Francesca Donaghy volunteered with Givin’ it Laldie’s Children’s Choir as part of her student placement and quickly became a very valuable member of our team. As she moves on to other opportunities, she took a moment to tell us about her experience of volunteering at Givin’ it Laldie. We wish her every success with all her future endeavours and thank her for sharing her time, energy and passion for education with us. Unfortunately, we don’t have any pictures of Francesca but we do have some fantastic shots of the choir members!
Givin’ it Laldie caught my eye when I was searching for a placement as a part of my University course. In the first year of my teaching course I was presented with the opportunity to choose a placement out-with a classroom setting. I have been involved with choirs throughout most of my life and singing is a passion of mine. I found the Givin’ it Laldie choir while searching for volunteer opportunities, after seeing that they were looking for volunteers I sent in application. The reason I chose to volunteer with Givin’ it Laldie was because I had the opportunity to work with an organisation who were using music to bring people and a community together. Music has provided me with so many opportunities in my life and I wished to pass on my enthusiasm and help a younger generation reap the benefits of being a part of a choir. Givin’ it Laldie gave me the chance to give something back for all the years I have benefitted from choirs. This was also a chance to be a part of an inspirational team that guides the young people of the Gorbals choir into a positive future
I have learned many things from my short time with the choir. I have been able to see the workings behind the choir’s decisions and I have been able to see a different perspective. It is always amazing to watch the progression of the children in the choir from the confidence to sing solo to the joy they display when they work as a team and produce a fantastic sound. I was always in awe from the vibrancy the children brought to each and every session and will continue to do so with the amazing team behind them every step of the way. From my experience, my confidence to lead has improved and I will use this when moving forward with my degree. I have improved on my observational skills from working with the choir and this will help me perfect my teaching methods in a classroom later on.
This placement has only fuelled my drive to be a teacher, and to provide the children I will teach with the same opportunities I gained from music with the skills I have gained from this choir.
Each week I shared new ideas with Marix and she would share new ideas with me so I was able to see the workings behind the choir and the song choices. It was enlightening to see the minds behind the choir and see how some ideas worked better than others. I was also able to engage in discussions in order to improve the workings of the choir. From the beginning to the end of my time, I could see how things were improving and the confidence of the children was electric. I found it amazing how easily the children all came together to create such a powerful sound and how they all boosted each other. From my time with the choir I have been able to improve upon my own personal development and I will take my experience with me on my path into teaching.
I had the chance to attend a staff meeting while volunteering with the choir which allowed me to learn new things about the goals that the choir are aiming to achieve. I was able to get to know my fellow team members better and listen and share new ideas moving forward. One of the main reasons why I joined Givin’ it Laldie is because I wanted to share my love for singing, music and the inclusion of being within a choir. I have benefitted massively from the years that I participated in choirs and I wanted to be a part of providing the same positive experience for a new generation.
One of the key moments in my time with the choir was one of the last rehearsals I attended. The children were in high spirits and were so focused on this day, they were all listening to each other and the sound they were creating was nothing short of brilliant. One of the songs they sang was called “Champion” and each of the children put in so much effort to this song and their smiles were infectious. I felt so honoured to have been able to witness this moment and I was so proud of the energy the group was able to create. Another key moment was when some of the children felt confident enough to stand in front of their peers and sing solo. Having sung solo in choirs myself, I know how nerve wracking this can be. However, the choir was so supportive and encouraging to each soloist.
It was a privilege to have had the opportunity to work with such a dedicated team and spirited young people, an experience I will never forget.
Here is a clip of the Gorbals Children’s Choir performing ‘Champion’ the St Francis Leavers Assembly.