Upskill, Reskill, Enjoy
The benefits of singing are many and varied says Morley singing expert and Morley Choral Society tutor David Revels:
The physical benefits include an opportunity to focus on what I like to call the “Three Golden Rules of Singing”. Posture: through stretching—which is often part of the vocal warm up—everyone is encouraged to stretch and shake out the stresses and strains of everyday life. This moment of contemplative calm provides every singer with a quiet moment to reconnect with their own bodies and aim for optimum height. Once this is achieved, each singer increases the propensity to exercise deep breathing i.e. filling the lungs with air and, wherever possible, directing the breath lower in the body rather than into the upper chest. In short, the shoulders should not rise. This means that the “laughter muscles” (which are also used to “support” the voice) get a chance to engage to aid the flow of the voice.
The third rule is actually the most important: smile! No-one wants to see a miserable singer. To be sure, the smile helps to brighten the tone and can also lead to an extension of vocal range (in height and depth). Please note that the smile should be in the eyes not a cheesy grin; the eyes should sparkle and this allows the resonators in the head to enhance the sound. Why is this important? As a trained singer, I cannot produce a happy sound if I have an unhappy facial expression or try to sing with a furrowed brow!
Stacy Horn, writing in TIME, exclaims that, “Group singing is cheaper than therapy, healthier than drinking, and certainly more fun than working out.” It’s also a great way to give yourself a burst of energy and can transform your mental state from “exhausted and depressed” to “high as a kite” thanks to the endorphins that will undoubtedly kick in (this is dependent upon the choir trainer, of course)!
Sarah Rainey (Telegraph) agrees that these endorphins ensure that singing is “good for body and soul” and, perhaps, “healthier than yoga”. I am not sure what the scientific proof there is for such a claim, however, I delighted to say that at Morley College London, there are many courses available in both yoga and singing. Come and discover how your body and soul can benefit from the vast array of courses on offer in heart of the capital.
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