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Sing for your Life

Singing is health food! It doesn’t matter what you sing, though it’s pretty well proven that Mozart comes in at a higher frequency than black death heavy metal. Just sing.

One thing we learn as professional singers is breath control, how to take in a lot of breath without making it sound like we are breathing, and taking it in to the abdomen where it can serve us best. Breath is life.

Most humans tend to breathe in to the upper third of the torso, in other words very shallowly. We can certainly stay alive in this way, but not in as vital and invigorated way as when we take big deep gorgeous breaths that bring Chi, or Prana energy to all parts of the body. There are marvelous Yoga and Buddhist breathing techniques that are aimed at this full body charge. I recommend Bone Breathing, which rejuvenates and connects us with our body in a remarkable way.

Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life. — Giovanni Papini

Breathe deeply, until sweet air extinguishes the burn of fear in your lungs and every breath is a beautiful refusal to become anything less than infinite. — D. Antoinette Foy

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. — Oprah Winfrey

Inhale the future, exhale the past. — Author Unknown

Singing strengthens the immune system

According to research conducted at the University of Frankfurt, singing boosts the immune system. The study included testing professional choir members’ blood before and after an hour-long rehearsal singing Mozart’s “Requiem”. The researchers noticed that in most cases, the amount of proteins in the immune system that function as antibodies, known as Immunoglobulin A, were significantly higher immediately after the rehearsal. The same increases were not observed after the choir members passively listened to music.

When I was actively singing in a large semi-professional choir, I noticed that it seemed like a drag to get to rehearsal and I had to force myself to go. By the time my husband and I would get home we were so fired up and wired from the singing of great music that we would end up staying up late talking about it. It revs the system and brings a great sense of well-being to a person.

I experienced profound spiritual moments performing classical music, embodying a sense of euphoria at being one with the music itself, and so deeply connected with my fellow singers.

I recall a performance that we did of Mahlers 8th Symphony, also known as the Symphony of a thousand because such an enormous amount of performers are required to perform it. The music was difficult to learn, and didn’t resonate with me particularly. When we got into performance though, some other magic came to bloom and it was one of the most amazing singing events of my life. We walked out of that hall exalted.

I remember one funny and salty singing teacher that I had saying to me,

“Great singing is better than sex. It really is.”

There are some physical similarities, truly. There is a full body rush that comes when everything comes together perfectly, you’re singing like God and so is everyone around you. Or when you’re doing a solo performance and get to wail some great high notes, there’s a feeling that can’t be described.

Singing is a natural anti-depressant, and stimulates the brain. If all you ever do is sing Beyonce in the shower, so what! Do it loud with joy, and you will feel better.

In this time of a pandemic of a virus that goes straight for the lungs, keep those lungs busy and happy! Sing, sing and sing.

I am in a place now where I sing primarily spiritual songs and chants, and it is such a beautiful way to connect with your inner self and with God. Singing is a lot more than making sound, it is a portal from the Divine, I believe. Great music, whatever your taste, is infinitely more than black spots on a page. It’s the Source pouring itself to us.

Kristin Strachan

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