Suzanne Sherman Propp loves to sing.
At Staples High School, the 1981 graduate sang in the Orphenians and choir. (She also played violin in the chamber orchestra, acted in Players, and was a cheerleader. She does not realize there are only 24 hours in a day.)
At Colgate University — where she majored in music and English — Suzanne led the a cappella Swinging ‘Gates group (and continued to play violin).
She then spent a year in Utah, working at an Alta ski lodge in the bar, at the front desk, and playing music.
Back in Westport, she accompanied herself on guitar at coffeehouses like Grassroots.
Suzanne went on to earn an MBA at Columbia University — and leveraged it to work in the music industry. She worked in new business development for a record label, and for Mark Spector — a Westport resident who was Joan Baez’s manager.
A casual conversation with 3 of her former Staples teachers — Dave Harrison, Dick Leonard and Phil Woodruff — at a Christmas carol sing (!) inspired her to change careers. They wondered why she wasn’t teaching.
Suzanne was certified in 1998. The next year she was hired to be Greens Farms Elementary School’s (surprise!) music teacher. She’s been there ever since.
Suzanne’s more-than-24-hour days — which included raising 2 children — leave her plenty of time to spend on her newest project: Sing Daily!
Every day, Suzanne picks a song. She posts it on her website, and emails it to subscribers. After (hopefully) warming up their voices, everyone is invited to sing her Song of the Day.
“Singing makes you feel better,” Suzanne explains. “It livens your spirit. I see it every day in school. It’s been proven by studies. Everybody should sing every day!”
But — the morning shower aside — we don’t really know what or where to sing. And — lacking Suzanne’s beautiful voice — most of us are intimidated belting out a tune.
So Suzanne helps us along. She’s curated a varied list. There’s “Home on the Range,” and the Black Eyed Peas’ “Where is the Love?”
Every genre is represented. There are songs by Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Pete Townshend, the Indigo Girls, Herman’s Hermits, Billy Joel and (of course) Joan Baez. She includes a few original songs too, but downplays their importance. “I’m not trying to sell anything,” Suzanne notes.
Sometimes there are obvious tie-ins. On her husband Peter’s birthday, Suzanne wrote a special song for him. (Of course — why not?! — she also created an accompanying YouTube video).
She’ll celebrate holidays and special occasions. But sometimes, they’ll be secret. For example, the Greens Farms principal loves “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” That will be the Song of the Day on his birthday — though no one will know why.
Suzanne welcomes suggestions. “There are 365 days in a year. That’s a lot of songs!” she says.
She launched her project without a lot of publicity. Still, it’s found plenty of fans. One is her mother, Ruth Sherman. “She’s not a singer,” Suzanne says. “But she loves it!”
That’s the whole idea. You don’t have to be a singer. You just have to sing.
Actually, I’m wrong.
“Everyone is a singer!” Suzanne insists. “Try it. Your life will change!”
(Click here for Suzanne Sherman Propp’s Sing Daily! website.)