Hi, I am back. When the day is dull, dismal and raining I do enjoy getting these ‘funnies’ from friends. One I received from my friend Brian had this unexpected outbreak of opera in a food store and suddenly all the shoppers stopped and the whole place erupted with singing. It was delightful – try it and you will feel better especially if you join in. If you like singing and feel better, it could become a regular part of your new exercise regime. It is free, fun, and makes you feel well.
The outbreak of Funiculì, Funiculà was fantastic and many folks joined in including me at home alone.
How many folks sing in the bath and let the water go cold? Well you are doing yourself a power of good –keep up the good work.
Chair of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, Professor Graham Welch, claims singing has potential health aspects . He says not only are there physical benefits as it is an aerobic activity which increases oxygenation in the blood stream, but it also gives the important muscles in the upper body some exercise. Who would have thought you could sit in the bath, sing what you like and have some aerobic activity.
I should add the Professor has been studying the impact of singing for over 30 years and the benefits it has on singers both physically and psychologically. Did you know singing can relieve stress with action in the endocrine system, linked to our wellbeing emotions. You achieve psychological benefits whether you sing alone in the bath, sitting. In the shower singing with your husband or wife, or joining a community group.
Apparently the All for One Choir members sang for their hearts when they performed as a flash mob in Princes Quay Shopping Centre in Hull.
Also exercising your vocal chords can also prolong your life claims a vocal coach Helen Astrid who has a Singing Academy in London. She claims singing helps you to keep fit with singing which exercises your heart and your lungs. The plus you get a feeling of good hormones (endorphins) and this ‘dances’ around the body as you sing. This has a similar result to eating a bar of chocolate but Helen Astrid suggests with singing you do not gain weight.
A Harvard & Yale study revealed choral singing increased the life expectancy of the population in New Haven, Connecticut. Singing promoted healthy hearts and improved the mental state of those singing. A study in the University of California claimed increased immune system proteins were found in the saliva of singers after completing a complicated Beethoven masterpiece.
Further afield at the University of Gotherburg Bjorn Vickhoff studied wellbeing and music and said singing resulted in a positive effect on wellbeing. His study outlined how the heart rate of choristers was influenced by musical structure.
So sing your heart out while in the bath, when washing up, hanging out the washing or doing the housework. An added incentive is by singing with a choir and in front of an audience, your confidence is boosted with a long lasting effect of your well being.
If there is not a choir in your area, start one. A few ladies and maybe gents around once a week for you to exercise your lungs, heart and improved your well being. A sing-along to some old favourites will have the same effect on your heart and lungs and I am sure and the company will be good. You can find the words to your favourites songs on the Internet. If you are looking for the words of some ‘oldies’ try http://www.trasksdad.com/MusicHall/MusicHall.html
A website called ‘how stuff works ‘ claims choral singing appears to have the most dramatic effects on people’s lives. Also to sing well you must breath deeply that is good for your health. But do remember that singing does cause happiness. Apparently a little humming something you know will open up your respiratory tubes and sinuses.
Why not have ‘music while you work’? It is written somewhere that during WWII workers in factories doing war work, heard a programme called “Music While you Work” every morning to help the workers through the day and lift their spirits. I imagine lots of the workers joined in a singalong to chase away the horrors of bombing and their worries about husbands and sons away fighting the war. That must have been a bad time and if singing lifted their spirits I am sure singing can do much for your spirits.
If you need 15 Reasons To Sing Every Minute Of Every Day try Buzzfeed.
For more information on singing with good lists of the physical, emotional and social benefits from singing, look at this website. They also claim group singing is cheaper than therapy, healthier than drinking, and certainly more fun than working out. Singing is the one thing in life where feeling better is pretty much guaranteed.
One study in 1998 revealed a large decreased in depression and anxiety for the residents of a nursing home who enjoyed a singing programme, which lasted a month.
Stacy Horn has just published a book called “Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness Singing with Others”. This is available from Amazon UK.
If Gareth Malone, the famous choirmaster, can make folks sing and become a choir, why can’t you? Do not forget to practice at bath time too. Remember to sing in the rain too.
If you get your choir up and running do write and tell me about it. It would be good to get the nation singing and with a little luck the politicians might follow – or am I dreaming? Do write to jeannehambleton @ me.com
My thanks to Heart Research UK, a charity website, for some of the background information. http://heartresearch.org.uk/fundraising/singing-good-you
Back soon. Jeanne