SINGING Therapy anyone?

There are a lot of advice given how you can cope with and manage with stress, but here’s one thing I do which has always helped me: SINGING!

One of the best ways I cope as a mom is to blurt out a song. Sometimes I catch myself singing to Journey, Queen, Scorpions, Aerosmith…. and the cheesy love songs by Gloria Estefan, Olivia Newton John and Madonna!

Singing is so inclusive. Every segment of society sing: amateur & profesisonals, rich & poor, young & old, educated and uneducated. When it comes to singing, there is no divide!

Here’s a feel-good ‘academic’ paper I came across: A comprehensive research by the Department of Cognitive Psychology, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw found that most amateur singers (that’s you and me!) can carry a tune just as accurately as trained professionals, suggesting that singing may be as universal a human trait as talking. This proves that majority of individuals can carry a tune with remarkable proficiency. Hurray for MOMS!

This means you and I can actually be really good at singing while we enjoy it and reap the health and social benefits. Scientific studies have supported the benefits of music to health. Everything from relaxation to energy to increase in focus. Therapeutic to a point! There are, in fact recognised disciplines such as art therapy, music therapy, drum therapy.

So why has singing therapy not taken off?

Perhaps the setback happens when people initially feel disconnected in language or genre. But if you think about it: music and singing are quite universal. Regardless of language, culture or genre, singing can express and share emotions – something that today’s society needs more of with an increasingly hi-tech, low-touch culture.

At a karaoke event I attended in Finland, a student from Angola (a country in South Africa where they speak Portuguese!) sung an Italian song. 99% of the audience has no clue what the lyrics are saying but everyone could sense the sincere longing of the singer for his loved one. No need to understand the langauge!

I enjoyed a Mexican song for the upbeat and engaging feel. My guess is that the singer is celebrating the beauty of her nation and people. Hey, I’m all about celebrations!

Would you agree with my observation that there is a hidden desire to sing in most people? We watch concert artistes and secretly want to be on stage with an adoring crowd enjoying our music. Oh to share my music and feel appreciated by an audience!

If you’re one who tried many different adventures – scuba diving, parasailing, skydiving, swimming with sharks, offroad racing – give me a shout out if singing has never left your list of interests.

Music creates magic in our lives. It heals, soothes, relaxes, energises and keep you company. Singing makes it even more participative! You own the song… it doesn’t have to be your story, it just has to be your song. I enjoy a nice rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody... and I don’t have to see someone on death row to feel connected to the song!

I have never had formal voice lessons but that doesn’t stop me from taking on the mic on karaoke night. Let me just share some basic tips you may want to start with:

  1. Love the sound of your voice. Learn to appreciate your voice. You may not be a Celine Dion but hey you’ve got a voice. And that’s the first step to singing your song.
  2. Practice… and Practice some more. Not sure about ‘practice makes perfect’ but practice will definitely make you better at singing. Less nervousness, more confidence.
  3. Take risks… yes, experiment and try other songs. Don’t just sing your signature song. There a million other choices for you to try. How about learning a song in foreign language? Dare to take a stab at Despacito, anyone?

Singing with friends, sharing fun times, enjoying your kind of songs while everyone supports everyone. I guess this is the magic that is karaoke. Sing, perform and share! It is your music anyway, it’s your song.

This is singing therapy in action! It’s inclusive, it’s easily accessible and the karaoke audience lends you the support needed when the fear of not being good enough starts to overcome.

Singing therapy may not be an exact science but it definitely works! Much like shopping therapy or pet therapy… scientists and researchers may not call it real but to us who have benefitted from it – it’s real as real can get!

Let me know if you agree or have other thoughts about singing therapy.


About the Author:

Elle is a single mother of 3 boys. One of her dreams is to take 6 months off and embark on a leisurely road trip from Singapore where she is based, all the way to London. She is waiting for her boys to grow old enough so she can have alternate drivers for the trip while they learn different cultures, enjoy food and marvel at the sights of countries along the way.