The quick answer is YES!
Now, I don't want to put people off having individual singing lessons. Singing lessons are extremely useful for those wanting to understand their voice better and those wanting to hone their vocal skills, but there are other ways of getting your singing fix without having to pay full whack for individual singing lessons.
The best way I know is to join a choir. There are so many different kinds of choir out there these days, choirs for women, choirs for men, classical choirs, pop choirs, rock choirs, choirs that sing sea shanties or folk songs, musical theatre choirs and everything else in between. There is something for every musical taste out there.
It is well documented that singing is beneficial for our mental health and general well-being. Endorphins are released when we sing which should, in theory, make us happy. So let's go through a few simple reasons to bite the bullet and join a choir.
1) Feel better!
Singing releases endorphins. Endorphins are a chemical created in the brain that give us that warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Apparently there is a tiny organ in the ear called the sacculus which is activated by the frequencies created when we sing, it doesn't matter if you sing well or badly this little organ will still make you feel fabulous! Why join a choir though? Surely if singing just makes us feel better we can do that at home or in the car or in the shower.
2) Singing is best shared
Of course you can sing on your own with nobody listening (or judging) but it can be so thrilling to sing in front of people or with people. It can feel good to feel the adrenaline coursing through your veins and joining the alto* section of your local choir can give you this feeling. It's scary but the deep sense of achievement you will feel afterwards makes it all worthwhile. *applies to all voice types!
3) Banish your demons!
Many people want to sing but many have traumatic memories of singing as child. Specifically being told they can't sing. I have heard stories of people being told to mime the words or being asked to leave the school choir because they were "ruining it for everyone else". Don't let this stop you now. Explain your concerns to any potential choir leader and they will help you get over any hurdles. Choir members don't tend to join choirs to judge other people so don't let that stop you giving it a go.
4) Try something new
Perhaps you have never sung before and want to do something out of your comfort zone. Perhaps joining a choir is on your bucket list. Bite the bullet and do it. Even if you decide it's not for you at least you can say you gave it a go! One thing I would say is, unless you absolutely hate the experience, you should try going for two or three sessions before you decide to throw in the towel.
5) Meet new people
Choirs could be full of like-minded people just waiting to befriend you! Depending on your circumstances you might find it difficult to meet new people. A choir is the perfect place to do this. As well as singing you'll find you have time during a rehearsal to chat and get to know your fellow choir members. Joining a choir could be just what you need to find your tribe, plus you get a hobby at the same time. Two birds, one stone.
6) Be confident
As we get older we can lose our sense of self and the fearlessness we might have experienced and enjoyed when we were children. We need to rediscover that daredevil that lives inside us and what better way to do that than by joining a choir. If you are nervous about singing a choir is a great place to start. There's safety in numbers and the support you will feel when singing with others will lift you up like nothing you have experienced before.
So there you have it, if you don't fancy the idea of singing on your own in a singing lesson go and enjoy the feeling of safety in numbers and join a choir! Google is your friend, use it to find choirs in your local area.
If you identify as female, love show tunes and live anywhere near South Croydon in Greater London why not consider joining the choir I run, Songsations. Visit songsations.net for more info. New term starts on Tuesday 9th January 2024.