by Abby Lambert
To celebrate the holiday season, a few Pivoteers and our neighbors from Africa New Life got together to sing Christmas carols. The majority of the Pivot/Africa New Life choir members are not serious singers—we just like to sing with others. Our group is very small (fewer than eight singers) and some of us are switching parts to accommodate a lack of voices in certain ranges. I usually sing Alto 2, but have moved down to Tenor due to a scarcity in that area.
Our first concert consisted of two Christmas carols sung merrily—without instrumental accompaniment—during a holiday lunch. Our choir “director” Ian Doescher led us through the music and helped us keep it together. While I can’t say we are ready for America’s Got Talent, I think we did very well considering how little time we had to prepare.
Here’s what I liked most about this experience:
- Singing is the easiest way to make music—the only instrument you bring is your own voice.
- We sing for the fun of it. We’re not professionals. Who cares if we don’t hit all the notes perfectly every time?
- Many of the individuals in this choir don’t work alongside each other, but we came together to make music. Randomly wonderful.
How about you? Even if you aren’t a good singer, consider joining a choir. Here are some interesting choir facts:
- Singing in a choir is more than just a bit of fun. It’s been scientifically proven that it is good for your health: from getting more oxygen into the blood, to increasing the flow of feel-good hormones and improving mental health.
- Research has found, for example, that people feel more positive after actively singing than they do after passively listening to music or after chatting about positive life events. Improved mood probably in part comes directly from the release of positive neurochemicals such as β-endorphin, dopamine and serotonin.
- And, if that’s not enough, a study carried out by the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital has proved that snoring can be reduced simply by singing!
This holiday season, I recommend singing more carols with family and friends. At the dinner table, in the car, around the tree…wherever the mood strikes you. Singing celebrates life. Plus, it makes you and others feel good.
So go for it: “Fa la la la la, la la la la….”