A north-east nurse setting up a neurodivergent choir for people in Aberdeen says you don’t even need to be able to sing to join.
Chloe Jackson, 28, hopes as many people as possible will join the Umbrella A Capella choir she is setting up at Inchgarth Community Centre in Garthdee.
And it’s no problem if you’re not blessed with the pipes of Beyonce, or the tonsils of Adele. Everyone is welcome.
“One girl said to me, ‘I’m not very good at singing, can I still join?’,” says Chloe, who is herself neurodivergent. “And I was like, Absolutely!
“There’s no experience required. This is about bringing people out of isolation and promoting positive wellbeing.
“As a neurodivergent person, I’ve experienced isolation because I’m perceived as being different.
“So this is a way for people to make friends with like-minded people.”
‘I felt really connected in terms of making new friends’
Chloe got the idea after singing in a soul choir in Dundee. She enjoyed the experience so much she now wants people in Aberdeen to have a chance.
And because she believes in the power of music to bring people together and brighten moods, the choir will focus on neurodiverse people. However, neuro-typical people are also welcome.
“Singing in the choir in Dundee, I felt really connected in terms of making new friends,” says Chloe, who has ADHD, autism, dyscalculia, dyspraxia and dyslexia.
“And the music was a feelgood factor as well, because it was soul music. It was really upbeat.”
The nurse, who has only just registered and is set to work in Aberdeen, has yet to decide on music for Umbrella A Cappella.
“We’re going to create a box for people to put their suggestions in because this is ultimately for people to enjoy,” Chloe explains. “We want to hear everybody’s voices and what they want to sing.”
Where and when can I join in with Umbrella A Cappella?
Chloe will run three free taster sessions at Inchgarth Community Centre on September 21, October 5 and October 12.
Choir practice will be held 7pm-9pm every Thursday expect on the last Thursday of the month. The group is for over-18s only and is “neuro-inclusive”.
Chloe says she hopes the choir will help others see neurodivergence the same way she does – as a superpower.
“I wouldn’t have achieved half the things I’ve achieved in my life without it,” she adds.
In April, residents and staff at a Moray care home set up their own choir to sing Climb Every Mountain from the 1965 musical The Sound of Music
Email Chloe about the choir at firstname.lastname@example.org