Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Singing for Health

How many of you, lovely wonderful folk reading this article, think that singing makes you feel better? Hmm? How many of you open your mouths, let some kind of noise out, and then chastise yourself for not sounding good enough? I suspect many of you are closet singers and many of you would like to sing better. Some of you may even like to have a go at writing your own songs or at least putting a melody to some poetry you’ve created? I’d like to tell you why singing is good for you and why everybody should have a go at it, no matter what they sound like. So who am I to tell you this? Well, I can’t imagine life without singing. I’ve always sung since I was a dot. My earliest influence was the Salvation Army and so early on, I knew if I sang it loud enough, Jesus would want me for a sunbeam! Music, singing & songwriting have always fascinated me. So much so, that I’ve two albums under my belt, a downloadable ‘learn how to sing’ course, a batch of private singing students and am now facilitating group vocal workshops to bring people together just for the pure pleasure factor (The P Factor). Well I must have been born with the talent? Right? Hmm, not really. I was born with the intrigue and enthusiasm to find out why I liked singing so much (not that I was always the best at it), and to help other people.

Everyone can gain from the benefits of singing, whether they think they can sing or not. Just open your mouth and let it out, there should be no judgment about it. Trouble is, we’re all comparing ourselves to Shane Ward and Leona Lewis… Guys? They’re one in a million and if they were here now, they would be encouraging you to sing!

Here’s why I think you would benefit from singing more. Some of the physical benefits include: Singing increases the amount of oxygen you take into the body. This, in turn, produces a feeling of alertness as more oxygen flows to the brain. As you sing, you articulate and use facial expressions more, so you get improved muscle tone in the face, throat neck and jaw thereby promoting a youthful appearance. The improved muscle tone in the intricate areas of the larynx, also help to calm snoring. It also improves the muscle tone of your rib cage, back and abdominals, as you learn to hold the breath back. Singing stimulates the thyroid gland thereby helping to balance metabolism. It also helps you to want to improve your health by enhancing your awareness of your body. But the physical benefit I love the most is that singing gives you a molecular massage! It shakes, vibrates and resonates with your very core, thereby promoting healing at a sub-atomic level (cool!). Need more reasons to sing? Well apart from the fact that singing makes you feel good, learning to sing has great mental benefits too. For example, learning to sing songs from beginning to end, improves your reading skills and your motor skills by developing the co-ordination between your brain and your body. It helps to calm negative mental chatter. It improves your ability to listen, thereby opening up the intricate and complex aural world (you’ll never be able to listen to music in the same way again!). Learning to sing develops your ability to multi-task. For example, singing a song successfully requires that you: sing the correct word at the correct pitch at the correct time, with the right level of volume and with the most appropriate voice quality. This means making sure your posture is correct for the type of sound that you are making whilst ensuring that, ladies, your skirt isn’t tucked in your knickers (if you are, of course, on stage!) But my favorite mental benefit is the fact that learning to sing a varied repertoire expands your mind into the world of poetry, poetic devices and the English Language. Some of the beautiful lyrics that you will be singing will help to expand your imagination.

But you’re still pressing me for more reasons to sing, because I know that some of you think that your singing would simply offend people! Well what if I told you that the reasons you can’t/won’t sing is that you’re heart is blocked? Too bold a statement? Let me tell you, singing can open the stoniest of hearts! Learning to sing releases old emotional blockages that should have been got rid off years ago! It can make your cry; it can ignite your passion and it can make you laugh. Not only that, but if you want more of the stuff that makes you feel good (naturally), singing releases natural opiates called endorphins. Singing can help with all forms of grieving and can help you to accept certain emotions, sink into them and know that by surrendering to them, you can free yourself. It really is a pain killer. Singing can also give you respite from negative mental chatter. It is a form of meditation where your focus is off observing what is around you, and on indulging yourself in this sonorous task. It is a way of bypassing your ego to acknowledge your soul. The act of learning to sing helps you to build confidence in yourself, as you get better at it week by week, you gently ease yourself outside your comfort zone, achieving things that would usually be inhibited. This is a good thing! Singing creates positive energy and a happy mood. Since ‘like attracts like’, this good feeling sends a signal out into the Universe. Source Energy then re-arranges itself to line up circumstances and opportunities to give you more of the good stuff. So all in all, singing is good vibrational medicine! For more information on learning to sing, singing lessons or workshops, email
info@sallygarozzo.com or visit www.sallygarozzo.com

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