What happens when we sing? The act of singing generates a concentrated “charge” in the mind/body system—the results of which are more efficient use of the brain, better concentration, and higher states of awareness and receptivity. The deepened, rhythmic breathing that singing requires, coupled with the acoustical frequencies involved in music, act to release stress by stabilizing the heartbeat and increasing the flow of oxygen to the brain.
As all of us know, you cannot sing and stay depressed. “Singing the blues,” for example, lifts you up from the condition that sparked the song (or elongated scream). When we sing, we are essentially tuning ourselves as instruments. The more in tune with yourself you are, the stronger the bridge you are building to others with whom you are singing, and to those who listen and receive the song.
Singing is like charging your battery. It is a simple and joyful activity, opening people to one another at various levels in a natural, easy way. I like to say that the shortest distance between two people is a song! Even shy people (And aren’t we all on some level?) will feel the change that results from the strong focus of singing. Singing helps us build bridges between others and among ourselves.
Anyone Can Sing
This is important to note: anyone can sing. Have you ever heard a five-year-old say they can’t sing? Many of us can instantly recall an instance in our childhood when an adult told us to “sing softly while others sing loudly” or to “just mouth the words.” Whenever I hear this sad tale—and I hear it often—I am reminded that it is really a story about the adult who didn’t want to take the time to help the person learn the simple basics of singing. Just as singing can be a learned skill, it can also be quickly unlearned.
By risking opening our mouths and “making a joyful noise,” we draw on those deep resources of hope and strength common to all. Singing with friends and colleagues is a testimony to our strength in connection. We are not islands in isolation. When we open our mouths to sing, we become part of the current of life—the music of the spheres. So, go ahead and “sing/scream” with delight. It just may be the beginning of your own special song! PM
Edith Barnard is an accomplished performer, music instructor and vocal coach. Visit peoriamusiclady.com to learn more.