Updated: Jun 3
Virtually everyone is born with a voice. In fact a baby's first utterance on being born is a cry that says: "I'm here, I'm alive and I'm hungry!" A baby is simply using one of its tools to express itself and communicate with the rest of the world - a tool that will prove to be extremely useful throughout its life.
Your voice is an important tool for self-expression, whether you are shouting at the kids, talking soothingly to a stressed out spouse, public speaking or giving a solo/group singing/acting performance. You can communicate without using your voice and in some cases, it may be preferable, but overall people and animals tend to utilize their voices 99% of the time to make themselves understood. Is singing good for you? After I have shown you some examples of the power of music, you can make your own decision.
Long before the invention of TV, smartphones and other tools that we take for granted in the 21st century, it was the custom after dinner to either watch musical/vocal performances by a family member or friend, or gather everyone around the piano and have the entire family sing. This was just a normal occurrence at dinner parties and family get-togethers and a great way to cement relationships within a social group.
People have always found and utilized the intrinsic value of music as a pleasant and fun social connector, and continue to do so, albeit in a different, more technological way.
Over time, as we learn more about the voice and its multiple functions, many exciting discoveries have been made. For example, in the NICU departments of hospitals, it is becoming normal practice for premature babies to have music played and sung on a regular basis during their stay.
Apparently, it has major therapeutic effects on these infants and actually allows them to leave the hospital much earlier than before. Even before birth, more and more would-be parents are exposing their unborn babies to gentle music by placing headphones on the pregnant woman's tummy, and also singing to them quietly.
Another major benefit of singing has been directed at autistic children and adults. Music generally has considerably helped these unfortunate individuals who struggle to make sense of their affliction in a harsh world. In most cases they are in a better place when engaging in a musical activity, and in a few cases the results are spectacular (see video).
Sing For Wellness
Apart from singing being linked to lower heart rate, decreased blood pressure and reduced stress levels, it can also be an important tool for people who have suffered physical, emotional and/or mental traumas. Needless to say, these people are in considerable pain that often they find difficult to cope with. Singing, as a visceral activity, therefore helps them become more grounded, and blocks many of the neural pathways through which pain travels.
Learning proper breathing techniques is also an important wellness tool, particularly for patients with cardiac or respiratory problems. Deeper, more regulated breathing can certainly help people with these conditions, especially as there is an oxygen level increase in the bloodstream.
Some people say that they cannot sing, that they have a "tin ear". In other words, they cannot translate the notes that they hear into recognizable and pitched singing sounds. This is usually because they have been repeatedly told this by different people when they were children (teachers, choir directors etc.), which is a kind of unnecessary brainwashing.
In fact, I have taught many students who told me they could not sing, and in all cases, I have disproved their theory and been able to get them to sing simple songs reasonably well over time.
I remember one adult student in particular, who came to me and swore that he could only sing one note and that he doubted I could do anything for him. So I tested him and he was correct - he could only manage the E below middle C! However, with patience and perseverance over a period of one year, he was able to sing a whole octave (8 notes) and therefore sing some simple folk songs. He couldn't stop smiling!
Vocal Health Tips
If you are considering using your singing voice on a regular basis for any reason at all, then it stands to reason that you have to take care of it so that it does not fail you when you need it.
Here are some tips to help your voice stay healthy:
Drink lots of fluids, mainly water but not too cold.
Consider using a humidifier if you live in a dry environment.
Do not smoke.
Do not drink alcohol, coffee or have any dairy before a performance.
Avoid long conversations and unnecessary screaming.
Wash you hands lots and use a sanitizer as hands can carry germs to your throat.
Learn to breathe correctly so that you sing with diaphragm support.
If the weather is cold out then wear a scarf around your throat.
What's The Verdict?
If you have read and enjoyed this post, then you must surely realize just how much the art of singing needs to be part of your wellness regime. We have looked at many ways that singing can be a vital tool in everyone's lives, from soothing newborns to helping seniors with dementia, from being an aid to autistic children and adults to making believers of people who think they cannot sing at all.
Above all, you can sing at any time or place without cost and have the most fun ever, whether you sing in a group or on your own, regardless of the genre of music you prefer.*
*Please leave any comments or questions in the box provided below. If you found value in this post please feel free to share it with your network. We would really appreciate it. If you purchase anything through a link in this article, you should assume that we have an affiliate relationship with the company providing the product or service that you purchase, and that we'll be compensated in some small way at no extra cost to you.
*Lynda and I have designed an amazingly simple and effective singing course for beginners that we believe will help you get the voice you've always wanted. Check it out HERE