“Imagine that a high beautiful sound effortlessly comes out of you, which fills your body and fills the room. Imagine that after this sound is released, your whole body tingles, feels energetic and alive. Imagine that you finally release the tension that has been locked in your body for years.”[i]
This could be you. You don’t have to be a well-trained singer or have the voice of Celine Dion to experience this elation of self-expression; you just need to open your mouth and sing.
So how does singing really help us strengthen our ability to be self-expressed? What’s so great about expressing yourself anyway? And what can you do to start today?
We all have a need to express ourselves. Feeling heard, supported, and understood all contribute to our overall well being. When we are not able to express ourselves for whatever reason and/or block, often all parts of our lives suffer, from our intimate relationships with others to the relationship we have with ourselves.
Often the blocks around self-expression start at a young age. Someone or something happens to you and you shut down that part of yourself in protection. It is difficult to open back up again. But singing is an act that taps into your subconscious, through breath and speech, and pulls expression out of you. Hence creating a platform for self-expression that is innate and powerful, with the ability to break through the inner barriers that sometimes seem impossible to overcome.
Singing is a vulnerable act to many. But it is that vulnerability that creates the space for your inner expression to come through. Biologically, singing levels your heart rate, calms your nervous system, and releases serotonin, creating a state of relaxation that will allow your subconscious to feel safe enough to begin to reveal itself. In the beginning of a voice lesson, my students are often self-conscious, timid, and doubtful, and I see these inhibitions quickly lift as we dive into creating a safe place for singing and a structure of vocal exercises to strengthen their voice and confidence. I witness this confidence slowly translate to all other areas of life.
Music therapist, Cheryl Jones MMT, explains, “Self-expression can help articulate their individuality and identify their sense of self. Music has proven to be an effective tool in providing opportunity for self-expression. Because of music's unique characteristics and its strong emotional qualities, it can be a powerful form of self-expression: both verbal and non-verbal.”[ii]
You don’t have to perform in front of crowds or have the most amazing voice to benefit from singing. Once you start singing, you will find that feeling of release translates into other parts of your life. You start to not be afraid of the open vulnerable feeling of hearing your own voice and your own self-asserted opinion. And the beautiful thing is, you don’t have to over think the process. It just happens over time. When you sing in an environment that allows you to feel safe and open, joy creeps in.
So start today...
Start with breathing. When you create confidence and strength in your breath, your power source, you calm your body to a state of greater relaxation and you support your tone and pitch for healthy strong singing. Click here to watch my video on correct diaphragm breathing to learn a quick trick you can apply today.
Sing. Find a safe place in your home, (I personally love to sing in my car), find a song you love and sing along.
Other options: Join a local choir and/or take private lessons.
* It is not necessary to have a vocal teacher in order to benefit from singing. But if you choose to, find a teacher who will help develop your voice and support you on this path to greater connection between the mind and body, it will help you hold yourself accountable for growing in this new practice!
For more info on singing, vocal lessons, and music with Sonnet, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
[i] Alina, Jenson, “Singing Therapy”, New Connexion, Sept. 2002, http://newconnexion.net/articles/index.cfm/2002/09/singing.html