The best reasons to listen to your own voice and SING.
One of the best reasons I sing is that it keeps me sane. Quite literally. Singing has been and continues to be both my linchpin and my salvation. It may have been challenging to maintain the learning regime at tumultuous times, but I always have returned to music — to singing — to restore balance.
Reason #1: It’s a question of balance
Singing restores my equilibrium. It lifts me up in unseen ways and gives me permission to engage with my inner self. It helps me express and communicate, share thoughts and even commemorate. In 2001 I gave a concert to celebrate the life of my youngest daughter Alice, who had died earlier that year at just 7 years old. We recorded the performance live; to this day I consider it to be one of the most healing actions I have ever taken. All I wanted to share and vocally express that night is on the CD recording, and it is still so very, very consoling. Like a time capsule, it takes me right back. I gave a similar remembrance performance in 2014, with ’21 Candles’. It is important to embrace remembrance, hard though it may be.
Reason #2: Singing simply turns the good stuff on.
After a bad day, finding your voice is like taking medicine. When I conducted my vocal group ‘Class Apart’, we met once a week to rehearse at 7.30pm. Most members had day jobs and deadlines and timetables. As we got ready to start the vocal warm-up, it was collectively noted how tired we all felt, meeting at the end of a long working day. But, thirty minutes in, life-related burdens would always lift and by the end of the rehearsal everyone left on a high! I’ve taught many different vocal groups and the same routine always happens. The effect is magical.
Reason #3: Noteworthy evidence
I have read articles about the benefits of joining a singing group. In my experience, newbie singers are cautious to share their sound because they simply don’t know how they measure up. It often takes a bold step to join a group or investigate the world of singing. It — the voice — is a very personal thing linked to our very core and there can be a reluctance to release and be heard. Somehow we feel judged by the opinion of others. Sometimes we are the worst critic. I believe it has to do with identity — music gave me mine, in words and melody and communication. I have never looked for another path or swayed from it.
THE Reason: Balm for the soul
The CD recording I made to celebrate Alice’s life in 2001 will be 20 years old this October. The experience is as fresh to me now as the night I sang all of those songs for her, in memory of her, a statement and outpouring of mother’s love for her. Someone recently asked to listen to the recording and later remarked that they enjoyed it, but that they could tell it was a sad occasion. I cannot disagree more! That night was a release of sorts — balm for the soul. I believe that the ‘sadness’ they encountered is a projection of their own thoughts and feelings about what to most people is one of the hardest and abhorrent of life’s experiences to face — the death of one’s own child. Many of the songs are joyful and express life in words and music — an interpretation of my daughter’s character and endurance despite difficult odds.
Singing brings joy and celebration of emotion in words, melody, and music. These are just the tip of the iceberg, the first of a long list of many fantastic reasons to lift up your voice and sing. Take every opportunity to make that inner connection and feed your soul.