Christmas Issue 116: Saturday 28th December – Singing


Singing on prescription?

Chatting birds

Everyone knows by now, (don’t they?) that there are significant social and health benefits to singing. Research is now showing that there are definite benefits for people with lung conditions, especially chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Check out this link:

Breath Easy singing groups are springing up at various hospitals and health centres around the country. I have a personal interest in singing as a therapy, as I have a lung condition which affects my breathing. Over the years I have noticed that I can no longer sustain a phrase, whether singing, or playing a wind instrument. The year where I had to teach trumpet in a Wider Opportunities class was quite a challenge, as I had barely produced a decent note at the pitch I was aiming at before I was gasping for the next breath! I am pretty sure that all the singing and moving around that I do in my teaching is a major factor in maintaining my health.

And another thing (this is a bit of a hobby horse of mine!): I think that one of the Most Important Things that we can ever do, as teachers, in our class music lessons, is to try and ensure that every child finds their “singing voice”, and preferably long before they become conscious that that haven’t found it yet. Community singing is so important, whether it is in a choir, or a school performance, or just at a football match, and to be excluded from it simply because someone thinks that they can’t sing is nothing less than tragic.



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