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Singing becomes a form of therapy – Placido Domingo

Posted by on Vel 8, 2013

I'm glad I have asthma because I can come here.

I don’t think I’m usually one to boast, but so far, 9 out of 10 times when I go to a shop or the post office or whatever, most people don’t greet me as “ma’am” but as “miss”. And there’s a reason for that. First of all, great genes – my mum and deceased grandma looked at least 20 years than their age. But second of all, I would say singing. And during today’s practice session I thought about all the positive benefits that I myself have felt through singing on an everyday basis.

Breath easy

One of the most obvious benefits of singing is an improvement in breathing.  There are an infinite number of studies out there that corroborate an improvement in breathing due to singing, but the one that caught my attention was one done on Aborigines with asthma in Australia, which you can read about here. Personally, I can say this – last year I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis.  Sarcoidosis to the singer is what finger amputation is to the guitarist – the death knell.  However, precisely because of my singing, I didn’t feel the one of the most common symptoms – lack of breath – and thankfully still don’t.

Stand tall

Studying and playing the piano don’t make a good combination when it comes to your posture.  You could say that I was the Hunchback of Notre Dame during my university years.  But it was singing that finally made me sit up and notice of how bad my posture was.  And when I started taking my daughter to physiotherapy recently because of her bad posture the doctors commented on how good mine was.  You should recommend singing lessons to your patients, I told them…

Peter piper picked a pack of pickled peppers

Not the easiest sentence to say, especially after 3 beers :D  But after having practiced “mingen-mongen”, “lemingen-memingen” and a number of other tongue twisting exercises for years, “Peter piper” is now as easy as pie to recite, even after 3 beers!  And I remember when my daughter was in kindergarten and had problems pronouncing “r”,  I did a couple of exercises with her and hey presto, problem solved!

I believe in singing – Brian Eno

Sometimes, life can be more than a bit stressful when you have a husband, 3 children, a mother, 3 dogs, a cat, 3 turtles, a rabbit and an aquarium full of fish to look after.  Singing then becomes a form of therapy.  Or as I recently wrote in a Facebook status: “some people pray, some people meditate, I sing”. I cannot begin to explain how much singing helps me on a day to day basis, from strengthening my belief in myself to opening me up to new people and experiences to being an outlet for all my pent-up stress.   But I think that the statement that brings to home the power of singing is from the aforementioned Aboriginal study where one participant stated “I’m glad I have asthma because I can come here”.   That, dear friends, is the power of singing in a nutshell.

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