Singing has some awesome benefits. It gets your cardiovascular system going and it lowers stress. Singing makes you more aware of your diction, and other languages, other cultures, and other eras. Reading music (especially reading rhythms) makes your mind sharper. And sometimes, singers get rich and famous.
But I’d like to suggest we throw all those reasons into the back seat. Our LOVE of music-making is the driving forces behind our singing. The many other benefits are super-awesome, but we need to view music as an amazing tool to create wholeness and happiness, not as a means to achieve other ends.
A few weeks ago, I asked several young singers at a singing competition why they loved to sing. Here are some of their answers:
Singing allows me to express myself while connecting with others.
I enter a new world when I sing and it brings such joy to me.
I love to sing because it gives me outlets to be creative and feel invigorated.
For me, singing is a form of self-expression integral to who I am.
I enjoy singing and when I reach my goals I feel accomplished.
It makes me love my life!
Aren’t these awesome reasons?
So when we’re trying to land our "big break," or when we're trying to persuade school boards to incorporate more music programming into their school; or when we’re trying to convince our parents to pay for music lessons; or when we’re trying to recruit more singers for our church choir, maybe we could focus on the incredible gift of music-making, and not
the fact that music makes you smarter, or that music lowers your blood pressure, or a number of the other GREAT reasons. We need to remind ourselves and others that we sing because the music makes us feel alive and whole. What else (that’s legal and healthy) can promise that?
So why do YOU love to sing?
(If you don’t love to sing, why not? Would you like to experience some of the things the young singers expressed above?)
Write down the real reason you sing, and put the note on your bathroom mirror or somewhere that you’ll see every single day. Stay focused on that primary reason, because singing is often hard work, it’s sometimes humbling, and sometimes singers can be downright mean to each other. Please bless the world with your unique voice. The world needs more people willing to open up their soul and sing their truth. You’ve got this!
Please share why YOU sing in the comments, and forward this article to your singer friends, teachers, and colleagues.