OK In Health - Maria

Singing Makes You Feel Good! - May 2020

By Michelle Bailly, Kelowna, BC

Woman's lips singing

Have you ever found yourself singing in the shower or car? You have? Why? Because singing makes you feel good!

Everyone can sing. To learn, we don’t need to manufacture special sounds or train to sing in a mechanical way. We need only align our body and emotions to make our natural sound spontaneously. This creates beneficial effects for our emotional and physical health.

Singing and songs are an integral part of every culture. In traditional societies like African tribes or in Ireland, where I spent 23 years of my life, everyone sings - the songs are for everyone no matter the voice, and bring the community together in sadness and in joy.

In singing we release and express a full range of emotions and in fact it is one of the few areas where the exploration of these emotions is actually accepted. But for many of us more contemporary people, singing has become a speciality for professional singers while the rest of us listen. We expect to be sung to. It’s almost like we’ve become dependent on other singers to supply us with an emotional experience that we’ve shut away.

What happened to our culture that we’ve grown uncomfortable with singing? The bible says to ‘make a joyful noise”. So why are we musically so quiet?

Perhaps it’s because we have unrealistic standards of what constitutes a “good” voice, derived from recordings produced by less than 1% of the population who have what our culture defines as the “best” sounding voices. Has singing become something you avoid because of negative messages you received about your apparent inability to sing?

If the magic of singing shows us how to explore the full range of our emotions, then one thing we can do to express ourselves completely is to discover the singer within ourselves.

I believe we are all born equipped to sing. It is an ancient wisdom. Just watch & listen to little children to discover the truth of this. Like birds, they simply open their mouths and let whatever sound is there come out without censorship, without shame and with total in the moment awareness.

Perhaps it is our internal ‘critical judge’ that stops us. Becoming self critical when you sing can knock you out of the state of easiness which will help you to develop and enjoy your singing.

Instead of agreeing with the internal critic or fighting with it, try some laughter sounds with it. Try a few ho hos, ha has, and hee hees.

You can also develop an internal ‘voice coach’. Your internal voice coach is absolutely lavish and extravagant in its praise and encouragement of your vocal singing exploration. Your coach not only says all the right things, it says them in a kind, enthusiastic and motivating tone of voice.

Practice:

Set aside 5 to 10 minutes a day to play around with body and voice exercises. Maintain a sense of your body as a whole and of letting go while you vocalise. Whatever note you make, fully enjoy it even if it is not the note you expected to make! Soon enough you will find that the sounds you hear inside your head and the sounds you hear yourself actually making will come into a closer and closer correspondence.

  • Do a few vocalised aahhs
  • Play around with the volume - a bit softer, a bit louder (without pushing or straining)
  • Play with the pitch - a bit higher and lower
  • As you vocalise the aahh gently bring your lips together to make a humming sound. Allow your breath to return effortlessly between aahhs. You may notice a subtle tingling or buzzing feeling spreading across your lips and face. This feeling may spread to other parts of your body - throat, chest, fingertips etc. This tingle is associated with muscular release and increased peripheral blood flow.
  • Sing a song. Sing several songs.
  • ‘Act as if’.....you’re an opera singer when you sing your favourite song. Or like Mickey Mouse.......or like Marilyn Monroe....play like a child again.
  • Find the songs that connect you to your fear, anger, sadness, joy and compassion. Express them

Singing is a simple, immediate way to free the flow of feeling and to keep it flowing day after day. Awaken the singer in you, not with the aim of becoming a professional singer, but just to become a fully functioning human being.




Michelle's Bio: Michelle Bailly has worked as a singer, television and radio presenter in Canada and Europe. She is a Master Practitioner & Certified Trainer in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and has over 23 years working in training and development with companies, community groups as well as individuals. Tel: Kelowna: 778 755 0031 or Cell: 250 215 7019 - Email


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