Are you an aspiring singer? Looking for a fun way to meet new people or try something different? Or are you interested in boosting your own confidence or escaping the stresses of daily life in a safe and understanding environment? If so, this is just the session for you! Beginning this Thursday 14th September from 6:00 – 7:30pm, we welcome women of all ages, backgrounds and abilities into GWL to celebrate singing, womanhood and happiness through the collective power and togetherness of the female voice. Sessions will run every fortnight at 6pm until December 7th, with each individual session exploring the link between singing, movement and particular aspects of our personalities, happiness and music as a fundamental aspect of our overall quality of life.
That singing makes us happy is a fact. Indeed, psychologists have long been espousing the value of singing, both alone and as part of a collective, to our mental well-being and stability. The benefits can be extensive and far-reaching, both in a community and individual sense. Music has long been used in ubiquitous cultures throughout the world in healing rituals of both the body and the mind, and is currently popularly utilised as a therapy to relieve of mental illness and the stresses of the modern world. Indeed, song is one of the most powerful tools for both clinical and self-therapies due to its inherent accessibility and proven track-record of being a tremendous way to distract a busy, anxious or worried mind. Singing has been shown to immediately increase feelings of happiness and optimism, with research finding that people feel more upbeat and confident after actively singing than they do after talking about some of their happiest memories. This dramatically improved mood derives from the immediate release of positive neurochemicals such as β-endorphin, dopamine and serotonin in our brain, giving us a high, joyful feeling.
On top of this, singing, being synonymous with groups or choirs, often introduces us to a sense of community and interpersonal connection. Increasing evidence suggests that this, too, plays a vital role in aiding mental health, with recent research by PLOS medicine finding that this sense of belonging and community can have more health benefits than quitting smoking. The desire to raise our voices gathers groups of like-minded individuals to sing and work on creative programs where every member is valued. Voices are raised together, not separately, and through this you might meet new friends or find someone in a similar situation as yourself, looking for the same kind of reassurance and support. Even if we don’t extensively interact or get to know everyone in the choir, evidence shows we still experience beneficial feelings of being connected and belonging to something bigger than ourselves.
There’s even preliminary evidence that has shown that expressing musical abilities can play a role in the upkeep of a healthy immune system by boosting the Immunoglobin A antibody and reducing the stress hormone cortisol. A healthy immune system is important not only for physical health, but for our mental health, too.
We are extremely excited to be offering this program here at GWL, and hope that we can create something magical, joyous and powerful from it. Singing taps into our emotional sensitivities, resonating with and touching us in ways very little other kinds of creative media can. Through singing, we can ask pertinent, exploratory questions of ourselves and the world around us. Accessing our feelings, both conscious and subconscious, through music helps us learn new things about our personalities, hopes, dreams and gives us a platform to express and confront our fears as both women and individuals.
We hope to see you on Thursday!