A while ago, I wrote about being in a funk. I took my own advice, picked up singing again, and joined the Lakeland Choral Society. Rehearsal night is one of the highlights of my week.
I love everything that comes with singing in a group.
- Interacting with people of all ages and lifestyles.
- Feeling accomplished when I hit the notes in a difficult section of music.
- Watching others enjoy singing.
- Absorbing our director’s passion.
- Following his precise cues.
- Practicing different styles of music.
- Doing the warm-up exercises–deep breathing, stretching, massaging.
- Singing scales with different vowel sounds.
- Feeling refreshed at the end of it all.
All of these reasons–and plenty more–have scooped me out of my funk. I love to sing out!
As if singing in the choral group weren’t enough, shortly after joining LCS, our director informed us of an opportunity to sing in an opera with the Imperial Symphony Orchestra. Who would’ve guessed that singing in an opera–one of my bucket list items–could become a reality! Without a second thought, I–along with several other choral members–volunteered to be in the cast of the ISO’s presentation of Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci.
Sometimes, I felt way out of my league, and I wanted to quit, but I remembered why I volunteered–not just to sing, but to sing deeply, to feel the intensity of emotions in an operatic presentation. This was way more than singing opera in my living room, which I do regularly. This was singing opera with professionals and other people who love opera. This was experiencing the highs and lows of every aria. Many times while we were on stage, we forgot we were acting. Emotion overwhelmed us as we sang out.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience–one I’ll never forget. I treasure the intensity of it all.
It might seem an exaggeration, but to someone who struggles with depression, singing in general–and opera, specifically–has helped me release a host of pent-up emotions–sadness, anger, jealousy, internal strife, joy, mania. Whether it’s our weekly rehearsal or an opera performance, within two hours, I’ve exhausted my entire being in the most refreshing way. I sleep soundly.
Hard to believe?
Research shows music and singing have many benefits. Singing improves physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health. Singing in a group amplifies those benefits.
Even the Bible is filled with references to singing, commands to sing, and the power of singing.
Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. (Psalm 47:6)
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. (Psalm 95:1)
When they began to sing, the Lord threw the invading armies into a panic. (2 Chronicles 20:22)
I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. (Psalm 104:33)
All of God’s creation sings out.
All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name. (Psalm 66:4)
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:12)
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. (Psalm 96:12)
The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
Even Jesus sang.
So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve…. When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (Matthew 26:17-30)
You might not be interested in joining a choral group, much less singing in an opera. You might think you’re not even a good singer. Whatever your reservation, sing! Sing out! Incorporate singing into your life.
- Crank up the car stereo and sing along.
- Try karaoke.
- Sing in the shower.
- Practice singing the musical scales.
- Play singing games with your family. Instead of speaking to each other, sing!
- Sing the Psalms in the Bible.
- Sit in on a choral rehearsal.
- Take voice lessons.
- Sing along to operas like Pagliacci. Here’s a list of the top 50 operas.
- Join a choral group. (Have I convinced you yet?)
Whatever you do, whatever you feel, sing out! Sing for your health. Sing out for God. You were made to sing out!
Come alongside… Do you like to sing? Why or why not? What would it take for you to sing out? How can you incorporate singing into your life? What health benefits have you experienced as a result of your singing out? Comment in the box below where it says, “Leave a Reply.” Remember, you can comment anonymously.