- It is a given, we are not singing in the choir for material gain. In fact, once too many, we find people and eventually ourselves too, shelling out some cash for this ministry. We sweat it out, we defer going home to attend the Saturday rehearsal, thus we go home very late afterwards; and what do we get? We get famished. We get so tired out. Get subjected to tantrums of the choir director perhaps. 🙂 Seriously now, “What’s in there for me?” one might ask. Well, read on.
- We develop healthier lungs (elevate our stress coping meter).
- We get in better shape (exude a vision of confidence and health).
- We elevate our singing prowess (learn many things and benefit from them).
- We get a “de-stresser” (release after a week of hard work).
- We get to cultivate an intimate circle of friends or “family” (positive emotional involvement).
- We go through the week with a new song in our hearts (people with music in their hearts tend to work more efficiently and productively).
- We feel better spiritually (seeing we have served the Lord).
Learning to negotiate very long passages in one breath can be very good for the lungs. We learn to inhale deeper, thus filling every nook and cranny of our breathing apparatus. It is very important to really pump up the lungs, so the experts say. Personally I notice singers breathe remarkably slower than the non-singers. I really did some watching and realized that the breathing exercises can really enhance the way one uses the organ. In fact, it is encouraged to breathe deeply and slowly. It can be learned actually and become an acquired habit. It is indeed good for you.
As choristers, we find it very vital to sit and stand properly. For sure, your choir conductor had encouraged you to acquire the habit. And if you are one to most likely heed his advice, you can be observed to stand more impressively, sit without slouching, and walk elegantly-all images of health and confidence. If only for these things, choir is worth all the trouble.
As days and months pass, we notice development in our singing proficiency. Non-singers tend to tire up easily as they sing. Notice also that they frequently “trip over” the fast songs, they occasionally cough here and there, or altogether stop in the middle of singing. The singers, having been exposed to varying speeds of songs, reading music and lyrics at the same time, build up stamina and cope up more easily than the average individual. On top of that, did you notice that singers have a more commanding voice and a more polished vocabulary?
Once in a while, one needs to express himself and “de-stress”, especially after spending a week in front of a monitor, or of scanning heaps of prescribed school reading, or simply for sitting through hours of traffic on the way to school or work. We need to “let off steam,” but of course, in a positive way. Singing out loud in the vocalization routines is good enough. And songs, having “peaks of emotion” at one or two places will bring the singer to an elevated sphere where he somehow finds release from the gathering burnout.
As we huddle, and labor, and perform together, asking and giving each other support and know-how, we get attached to each other on a deeper level. Thus, meaningful relationships (no pun intended, really) result. It is very much anticipated that everyone eventually opens up to one another, thus, breaking the walls of animosity and self-consciousness.
I remembered an officemate way, way back. She sings and hums all day long as she breezes through her work. She is a Christian after all, and a part-time singer at her church choir. She brings the sunshine in the otherwise drab office we happened to work in. There is an innate smile to her countenance, bless her.
Ask any choir member what makes him/her remain in the singing ministry. Most likely, many of them will cite the spiritual benefits they gain. “It’s a great thing to serve the Lord, walking in the light of God.” So goes one famous praise and worship song. It is a booster actually. Knowing in your heart that somehow, you have given back to the Lord something out of His many blessings to us.
If you will notice, singing blesses the choristers (and all regular singers as well) threefold. Our first four advantages address the physical; fourth and fifth attend to our emotional well-being; and finally the spiritual blessings as told in the final two.
Finally, being able to perform in front of people develops stage presence which can be very useful in one’s performance in school or workplace. Personally, I have observed that young people who are active in church ministries like the choir perform better in academics.