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3 Reasons Why You Should Join A Choir Right Now

3 Reasons Why You Should Join A Choir Right Now
This relatively small time commitment can offer big payoffs of a different kind -says Jaime Babbitt.

I know you’re all so busy living the dream regarding your singing careers. Booking gigs, meeting connected people, collecting Twitter followers and all that, but have you ever sung in a choir?

Have you ever lifted your gorgeous voice with lots of other gorgeous voices in a big beautiful room and felt the power, mojo and joy? If you have, you know. If you haven’t, consider taking a little time from your hectic life;

1. Your Chops Will Improve

Learning to maneuver your voice around gives you more colors for your vocal palette

Sometimes you’ll be… wait for it… reading music! Nice collective gasp I just heard from you rock singers. Bet you wish you’d kept up those piano lessons as a kid, huh? Don’t worry. Lots of choirs, like Nashville in Harmony, the one I’m in, perform simple contemporary selections and don’t have super-strict audition requirements. Some choirs even create mp3’s of the parts and practice at home.

Take this opportunity to train your ear, learn how to sing a harmony part (and hold on to it), and get used to being a fabulous vocal blender (blend is the whole point of choir singing). Learning to maneuver your voice around gives you more colors for your vocal palette.

2. Your Brain Will Remain Active

Learning new songs and making new musical memories is a great investment in your brain’s future. Neuroscientists have shown that musical memories engage broader neural pathways than other types of memories. That’s why hearing an old song can flood you with very specific emotions and visual cues. Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients routinely remember songs from their youth and it’s a beautiful phenomenon to witness (see my article on singing in nursing homes).

Additionally, doctors are now finding that singers have more circuit connections between the right and left sides of their brains than non-singers. Memorizing words (left brain function) and music (right brain function) could keep those nerve cells and synapses in excellent working order and that means more invigorating life experiences!Memorizing words (left brain function) and music (right brain function) could keep those nerve cells and synapses in excellent working order

3. Your Heart Will Soar!

I mean that both physically and emotionally. Firstly, singing is a bit of an aerobic workout. As you repeatedly inhale and exhale, your blood and muscles get oxygenated. Studies show that “feel-good” hormones like endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin are being manufactured at a higher level than when not singing! As these hormones increase, you feel happier; it’s like you ate a hot fudge sundae without having to worry about burning off the calories.

I can say from personal experience that being one of 150 voices banding together for common joy has brought me exhilaration I’d not felt in all my years of singing.

So sing. Sing a song. Sing out loud. Sing out strong.

Jaime Babbit bio

Jaime Babbitt is an-in demand voice teacher / vocal coach, session singer and performer who started as a Musical Director for Disney Records. Believing that no two singers are alike, Jaime assesses each client, providing personalized vocal tips and techniques relevant to their specific material for real-world application. Check out her book, Working with Your Voice. Email her at: jaime@workingwithyourvoice.com

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You can see more of Jaime’s articles here.

  • Ed Boland

    I too, although it has been a number of years enjoyed singing in choruses, choirs, and coral groups from an early age. This was a love of mine which I continued along side of my “paid gigs” all through my life. I not only had to learn the words but often in foreign and strange (to me) languages from Latin to Zulu. I never felt more alive, energized, and appreciative of the other members in rehearsals and the actual performances. It was, I dare say, as good as the best paid gigs in both the energy feedback from audience, and sense of “leaving it all on the stage”. I think that came from the inter-group energy and vibes that happen when a large number of voices become one. The phrase that comes to mind is total euphoria. I strongly encourage EVERYONE to engage in the experience regardless of future potential musical career plans or perceived vocal ability, it is a great time to learn and /or hone the voice and in the words of some one before me, if you can walk you can dance, and if you can talk you can sing !

  • Thanks for sharing, Ed! Ain’t it the truth!

  • Kathy Coneys Alexander

    so, so, so AGREE WITH YOU!!! Choirs are my happy place. The sheer power of being united and bonded to other music lovers though choral singing… there’s nothin’ like it. When I’m not in a choir, I go to church just for the group singing fix!

  • Yay, Kathy! Keep sanging!