Sing Out

Natural Harmony

Dave's journey to Song Teacher

Extract from "Tales from the Mountain Top" (now "Worthwhile Wealth") by Bob Gomersall

Dave had been working as a teacher when he experienced a nervous breakdown. Unsure what to do next, he went to speak to a life coach for advice and it turned out to be a very short appointment…

“The life coach asked me: ‘What do you like doing?’ and I replied: ‘Singing.’
I had always sung in choirs for as long as I remember. It brought me so much joy.
‘What is your skill set?’ she then asked.
‘Teaching,’ I replied.
Then she stared at me and smiled, until very quickly the penny dropped.

Could I teach singing? This seemed a perfect solution. At first the idea almost seemed too obvious, and overwhelming. After all, where would I start?

Around the same time I came across a quote from Goethe: “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy ,the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness concerning all acts of initiative and creation. There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans. That the moment when one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour, all manner of unforeseen, incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would come his way.”
(This quote is actually from William Hutchinson Murray, based on a couplet by Goethe - Dave)

The quote really moved me, and I realised from then on I had to follow my passion and hope the doors would open to me. I also knew I never wanted to work for someone else again.

My wife had done a similar thing years earlier when she gave up her job as a lecturer and set up her own massage therapy business. I supported her back then and she agreed to support me with my new endeavour. Suddenly, I realised the nervous breakdown was the best thing that could have happened.

Before then I never questioned what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. I came from a middle-class family and was expected to get a job, mortgage, have a family and then one day retire. The first job I landed was in structural engineering but gave that up to become a teacher. Now I realised neither job made me happy.

What happens when your computer goes wrong? You turn it off and on again and wait for it to restart. So that’s what I did after talking to that career’s advisor and when I turned on again, I had to pursue something I love.

Within months I set up ‘Sing Out’ and Liz, my wife helped me. The idea was to encourage the active participation of singing rather than passive consumption.
We set up two choirs, singing music from the folk traditions around the world and decided to run it on a subscription basis.

It was a slow start but soon built-up traction by word of mouth. Teaching others the joy of singing feels like the place I am meant to be. Today we run events including singing holidays in places as far as Greece and Turkey.

My job now isn’t work to me. Singing is part of being human as we learned to sing before language even existed. Singing is just who I am, what I love and seeing the immerse pleasure it brings to other people makes it all worthwhile.”