On Thursday 19th March at the Shirehampton Methodist Church we were joined by talented singing tutors Anna and Misia from Gathering Voices who lead the group in a Singing Taster Session. The group started with a discussion of favourite music from the likes of Ella Fitzgerald to 60’s and World Music. Individuals were lead then in various warm up exercises before learning a beautiful African Song about a butterfly. No one needed to be able to read music as the group were taught by ear.
Chatting after it was clear to see that session gave a huge sense of personal and group achievement through being creative and learning something new.
"To learn something new and to be able to produce it in two parts as a harmony in such a short time, I thought that was very good"
"It was satisfying at the end to hear what we had produced"
"To learn something new and in a way make it our own"
The benefits of Singing are widely documented; from the positive impact on mental health and wellbeing to the physical benefits to breathing. Heart Research UK quotes findings that Professor Graham Welch, Chair of Music Education, University of London, that *Singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting.
Interestingly enough, one individual with asthma reported the positive impact singing has on her breathing. Others also reported the benefits physically.
"It helps you to breath"
"The exercise is good as well, you could feel it"
Individuals also reported feeling more relaxed.
Professor Graham Welch also states that *Psychological benefits are also evident when people sing together as well as alone because of the increased sense of community, belonging and shared endeavour.
This was so true to the session. It broke down barriers, bringing together a group of people that perhaps wouldn’t usually meet. Giving opportunities for individuals to share an interest and make new friends. It was about having fun, coming together and enjoying yourself!
Fancy joining us for a weekly Singing group? Get in contact with CDW Laura Burchett on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07930 559 293
* Reference: Heart Research UK, Professor Graham Welch, Chair of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, http://heartresearch.org.uk/fundraising/singing-good-you