Celia Ramsay

Vocalist, Dance Caller, Songwriter, Teacher

Carmony Progress - Level One

Libby McLaren and I have finished recording our "Level One" lessons for Carmony: Learn to Sing Harmony While You Drive. We're very pleaseed with how it sounds, and think that it will provide a great foundation for learning basic harmony singing. Now we're onto planning for Levels Two and Three. Level One is very basic with simple explanations and familiar tunes to learn and practice against. By that, I mean that you can learn both the melody and the harmony, but because we provide tracks of both, once you've learned, say, the harmony, you can practice singing "with" us, by singing your part against the track of us singing the melody. Or the other way around!

We're pretty sure that once you've mastered the Level one material to your satisfaction, you'll be keen to take on some more-challenging songs. That's where Level Two and Three will come in! Also, we plan to provide PDFs of all lyrics and muscial notation on our respective websites. There's a reason we don't want to include these in the CD package: Libby and I both feel - no, let's go further and say, we know - learning by ear is important for harmony singing -

It's the best way to let your brain gather it all in!

Why? Harmony singing requires you accustom yourself to singing a part that is different from what others around you might be singing at the same time. You have to learn to hear differently, but if your eyes get involved in the process (reading notes or lyrics) you are using a dfifferent part of the brain than if you're listening to learn. Based on our many years of experience, we know this is the most organic and successful way to do it. But we also know some folks will want the paperwork to refer to - especially those who are music sight-readers. So anyone who is keen to have the supporting paperwork can get it - but you'll have to work a little bit! Besides - you better not be reading while you're driving!


Fortuante Strangers offered a lovely short Celtic music program at Mountain Music Parlor in Reno, Nevada that was followed by an Irish jam session. Mountain Music Parlor is the dream child of Don & Renee Lauderback. It's a new music store, classroom and performance venue all rolled into one, and we really hope they are successful. If you're Reno-local, check them out.

For Fortunate Strangers, it was a nice way to start our career together; we had an appreciative audience and many folks brought instruments and played afterward. One gal didn't bring her guitar, but she got to "audition" one from the store!

Joe, Kathy and I are gearing up for our second concert at my digs in North Berkeley on May 28 at 8:00pm, and personally, I think it's time to start reserving your seats. You can do that by emailing me or calling 510-995-6615 (be sure to leave a voicemail if I don't pick-up!) And if you'd like to host us in a house concert in your home, email or call, and I'll tell you how that might work!