Singing has endless health and psychological benefits. It’s as good for you as yoga and meditation.
Forget that auntie who tells you not to give up your day job. Sing it loud and proud like it’s nobody’s business. Singing makes us all happy and no one should tell us otherwise!
The voice is the most superior musical instrument. Aside from the fact that we will never forget to take it with us, it is the only instrument that speaks to us directly. Unlike other musical instruments, we have the advantage of being able to use language along with all the other important elements of music – emotion, tone, melody, harmony, rhythm, etc.
SKIP THE GYM TODAY. JUST SING!
Time magazine said “Singing changes your brain.” The Telegraph announced that “Singing is good for your body and soul.” Scientists have proven that hormones such as endorphins and oxytocin are released by our brains when we sing. These hormones make us feel happy and help alleviate stress levels. Indeed, research after research have been conducted to prove that singing is beneficial for us and the result is always a resounding “Yes!”
As passionate singers, we don’t need anyone to prove this to us. We just know because we are addicted to singing, and singing to our friends, family and kind strangers are all we need to get a dose. In fact, we don’t even need an audience. We can rely on pure imagination.
Professor Graham Welch, Chair of Music Education at the University College of London, published his research on the benefits of singing:
“Physical benefits – so, if you sing, and whether you are singing in a choir or whether you are singing on your own in the bath, whether you have had a gin and tonic or not, there is a respiratory aerobic activity, so even if you are sitting down, one of the benefits that you can have from singing, and if you do not feel like singing and actually standing, you are still actually giving the whole of your upper part of your body a workout.”
AND THE CROWD GOES WILD
It is so much fun to visualize singing in front of an adoring crowd. Whether or not it happened in real life is not even irrelevant! The brain still gives out signals to the body as if we were actually out there on stage doing it.
Professor Graham Welch said: “Incidentally, the kind of pedagogical interest in this is that if you can encourage people to imagine themselves performing, it is a silent version of actually performing, and this is something that singers do anyway, whether you are doing the washing-up or sitting on the bus, should there be a bus, or a train, or sitting in the car. You are singing along anyway, and this is very similar to actually doing it out loud.”
Visualization (I’d call it day dreaming :)) is imperative if you actually want to become a prosinger in the near future. Seeing the performance happen in your mind’s eye every single day will make our brain believe it has actually happened. Our mindset is then positively affected and we become closer and closer to fulfilling the dream.
SINGING JUST DOESN’T FEEL LIKE WORK
Unlike going to the gym, fitness classes, yoga and all that jazz, singing is child’s play. It excites our creativity, builds our self-confidence while increasing our lung capacities – in real time! I have met many a gym-junkie who have confided that they absolutely hate the act of going to the gym. The drudgery and struggle is real. On the other hand, I’m to meet one singer who feels like it’s a chore to belt out a tune. Usually, we’d end up singing right there on the spot and the rest of the day is history!
WHAT ABOUT THE NEIGHBOURS?
Now we arrive at this uncomfortable question. I won’t lie to you. I had been given the knock or two by my neighbours and housemates as I practice my wail-y and whiney, arpeggios. It does crush the spirit when told to hush but to me, that’s only momentary. What I started doing was practice inside my wardrobe and with the clothes soaking up my voice, I was free to practice all day until late at night. As they say, where there is a will there is a way!
SING NOW UNTIL FOREVER
Since singing is an activity that you can do on your own, either through actual, physical singing or visualizing, I am encouraging you, people of any age, to go ahead and just do it! It’s free, cheap, gives us confidence, and ignites all of our happy hormones. It’s so amazing how singing affects chemicals in our brains with the mere thought of performing. Although we don’t all have to have Stevie Wonder, Whitney, or Mariah’s superstar prosinging careers, we can still feel the joy they experience when we’re singing for ourselves. Go on and belt out a tune or 2! I’ll leave you with some super-singable list of songs and these should do the trick!