logo

Singing for the Sake of Singing

logo
Singing for the Sake of Singing

Why is singing good for you?  Why does it feel so good to sing at the top of your lungs? Why does it feel like such a release? 

I was recently out to lunch with a composer friend.  We started talking about singing and how he missed it.  He used to sing, but doesn’t have much time these days.  He recalled how good he felt when he was doing it and wasn’t sure why he stopped.

It got me thinking.  Often as people we do things for an end result.  We work to make money.  We exercise to stay in shape or not get fat.  We build something or make something for the end product.  We go to school for the degree.  For the past couple of years, I’ve been trying to focus less on the end result and more on the process.  To enjoy the process means that the entire experience from start to finish is engaging and worthwhile, not just the end result.

I encourage my students, frankly everyone I know to sing as often as is available to them.  Regardless of what you want to do with it, there are good reasons to belt it out.  Here are few reasons if you need any….

Physical benefits of singing:
Singing increases the amount of oxygen you take into the body as you take deep breaths. This produces a feeling of alertness as more oxygen gets to the brain. As you sing, you articulate and use facial expressions, so you improve muscle tone in the face, throat, neck and jaw, thereby promoting a youthful appearance.  Improving the muscle tone in the larynx, which singing does, also helps to calm snoring, which improves sleeping and counters insomnia, which in turn increases our well-being and health.Singing also improves the muscle tone of your rib cage, and in your back and abdominals (belly and lower), because these muscles are involved in controlling the outflow of air and stabilizing the larynx as you sing. (side note-most singers have really good abdominal muscles)Singing stimulates the thyroid gland, which helps to balance metabolism.

Singing also encourages you to strive to improve your health by enhancing your awareness of your body.

Perhaps the greatest physical benefit from singing, is that singing gives you a ‘molecular massage’.

Singing shakes, vibrates and resonates your very core, promoting detoxification at a ‘sub-atomic’ level.

Mental benefits of singing:

For example, learning to sing songs from beginning to end improves your reading skills and your motor skills, by developing the coordination between your brain and your body.

The process of singing and learning to sing, especially in a group, is highly motivational. Motivation is a complex matter. Singing, as you will see, effectively meets the criteria for successful motivation.

The process of learning a song is a fascinating task, with a distinct start and an end product. It’s an artistic activity, but also a structured and disciplined one, especially when we sing with others. We are therefore exercising our structural capabilities without necessarily realizing this is happening – which is very helpful for people who might normally avoid or dislike a lot of discipline and method.

Singing helps to calm negative mental ‘chatter’ – the distracting unhelpful thoughts we can all have at times – because you are focused on the job of singing, and this stops us dwelling on life’s issues and problems.

Singing is utterly absorbing and radically different from usual work-related tasks. Like physical exercise, singing requires a level of focus and bodily activity that shifts our minds away from our usual patterns of thinking, even away from quite pressurized and stressful attitudes.

Singing is without doubt a wonderful stress management aid.

Singing improves your ability to listen. Very many of us think that we listen, but actually we don’t truly listen, because we are too busy thinking about our responses. The process of learning to sing and singing, especially with others, dramatically increases attentive listening, and generally all of our levels of listening too.

Singing also opens up the intricate and complex aural world. You will begin hearing things you never knew existed..

Significantly, learning to sing develops your ability to multi-task.

For example, singing a song successfully requires that you:

sing the correct word
at the correct pitch
at the correct time
with the right level of volume
and with the most appropriate voice quality.

This doesn’t even take into account if you are playing an instrument, or reading the lyrics, or music at the same time.

Learning to sing stretches people, and will naturally and easily move you out of your comfort zone and daily routine, which is very good for all of us. Challenges, when we overcome them, and doing different things which stretch us, make us feel very good.

We feel great about ourselves when we achieve something. Achievement provides a huge boost to our self-esteem.

An additional and particularly powerful mental benefit from singing is that learning to sing a varied repertoire expands your mind into the world of poetry, and into poetic devices and the English language (and into whatever other language you are singing – which is a different and exciting area in its own right).

Learning and singing beautiful lyrics help expand your imagination and appreciation of the world around us. This happens especially when singing songs from other cultures, which increases our awareness of diversity, and connects us in a very real way to how others see and experience life.

Emotional benefits of singing

Emotions and feelings are being repressed or locked in, for some reason. We can all develop these protections from time to time. We fear emotional threat or risk, and so we block or insulate our vulnerability. When this becomes embedded and habitual, we may become hard and cold in nature. We toughen up, but in doing so, we disconnect from some vital feelings and emotions. Our heart is blocked.Learning to sing releases emotional blockages – sometimes blockages that we’ve had for years.

Singing can make you cry. Singing can ignite your passions. And singing can make you laugh.

And if you want more of the stuff that makes you feel good naturally – the good chemicals we produce in our bodies when we do good things – you will be encouraged to know that singing releases natural opiates, endorphins, creating a similar effect as when we exercise.

Separately, singing can help people come more easily to terms with grieving and loss, and can help you to accept certain very testing emotions, to sink into them and know that by surrendering to them, you can free yourself.

Singing is a real natural pain killer.

Spiritual benefits of singing

When we sing, we shift focus and thinking away from our usual life happenings and concerns, towards something ‘other-worldly’.

Singing is a way of bypassing your ego to acknowledge your soul.

Singing helps us to ‘let go’, just as in other forms of meditation.

A peculiar and powerful effect happens when you stop singing. There is a moment when you ‘come back into your body’? Singing is a very spiritual activity. It touches and stimulates some very basic instincts – primeval feelings – the effects of singing are at a deeply unconscious level, which in normal day-to-day work-type activities are impossible to reach.

Singing is also wonderful for relationships and connecting people spiritually and naturally:

  • Singing brings people together. People ‘feel the love’ that singing generates.
  • Singing unites factions, religions and races.
  • Singing creates positive energy and a happy mood and that’s infectious and transparently good for everyone.
  • It enables you to meet more people
  • Is a forum for sharing
  • Offers opportunity for giving and receiving positive feedback
  • A forum for fun & laughter and learning

More Interesting articles:
Breathing: http://www.naturalnews.com/032096_oxygenation_body.html
How Stress Affects the Body: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-body.aspx
Breath Exercises: http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/08/6-breathing-exercises-to-relax-in-10-minutes-or-less/

logo
logo