Just Sing, Sing a Song…
We could all use a little lift sometimes. Whether the boost you seek is mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, or even intellectual, you may well find you have the perfect instrument at hand: your voice. What’s more, you’re already versed in how to begin using it. All you need for first steps is to think back to preschool, and sing. Sing a song.
Perhaps you’re among those who wouldn’t consider taking singing outside of the shower. Good news, regardless of location, vocation, or even overall musicality, singing is linked to a host of healthful benefits. Here are just a few of the many perks to bear in mind next time you feel the urge to sing your heart out:
Health Benefits of Singing
Singing lowers stress and anxiety. When you sing, the musical vibrations you create can thrill, soothe, and transform. Singing further produces endorphins, as well as the hormone oxytocin, both of which are linked to lowered anxiety and stress. Studies indicate that the positive effects are cumulative. What’s more, you don’t have to be vocally gifted to reap the benefits. Interestingly, the biggest boosts in spirits seem to be correlated with singing with a group.
Singing alleviates asthma and respiratory symptoms. All the belly breathing you’ve practiced, in yoga, meditation, or music class–not only is it useful for tackling some notes; according to studies published by the National Institutes of Health, it’s also associated with alleviating mild asthmatic symptoms while aiding overall lung function.
Singing boosts immunity. The reduction in stress levels mentioned above? That has an obvious but powerful spider-web effect. Researchers’ findings note lowered levels of the stress hormone cortisol and higher levels of certain immune system molecules called cytokines after an hour of choir singing. While further study is needed, these indicators are awfully promising with regard to the potential of music to help keep the immune system strong.
Singing is heart healthy. Numerous studies associate singing with improved cardiovascular health. This may be related to the way singing encourages longer, slower, purposeful breaths, much like in yoga or meditation.
Singing creates community. From seeing your favorite band in concert to attending your nephew’s birthday party…you know how it goes. Singing creates social bonds. Research increasingly reveals that group singing in particular helps forge connections, ease tensions, and serve as an excellent ice breaker. And after that…everything. Improved sense of well-being, enhanced sense of happiness. Internal awareness, expanded community. Connection.
A singing Class for You
Does this sound good to you? If so, experience these benefits for yourself by signing up for the upcoming “Singing for the Health of It” classes I’ll be offering through Longmont Recreation Services beginning on Monday, April 2, from 3-4 pm at the St. Vrain Memorial Building. This 4-week group will cover the foundations of healthy vocal technique, while providing you with opportunitites to have fun singing in a low-stress setting. Register for this class here.
If that time or day doesn’t work for you, I’ll also be offering this group in Lafayette through the Center for Musical Arts on Tuesdays, from 1:30-3 pm, beginning on April 3. Register for that class here.
And like that classic song by Joe Raposo goes, “Don’t worry if it’s not ‘good enough’ for anyone else to hear… Just sing! Sing a song!”