Forget that auntie who tells you not to give up your day job. Sing it loud and proud even when someone is listening awkwardly. 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 – tone, melody, harmony, rhythm and the rest.
SKIP THE GYM. 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 our friends, family and kind strangers are all we need to get a hit. In fact, we don’t even need an audience. We just need our 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 it really happened or not is irrelevant. The brain still gives out signals to the body as if we were actually out there 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.”
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 very real. On the other hand, I’ve not met any singer who feels like that when I ask them to sing. Usually, we’d end up singing right there on the spot and the rest of the day is history!
SING YOUR LIFE AWAY
Since singing is an activity that you can pretty much do anywhere, either through real singing or visualizing, absolutely everybody should be a singer. It’s free, cheap and gives us confidence, and ignites all of our happy hormones. It’s so amazing how our brain cells seem to all line themselves up with the mere thought of singing. Although we don’t all have to have Stevie Wonder, Beyonce or Mariah Carey’s career, we can still feel exactly the way they do when we’re singing. We’re all wired up in the same way!