The Joy Crew co-owners Amy Elizah and Angela Gabriel have a combined 60+ years of experience in music performance and creative arts education. Using song and improvisational vocal play, we guide groups to sink deeply in a short amount of time, encouraging individuals to build relationships with each other and especially with our own voices, and to gain the tools to express authentically and listen deeply.
Our philosophy is simple: Singing together heals ourselves, our communities & our world.
Everyone is welcome to drop in anytime for a joy-fueled singing experience.
We sing for the love of it. We sing our best when we are relaxed and having fun. We strive to create a positive, supportive environment where everyone feels welcome and safe.
We are dedicated to creating satisfying music together, in the moment, where everyone leaves with a sense of accomplishment & enjoyment.
We are different from most traditional choirs in that we are focused on the experience of singing together rather than rehearsing for an upcoming performance.
We don't use sheet music or printed lyrics. Everything is learned by rote, also known as oral-tradition singing. We give plenty of time to deeply absorb the words & music, allowing the songs to become a part of us, residing not in our heads, but in our hearts & bodies.
We practice what we like to call trans-sectionality. Everyone tries all the different parts and learns all the harmonies together at once, and then chooses the part that feels the best in the moment. This deepens our musical instinct that serves us when we want to improvise and make up spontaneous harmonies. It makes us better musicians.
We practice healthy singing technique, including breathing exercises, circle-songs, and fun warmups.
We replace judgement about our sound with curiosity about our sensations. We feel the vibrations, and we listen louder than we sing.
We encourage what we call THE DOLPHIN THEORY:
When a young dolphin is learning to swim, it stays close to an adult and learns through the act of swimming with a more experienced dolphin. You never see a big dolphin explaining to the small one, "now, see how I'm using my tail fin and my fluke?"
The big dolphin simply swims. The small one copies. And before you know it, they're all successful.
We do the same in our sessions. The singers who already know a song are the big dolphins and singers who are new sing next to them. Using call & response and a lot of repetition, the group learns one phrase at a time, and the singers absorb the music in the moment, supported by the sound of the big dolphins.
In this way, no one is expected to "carry the tune."
We all carry it together.