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15 benefits of singing that you probably didn't know...


People singing
Sing better, feel better!

It's no secret that singing makes you feel good - but did you know that singing with good technique can lead to incredible benefits in your physical, emotional, and social health? Here are 15 reasons why singing is good for you.

Physical Benefits of Singing

1. Singing improves your breathing

Whatever you're age or current physical condition, singing is an excellent form of exercise for your respiratory system. With proper technique you will give your lungs a good workout, strengthen your diaphragm and stimulate overall circulation. Even if you suffer from breathing problems, singing can help. The Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital in London introduced 'Singing For Breathing' classes after recognising the benefits of singing on patients with lung conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.

2. Singing lowers your blood pressure

Singing has a calming and relaxing effect which can help to decrease your blood pressure. According to a case-report appearing in an issue of Arthritis Care & Research, a hospital patient, whose blood pressure was too high for a planned operation, despite administering of the usual drugs, was able to calm herself down and lower her blood pressure readings through singing, and thus allowing the operation to go ahead.

3. Singing tones up your facial muscles

Singing exercises your facial muscles in unique ways when you sing, which can make your face look more energetic and lively.

4. Singing improves your posture

Posture is an important element of good singing. Standing up straight with your head, shoulders, back and hips aligned is all part of good singing technique, and the more you practice good singing the more your overall posture improves.

5. Singing relieves muscle tension

Practicing good technique is a great way to release stored muscle tension and a good routine will include many exercises to help release tension in the jaw, neck, shoulders and back area, which in turn helps to promote better singing.

6. Singing helps you sleep

ENT experts at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, believe singing can help strengthen throat and palate which help to reduce snoring and even symptoms of sleep apnoea. There's also strong evidence that singing lullabies to infants doesn't just help to encourage sleep, but it can also ease pain. Scientists at the University of Roehampton believe that music stimulates part of the brain that affects pain response levels in children.

7. Singing strengthens the immune system

Want to help your body fight off illness? Sing!! Research from the University of Frankfurt and Tenovus Cancer Care and the Royal College of Music, shows that singing for an hour significantly increases quantities of cytokines - proteins of the immune system - which can boost the body's ability to fight serious illness, as well as immunoglobulin A (S-IgA) - an antibody that plays a crucial role in the immune function of mucous membranes.

Psychological & Emotional Benefits of Singing

8. Singing lowers stress levels

Not only does singing help to release stored muscle tension, research from the University of Frankfurt shows that it reduces the amount of stress related hormones (namely cortisol and beta-endorphin) in your blood stream.

9. Singing is a natural anti-depressant

Singing is known to release endorphins, the feel-good brain chemical that makes you feel uplifted and happy but, moreover, singing is fun and can simply take your mind off the day’s troubles to boost your mood.

10. Singing improves mental alertness and memory

Singing improves blood circulation and helps oxygenate the blood stream. This in turn allows more oxygen to reach the brain, which improves mental alertness, concentration and memory. The Alzheimer’s Society has even established a “Singing for the Brain” service to help people with dementia maintain their memories.

Social Benefits of Singing

11. Singing boosts your confidence

Simply by enjoying the physical benefits of singing you will likely notice a gain in self-confidence but new singers will get a tremendous boost when they perform well and experience the praise from an appreciative audience. If you have ever needed to speak in front of a group of people you may have felt the anxiety or 'stage fright' that comes with it. Regular singing can help you control anxiety as well as help you to improve your overall presentation skills.

12. Singing broadens communication skills

It's not always about what you say but often about how you say it. Practising proper singing techniques can help to improve the way you sound as well as improving articulation and projection. It can help you to be more persuasive and to sound more authoritative. It can even help you to be more charismatic as people are drawn to the sound of a good voice. Furthermore, research suggests that music, at the early stages of childhood, is as important as learning to read or write. Experts believe that singing to babies helps to prevent language problems developing later on in life.

13. Singing can help you learn a new language

Research from the University of Edinburgh found that adults who sang words or short phrases from a foreign language while learning were twice as good at speaking it later. It is thought that the method of listening to words that are sung, and by singing them back, takes advantage of the strong links between music and memory.

14. Singing can widen your circle of friends

Whether you’re in a choir or simply enjoy singing karaoke with your friends, one of the unexpected benefits of singing is that it can improve your social life. It not only helps forge social bonds, it acts as an excellent icebreaker.

15. Singing increases your ability to appreciate music

Singing activity fosters your intellectual engagement with music. It helps you to understand musical structure, phrasing and tone colouring, as well as such things as pitch, rhythm and loudness. Through understanding your own potential you will begin to appreciate other singers and musicians, and you might even find yourself enjoying music you wouldn’t normally listen to!

Overall, these combined benefits suggest that singing is one of the most positive forms of human activity, supporting physical, mental, emotional and social health. Good singing technique builds self-confidence and promotes self-esteem. If you would like to experience the benefits of singing yourself, why not join a local choir or singing group such as The Cheltenham Singing Groups or your local Rock Choir. For personal tuition why not try one-to-one singing lessons with Rob Perry, voice and performance coach at www.singbettertoday.co.uk.

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