After a few
engagements with drama (children's theater, English Drama Group, the musical
"School" at Gasteig, Munich) I've decided that music is definitely the
most important thing in my life.
My mother used to proudly tell the story that I was already singing "Alle meine Entchen" (a German nursery rhyme) along with her as she was changing my nappies…
Having grown up in the country, it all began with singing and playing traditional Bavarian parlour music, and campfire songs with the scouts/girl guides. Later I added classical choir singing, and finally – in the early 80s – I found my great passion: jazz. At that time I used to listen to Ella and João Gilberto, my favourite record was Billie Holiday's "Solitude", and very early on the old musical films introduced me to most of today's jazz standards.
In 1990 I attended a jazz workshop for the first time – and I realized this was what I wanted to do. Henceforth, I intensely worked with different band formations, as a solo singer and in vocal ensembles, and I got engaged in the world of harmonies and arrangement.
Since 2000, I've been on tour with the Munich vocal jazz quartet The Funny Valentines, and we've had concerts at jazz clubs and jazz festivals all over Germany, in the Czech Republic, in Switzerland, in Strasbourg and at the Montreux Jazz Festival. However, I can best enjoy my love for soft swing and mellow tones with my band Barbara Roberts & Band, which is available in different formations from duo to quintet.
Since 2005, I've worked as a choir leader at the Munich music school Ohrwurm and have conducted the female choir Die Tonjuwelen, for which I make all the arrangements of songs from different genres.
A relatively new and very exciting project is the choir project for hearing-impaired people (link in German). Since hearing-impaired people - with or without hearing aids - usually cannot trust their own ears, they often find it difficult to freely sing along with others. They withdraw and don't dare (any more) to join in. The desire and longing for singing, however, remains - may even grow since it is not being satisfied. Within a protected setting among hearing-impaired people (except me) we sing and sound off for all it is worth - and we laugh a lot. Singing opens up your soul - why not for hearing-impaired people, too?!
In over 20 years of professional experience as a technical writer and over 10 years as a member of the works council in the private sector (including mediation of teams), I observed colleagues drift apart caused by inadequate team structures, too much work and frequent changes in jobs whereas all parties involved would have benefitted from a close and trustful cooperation.
Therefore, I want to reconnect people by singing. My additional training as Business Coach and Trainer helps me to perform this task in my SingImTeam teambuilding workshops on a professional level.
My experience with different teams and groups shows me how much singing together unites people on an emotional level. Our brain has no say in the matter, for we sing with our hearts and our instincts.
And that's why it works!