I’ve been talking and thinking a lot about music, and singing, lately.
That’s not soooo unusual for me, although before I continue, I should inform you that my ‘default’ song(you know the song you just launch into unawares when you haven’t been listening to enough ‘current’ radio…) is actually “O Holy Night”.
It’s alarming, seeing as Christmas comes but once a year(see what I did there?) but it’s true. In February, June, August AND December, you’ll catch me singing “O Holy Night”.
I. DON’T. KNOW. WHY.
It just is what it is…
I’ve been thinking about singing so much that I even recently made Wednesdays ‘sing-all-your-words” day(and then promptly forgot to enforce my own rule and nobody sang anything today but hey…it’s the thought that counts right?)
Music evokes emotion, and memories, much like smells do…
I can hear The Carpenter’s “On the Top of the World” and I’m immediately transported to my childhood, forcing my younger brother to perform dance routines with me in the lounge room, and forcing my parents to watch and celebrate our amazing gifts of song and dance…
I can hear *insert name of band here* and I’m shaken up again, as a young high schooler, when my best friend’s older brother gassed himself in the family car listening to *said* band on repeat….
Kylie Minogue’s “Locomotion” gets me every time, and I’m fourteen, and SCREAMING with laughter as my friends and I dance around our holiday house in Cape Town….
Song-writers AMAZE me. They have an incredible ability to bring expression to things we often just have no idea how to verbalise at all… And strung along to a killer hook, we’re roped in for life. Literally.
Singing is FUN. Singing is GOOD FOR YOU.
TRULY. It awakens you. It makes you happy. Especially if you’re singing at the top of your lungs in the car as you hoon(at a responsible 100kms an hour) down the highway – preferably on a road trip to the beach with some of your best mates on the planet…
But don’t take MY word for it:
Suzanne Hanser is the chair(as an aside, I do feel for anyone who is a ‘chair’) of the music therapy department at Berklee College of Music. She says “Because singing is visceral, relating to, or affecting, our bodies, it can’t help but effect change”.
Studies have also linked singing with a lower heart rate, decreased blood pressure, and reduced stress, according to Patricia Preston-Roberts, a music therapist in New York. She uses song to help patients who suffer from a variety of psychological and physiological conditions. “Some people who have been traumatized often want to leave the physical
body, and using the voice helps ground them to their bodies. Singing also seems to block a lot of the neural pathways that pain travels through.”
Hmmm. Suddenly, mucking around with a song and a dance again sounds good to me!
One study conducted at the University of Frankfurt in Germany, found that people who sing(and not just professional singers) had higher levels of immunoglobulin A and cortisol – markers of enhanced immunity – after they sang than before. Just listening to music did not have the same effect as BEING ENGAGED IN the singing of the song…
Sounds to me much like life really.
Don’t just ‘listen’ to the music and let life pass you by…
Loud and proud. Off key or on. Whatever. However. Whenever. Just do it.
‘Open your mouth, and sing out your song. Life is short as the day is long.
Can’t leave you my body, but I’ll leave you a tune. This is my legacy. Cheers to you.’