There is nothing like singing to uplift the spirit and soul, reduce stress, lower high blood pressure, open the heart (metaphorically as well as biochemically!), increase lung capacity, improve circulation – to exercise the vocal chords and express your own unique sound!
In the beginning was sound …
People were depicted in paintings singing whilst working in the fields at one time. Mothers always sang to soothe their babies and to ease them into secure, restful sleep. Mine did and both parents told me stories providing sound and tone as well as intrigue! There is much evidence to show that playing Mozart increases the intelligence of babies, heals the body. One book: The Mozart Effect by Don Campbell, illustrates this perfectly. Baroque music aids high mental focus, too.
I once did a Don Conreaux gong workshop – as it suggests, sound healing and with huge gongs which was a beautiful, though this must be experienced with the vibration of live instruments for full effect.
In a voice workshop at the College of Psychic Studies, we paired up and sat in concentric circles, facing one another. We were to make sound and find our “signature note” (Stewart Pearce) and I saw very clearly an event (in the aura), that took place in my partner’s childhood even though I’d never met her before. When it came to my turn, I wasn’t sure what was required so I just went up the vocal scales. An extraordinary thing happened. My voice became higher and higher with the greatest of ease and seemingly without breath. I felt I could carry on forever and, at the same time, saw a choir of angels. I wasn’t sure if I’d joined them or they’d been attracted to me. Later, the lady who’d partnered Stewart told me that he’d whispered “Angels” to her, as everyone in the room had stopped to listen to my note, which I’d been oblivious to. He asked me to repeat the note later in healing people using sound, who were brought into the centre of the circle.
In the beginning was sound (said to be the original translation of the Bible in Stewart’s book) which is vibration/energy and light. So singing, chanting, humming – any way of making sound is a way to stop stress from becoming a habit or a way of life to which one becomes accustomed if it is not checked.
Those who sing well, pray twice!
One of the reasons we feel so alive when we sing our hearts out is that we are also taking in oxygen and oxygenating the blood. At its most basic, the body needs to take in oxygen from the air for survival. The amount of oxygen and the quality of oxygen reflects upon our own health.
My Father taught me this at a young age. As an immensely fit man (like his Mother chosen to do errands as the fastest runner of twelve children), he and my Mother cycled to the Lake District from their home which was about 80 miles on many occasions. A herbalist in those days, advised my Father that deep breathing, preferably naked, first thing in the morning at an open window or outside, would be the best solution for a severe sinus problem which had not responded to some pretty unpleasant medical procedures. It worked and he has practised this ever since.
I started back at my solo singing group a couple of weeks ago and kicked off with Mimi Coertse’s Nel Cor Piu Non Mi Sento:
and this week did a very pleasing performance by all reports of Porgi Amor
I’m very fortunate to have a superb singing teacher in Alice Hyde. I was also on stage with the excellent Bellowhead singing wassails as part of a chorus at the RFH at Christmas, all of whom were directed by the absolutely brilliant Mary King!
I have to sing and I’ve sung many genres over the decades since I was a tot emulating the old sopranos on my parents’ old 78s. We can’t always sing though. There are times in life when we need quietude instead. Also, the voice is an instrument that is part of us in a way that a piano or guitar is not; so it needs rest at certain times and must to be warmed up gradually before being in full flow. It is more affected by emotion, yet, it is truly remarkable how we can absolutely transform our mood and well-being through sound.
Laughter is another crucial tool for healing. This is important to do throughout each day, too! As I often do my vocal warm ups (lip blowing, r rolling etc) in public, that can create hilarity and entertainment or fascination for children, who are far less self-conscious than adults! Sing, sing, sing!