I recently had a couple of terms away from Sound while on maternity leave. It’s great to come back to singing with the group after a year singing to an audience of one. And I think looking after a baby may actually make you a better singer. Here’s why:

1. Expanding your repertoire: Twinkle twinkle little star only goes so far. Babies seem to respond to all sorts of things. Mr Bombastic is a favourite, but so is the Chattanooga Choo Choo – and a rendition (ahem) of Mozart’s Queen of the Night aria has got us through many a nappy change. Weirdly my little girl also seems to have a particular preference for Minnie Riperton’s Loving You and the Baywatch theme tune. I think I’m showing my age.

2. Extending your vocal range: See above re Queen of the Night and Loving You; I’m normally an Alto 2. I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise to the neighbours.

3. Improving your skills: My attempts at vocal percussion have always been laughable. Now they are hilarious to my daughter, apparently. She’s even blowing a few raspberries herself  HASHTAG PROUDMUM

4. Getting comfortable with improvisation: I’ve developed some great pieces about broccoli, the importance of wearing a hat, a groove on the theme of ‘da da da da’.

5. Animating your delivery: Babies don’t do deadpan. And as they’re so appreciative of anything unusual that you find yourself gurning and grinning without thinking about it. Maybe next time we perform maybe we need to imagine a sea of unusually patient toddlers gazing at us.

I hope all of this is going to compensate for getting to rehearsals late when she won’t go to sleep…