How is everyone doing? I'm imagining you all in your homes, laying low and doing the right thing to protect your community through this Coronavirus pandemic, finding your own way with the strangeness which is life these days. Personally, I have found so much beauty in the slowness of these times, and the poignancy of directly perceiving our interconnectedness. And yet there is fear, and grief, and uncertainty, and collective anxiety that I feel deeply in my body as we all wait to see what happens next...
Singing has been a great solace to me during this time, and I'd like to offer some suggestions about how you might include singing in your daily life too. There are lots of proven health benefits to singing, ranging from an increase in endorphins (brain chemicals that cause feelings of happiness and wellbeing), to a decrease in cortisol (a stress hormone), to strengthened lungs, to improved blood flow and blood oxygenation. Plus, it's fun!
To get you started, here are 3 ways to integrate singing into your life right now.
1. Create a daily contemplative movement and voice practice to make friends with your experience and allow yourself to be just as you are. If you're looking for ideas, there is a lovely one that is part of my online course, The World Needs Your Voice!
2. If you need an energetic boost, find a song that can serve as an "anthem" to you, inspiring and uplifting you. If you are overwhelmed by strong emotions, find a comforting song that soothes you or allows you to go more deeply into your feelings. Sing it with the recording, with a karaoke track, or a cappella. As you sing, feel your entire body supporting you, and the earth below and heaven above. Feel your emotions moving through you and see if you might experience them as less stuck, more transparent and fluid.
3. If you’d like to experience the full power and flexibility of your voice, now is a great time to get in a daily rhythm of vocal strengthening exercises. If you are a current student of mine, you can use the exercises we’ve been working on in lessons. If not, there are lots of vocal warmups you can find online; two of my favorites are Isaac Cates and Anne Peckham. Challenge yourself to set aside a sacred 10-20 minutes in your day where you can be with your voice, with the intention of understanding it, making friends with it, and strengthening it. If you do this every day, you will be amazed at how open and strong your voice can become in a short time!
I am currently teaching voice lessons via Zoom. I've learned a lot over the last 2 weeks, and I'm surprised at how easily my students and I have become used to the new format! If you or your child would like to add some structure and joy during this time through voice lessons, please get in touch.
My deepest wishes for your good health. Please take good care of your hearts.