I was saying to a student yesterday, and I can't for the life of me remember who it was, that singing is one of the finest feel good activities this side of Saturn. In the olden days when I taught GCSE and A Level Music in school there was an essay question which cropped up with absolute regularity, perhaps even in every other yearly exam paper. It was on the 'Singing' section of the written paper for Practical Music. A very short, but very astute little question - Singing is a Sport - Discuss.
I have known my whole working life that singing makes us feel great, it is a heart work out, a spirit lifting activity and a good all round pleasurable hobby. It bonds people together, it puts us in a position of having to trust others, and it forces us to lay our feelings open for all the world to see.
You can see from just that short description that it is both PE and Psychotherapy ! On the PE side my maxim to my students has always been....' If you are not sweating, you are not working hard enough' simple and easy to grasp, but often not taken onboard ! On the Therapy front it is the most marvellously liberating thing to do. We can release all sorts of negative feelings and watch them fly away on a wave of out pouring emotion, and equally we can rid ourselves of bad feelings by 'being' someone else, and letting that character work it's cathartic magic.
I have had one pupil today whose voice has changed so much in the last 6 months that when new sounds and new found release flowed out, it made the singer weep. Not at all in a negative or sorrowful way, but in a manner which allowed the shock of new and wonderful physical feelings to stream through her being. Beautiful, vibrating, and all consuming sound touches us deeply, and presses emotional buttons we didn't even know we had.
Singing is a wonderful thing to do in every form. One of the most invigorating hobbies one can have is being part of a whole - a choir or opera group, a band or barbershop quartet. It matters not what it is, but how much joy one gets from being part of a harmonious team.
I found this super picture a week or so ago and thought it was the perfect illustration for my blog ! Make sure you read it all, then.............
Go on - join a choir !!