With Winter just around the corner, the dreaded cold and flu season isn’t far behind. These bugs can wreak havoc with our voices and it’s important to know how to handle them.
Firstly, if you have a cold – DON’T SING. Your voice needs time to rest, trying to sing before it’s had that time to recover will only put them through unwarranted stress. Before trying to sing, make sure you try these tips to help your voice recover. Continue reading “How to deal with a cold”
Now that term is well and truly underway, we can stop telling you all the reason why you should join BIGMOUTH (you already know how fun it is!). Instead, as the cold weather rushes in, we thought it might be nicer to tell you how to take care of that voice you’re developing. Continue reading “5 tips to take of your voice”
Singing is incredibly vulnerable. We all want to be able to hold a perfect note, and the ability to produce a little melody on command is infinitely cool. However, many of us haven’t yet learned to use our voices effectively and thus we hide them away. We identify with out voices immensely, so when our voice is less than perfect we feel that we are less than perfect. A report in the American Psychology found out that we actually express more emotion with our voice than our face so it’s no wonder we want to guard them a little. Continue reading “Making friends: how choirs build social bonds”
We all know that singing in a choir can make you happier but in recent studies a whole host of other benefits have been unearthed. With the increase in happy hormones within our body, singing lowers blood pressure and stress levels but there is also evidence that suggests that taking part in a choir can alleviate the symptoms of depression, Parkinson’s and lung disease.
Fortunately for us our fearless leader Emily has worked with The Sidney De Haann Research Centre as a research assistant on their groundbreaking exploration of choirs and their benefits. Continue reading “The unexpected side effects of choirs”
Singing is one of those talents that everyone wishes they possessed. There’s something really satisfying about being able to belt out a solid note on command or to drop jaws at a karaoke night.
Unfortunately for many of us, we get taught that we can’t sing and that it’s better for us to politely step aside when the microphone comes our way. We get obsessed with the idea that unless we have a five octave range, we’re not cut out to sing.
However, this is the big secret. Everyone can sing, it just takes practice. Continue reading “Everybody Can Sing!”
If you’d have said the word ‘choir’ a few years ago, you’d expect eye-rolling or a glaze to fog up people’s eyes but in the last decade, choirs have taken on a very different tone (no pun intended). In the last ten years, Choirs have become cool.
Instead of focusing strictly on gospel affair, there’s been a swell of interest in choirs catering to more modern tastes, like Bigmouth Chorus and en Choir in Whitstable, covering rock, pop and soul songs with the power and versatility of a choir. It’s estimated that about 2.8 MILLION Brits have joined a choir, no doubt inspired by the shift in focus from classic music to more accessible genres. In fact, it’s not even unheard of for choir acts to find their way onto TV talent shows such as X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent. Continue reading “Choirs are cool!”
Some weeks ago we looked into how singing in a choir could help us to psychologically feel better within ourselves and improve our sense of wellbeing. This week we are going to delve into the physiological side of the argument; coming hand in hand with mental wellbeing, our physical health can be hugely impacted by singing in a choir, so here are just some of the benefits. Firstly, whilst “Exercise is one of the few activities in life that is indisputably good for us,” Daniel H. Pink tells us in his book, “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.” “Choral singing might be the new exercise.” It is thought that the practice of singing can increase your lung capacity, regulate your heart beat and increase the rate of release of endorphins (happy hormones). Research undertaken by Cardiff University even uncovered a secret within singing that could improve symptoms of lung cancer and Parkinson’s. A Music Professor Brenville Hancox “established, Skylarks, a choir aimed at people with Parkinson’s Disease. One of the participants in the choir explained how his voice had been strengthened, despite receiving a diagnosis of Parkinson’s five years earlier. Reasons for the improvement have been suggested as deep breathing and the extended use of the vocal chords.” Add all these impressive health benefits to those psychological benefits we discussed previously and singing in a choir sounds like a fantastic idea! You can give it a try at a free trial rehearsal or contact us with any queries.
Sources: CNBC, CMUSE, The Telegraph
Background reading: City Academy, BBC iWonder
Did you know that singing in a choir makes you feel better in yourself? Now, we’re biased, of course, but let’s have a look at some research from those who aren’t. Research published by the University of Oxford and the Cambridge University Press has shown that “people feel more positive after actively singing than they do after passively listening to music or after chatting about positive life events.” The researchers have put this down to the release of ‘happy’ hormones such as oxytocin and dopamine as well as reducing stress and decreasing blood pressure. Even a journalist from the Independent, Simmy Richman, who was invited to join Chaps Choir for a time to experience this first hand said that, “seeing the effect everyone’s voices were having left me quite overcome” and went as far as to say that he noticed his, “four-year-old son has been told that he can come and watch me sing and his excitement is contagious. It occurs to me how little our children see of us outside of our role as their parents. When we go out to work, we close the door on them or drop them off at school. They have little or no tangible idea of what it is we do when we get there. The knowledge that my son will see me in an entirely fresh context, taking my part in a public performance, makes me realise, momentarily, what it must feel like for the David Beckhams of this world. Hey kiddo, this is just one of the things your old man can do. Come and watch.” Sound interesting? Why not put the research to the test yourself and come for a free trial rehearsal or contact us with any queries.
Research: University of Oxford, Cambridge University Press, The Independent.