GroupSing! is an experience in which people play together by singing in an atmosphere of mutual support and regard. Because it is highly entertaining, GroupSing! has been a “hit” at parties and social gatherings.
GroupSing! is also supportive of the development of esprit de corps among co-workers and members of civic, charitable and professional organizations. Since singing is so far removed from most people’s daily activities, it creates an atmosphere free of competition and comparison between participants. Thus, this activity presents a unique opportunity to strengthen communication and mutual support within an organization. Participants enjoy singing together, encourage each other to take risk in performing for the group, and celebrate each other’s accomplishments in that effort.
In facilitating GroupSing! for an organization, Tony Pryor uses his skill and experience in leading team-building workshops to create an atmosphere that is fun, promotes participation, and allows people to see that claiming their singing voices in an atmosphere of mutual validation and support can have a powerful effect on team and individual confidence. From his experience in the team-building workshops, he has found that a group of people who think they cannot sing finds, relatively quickly, that together they can make sensational music, and have fun in the process.
Since each group is different, Tony works with each GroupSing! event sponsor in creating an experience tailored to the personality of that group. Activities at past GroupSing! events include the following:
- Songfest, in which the group sings songs from Tony’s repertoire of Broadway and other popular music, accompanied and led by him.
- Group Improv, in which the group first sings improvisationally about a topic selected by the group in response to vocal prompts by Tony. After the group gains a sense of confidence, individuals are encouraged to sing their own improvised songs in response to his prompts.
- Going Solo, in which volunteers sing solos of their choice for their colleagues, accompanied by Tony. Tony brings out the “ham” in each person, encouraging him or her to assume the persona and voice of a favorite movie star, a politician, a singer, or an animal.
- Blues Improv, a game in which a group of five or six volunteers improvises, “off the cuff,” a story based on a topic chosen by a person from the audience. Without any advance preparation, the volunteers create their own story, each person singing in blues style a separate phrase or sentence in turn. The volunteers discover a heightened sense of adventure by singing for their peers without the use of pre-printed lyrics, making it up as they go.
- Stop the Showstopper, a game designed to encourage the participants to support and validate their colleagues. Three artifacts are distributed among the participants. Each artifact consists of a roll of toilet paper, covered by a piece of paper labeled “Showstopper.” If, at any time during the course of the evening, a holder of an artifact hears a comment from a group member about himself/herself or about another person that is not validating, the artifact holder will throw the artifact to the person who made the comment, who must keep it until he/she hears another non-validating comment from another person. The artifacts are usually passed around many times during the event. The idea behind this activity is that a negative comment about a person, coming from either himself/herself or from another person, can quickly “stop the show” for that person and for the group. Members have fun while supporting and validating each other.