had one craft night a year, one dance night a year, one cooking night a year, one games night a year . . .
I well appreciate the difficulties. My craft skills are pretty minimal, and I can't dance, so I don't find it easy to fit those into the programme, and I can fully accept that someone who is not musical may equally not find it easy to 'do music' - but I try to ensure my unit programmes includes things I struggle with as well as those I love. As Leaders we are expected to somehow be all-rounders, able between the team to deliver all parts of the programme.
So songbooks are available, and in many parts of the Country there are Leaders who are happy to visit units to teach songs. But is that enough? Are these resources actually effective in reaching the units who aren't confident about singing, or are they mainly just used by those who are already 'converts' as extra repertoire to add to the several songs their unit already know well, and sing regularly?