Sing for your Life!
If you're reading this, you've probably discovered that singing, especially with others, feels great! Maybe you even know something specific about why. Lately, more and more studies are uncovering why it is that singing feels so darn and is so darn good for us. Here is some of what's been discovered about what singing can offer us:
A Healthier Mind: The reason singing feels so good is because doing it releases endorphins -- the 'feel good' chemicals -- into the body, making it a natural antidepressant. Singing also releases stored muscle tension in the body and decreases the levels of a stress hormone called cortisol in your blood stream. Not only that, but singing can simply take your mind off the day’s troubles to boost your mood.
Speeding Recovery from Postpartum Depression: Post-natal depression is estimated to affect one in eight new mothers. In a recent study in the UK, researchers found that women who took part in group singing sessions with their babies experienced a much faster improvement in their symptoms than those who did not. A singing mama is a happy, healthy mama; and a happy, healthy mama is a happy, healthy baby!
A Boosted Immune System: According to research conducted at the University of Frankfurt, singing boosts the immune system. The study involved testing choir members’ blood before and after an hour-long rehearsal. The researchers noticed that in most cases, the amount of proteins in the immune system that function as antibodies, known as Immunoglobulin A, were significantly higher immediately after the rehearsal. The same increases were not observed after the choir members passively listened to music.
A Stronger Body: For the elderly, otherly-abled, and injured, singing can be an excellent form of exercise. Even if you’re healthy, your lungs will get a workout as you employ proper singing techniques and vocal projections. Other related health benefits of singing include a stronger diaphragm, heart, and overall circulation. Some studies have also shown that singing can improve posture and spinal alignment.
Greater Sense of Connection: When you join a singing group, the bonds you form with others can be profound. Singing offers a level of intimacy that isn't available in many other social activities. Having regular meaningful connection with others is vital for good health. Loneliness and a sense of disconnection, ailments which are so prevalent in our times, can literally make us sick. So, gathering regularly with your singing comrades can help to meet social needs that boost our all around health in a number of ways.
Why Join a Choir?
* Singing weekly in community builds connection in a powerful and unique way. Choir is a place for people of all ages and backgrounds to be together in a positive, sober social context. The act of gathering regularly in this way provides fertile ground for relationships of all kinds to deepen, and gives us a chance to be in one another's lives in a more profound way than with the occasional meet up.
* As with any regular committed practice, using our most important instruments-our voices!-weekly strengthens this vital part of ourselves and allows vocal and breath skills to develop over time.
* Diving into repertoire over the course of several weeks allows us to reach greater depths in the songs we sing together. Many aural tradition songs contain subtleties and complexities that can't be reached in one-off events. Come every week to hear the amazing ways a song can grow and flourish with regular practice!
* Singing has a magical effect on the relationships you already have. Singing easy to learn, positive songs regularly with your friends, families, and neighbors means that eventually, you will know many of the same songs as each other! Once you have some songs in common, cleaning up around the house together, giving thanks for the meal at a neighborhood potluck, or diffusing an argument in the car on the family road trip becomes much more fun and embellished with the particular kind of delight that only singing together can bring.