by Rose de la Font and Aagash Vadera
You know that feeling when you’re singing in the car, or in the shower, or while doing the dishes,
or putting up the laundry? Belting out a banger, wherever and whenever that may be, seems to
dissolve the nuisances of the outside world (if only until the end of the song). It leads to some sort
of boundless bliss that only you are privy to. Everyone has a soundtrack to their life, and being
the architect of both is a satisfying freedom.
Well - take that feeling, multiply it by 50, and you approach the heights of joy reserved for CHOIR!
There has been in recent times a change in the public attitude towards communal singing
activities. No longer exclusive to church hymns, it has become a serious (and not so serious)
hobby in its own right. Choirs are certainly having a moment in the sun. Now that the sun-dappled
courtyards are ready to welcome the gaggle of choral sounds, it seems appropriate to make the
case for why we all should be engaging with our inner Gareth Malone. So here follows three of
many reasons (the aforementioned notwithstanding):1. It’s good for you
Choir improves your physical, emotional, and social well-being. That may be three reasons in
one, but it stands to bear: the benefits of choir to the individual are myriad. The fundamentals of
healthy singing include controlling your breathing, maintaining a good posture, and releasing
tension in your body. Singing is a stress-reliever, confidence-booster and friend-maker. It’s a shot
of mental alertness, improving your concentration and memory. In a choir, there’s no choice but to
be in the moment, as part of a whole, with the same goal as those around you. It’s mindfulness in
2. It’s good for the people around you
Choirs don’t just sing together; they laugh together, mess up together, sound like a racket
together and have fun together. If there’s a part of you that is apprehensive about singing out loud
in a group of strangers there’s solace that it’s mutual - the fear is shared, as is the joy! What’s
more, the mind that’s always curious, learning, and looking for new hobbies is a happier one. And
if you can share that hobby with others, isn’t that better?
3. It’s good for the communitySociety seems to have cottoned on to the indispensability of communal activities. The essential
nature of people to come together, in whatever form, simply for the feeling of being together,
without a screen to mediate (or a mute button), is crucial to our wellbeing, and recent events have
only amplified this. Choir is a fun, healthy and social way to explore a new hobby that may leave
you feeling like an interconnected node in a network. I won’t go as far as to say it’s the elevation
of the individual to a kind of collective consciousness, nor that the transcendence itself is a kind of
magic, nor that it leads to all your worries being momentarily suspended in devotion to a greater
goal. That would be a bit dramatic!
After all, it’s only choir.
Rose is a singing and piano teacher with a passion for choirs. If you are interested in joining one
of her new community pop choirs based in Altrincham and Chorlton you can find more information
on her website: www.ilikesinging.com/choirs