During this lockdown, I have surprised myself by singing and humming more often.
Perhaps a gift from the Divine Three. Maybe just a self-affirmation for something positive.
The health benefits of singing are well documented:
- It releases feel-good endorphins
- It improves brain function – a plus for those of us with Alzheimer’s in the family line
- It is good exercise when done right – use your diaphragm, darlin’
- It lowers blood pressure
- It tones facial muscles – a positive since Botox injections are not essential surgeries
- It boosts immunity – definitely a given to help us avoid the Coronavirus
Songs seem to erupt from my vocal cords at the oddest times. One morning, I was fixing my hair and suddenly the Beatles “Let It Be” burst forth.
Another day, it was a little ditty my dad composed and taught me, “I fell in love with Jesus.”
“You are my sunshine” is another favorite, sung to no one in particular. Sometimes the cat. She is not impressed.
I have made a commitment to sit down at the piano more often and bang through a Beethoven sonata or play through a version of “Silent Night” my piano teacher once assigned me.
Traveling up and down the keyboard loosens muscles tight from the constriction of lockdown and forces my brain to focus on several tasks at a time.
One of the old hymns that currently cheers me is in the public domain. Sung by the Antrim Mennonite Choir, this version of “God Will Take Care of You” brings instant encouragement. Although written and sung in old English, the harmonies are so beautiful — I play it often.
Hurray for YouTube during this lockdown.
For those with little ones at home, singing together can be a fun family activity. In fact, many of us grew up with family singalongs — either in the car during travels or around the old upright in the living room.
Every year at Christmas, we had to perform before presents were offered. Sometimes it was an instrument we were learning to play. Often, it was singing something for the extended family.
And sometimes we were blessed to hear “Gott ist die liebe” sung by aunts and uncles.
Music is all around us: the trill as cardinals call their mates, a wind chime responding to the Kansas breeze, the cooing of a baby, background notes on a TV commercial, the hum of the refrigerator.
When we truly listen, we can hear different notes and volumes all around us.
But when the silence of lockdown stifles our hope, we can open our own vocal cords and find the song in our souls.
Keep singing, folks. Fight the virus with your songs.
©2020 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
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