5 Ways Singing (and Music) Can Support Your Journey to Happiness

It’s a well-known fact that singing makes you happy.

How do I know this?

Well, there are scientific reports that prove it here, here and here

But I know that singing has a positive impact on well-being, mental health and confidence because at Services For Education we have 30 vocal staff (including myself) who teach 17,000 students each week across the West Midlands and these students tell us that the work we do makes them happy and changes their life for the better.

“ I felt sad before my lesson and now I feel happy”

“I feel proud of myself when I sing”

“ I can’t explain it but since singing lessons I’ve had so much more confidence in life, let alone just my lessons”

You don’t have to be a scientist and understand why music or singing makes you happy or makes you feel better, just recognise it and keep on doing it because it’s good for your wellbeing… it’s as simple as that.

Here at Services For Education, singing plays a big part in our mission to enable, enhance and enrich music education and as such, we wanted to reflect and share our journey with you so far and how singing (and music in general) can enhance your life.

1. Singing Your Heart Out Feels Great

You know that feeling you get when you sing your heart out to your favourite song on a long drive? (I know you’re smiling right now ….) We all do it and so we should – keep it up! (We’re not watching, promise…)

We sing as if no one can see or hear us, we are in a complete comfort zone and just having a great time.

Singers tend to be happy people because when we sing, we release endorphins, much like we do when we exercise. We are releasing the same chemical which is why it boosts your overall well-being. It should make you happier; make you smile.

Of course, not everyone has the opportunity to sing in a safe environment.

That’s where the SFE vocal team step in, to use the power of their voices to spread glitter and joy to the masses that truly need us, whether to improve mental health, language development or to ensure that happiness is a constant flow by creating a safe space for a child to just sing their favourite song.

In response to the #PermissionToSmile campaign in Birmingham that aims to encourage people to smile, greet and say hello, Sarah Baker, Vocal Composer in Residence at SFE Music wrote a Permission to Smile song that was performed by hundreds of primary school children over 5 nights (involving over 3,000 young musicians in total) at the world renown Birmingham’s Symphony Hall as part of Youth Proms 2019.

2. Promote Confidence Through Singing

 With singing, comes confidence.

You really would be surprised to discover what else you are capable of once you’ve performed a song all the way through, start to finish, in-front of … people !

The round of applause, the recipients’ smiles in response to your final note and the buzz as you realise, you did it and nothing bad happened, in-fact, something good happened – your learnt; you made yourself and others smile.

Think of the difference you could make to other people’s lives if you could encourage this mindset.

See your classroom literally, come to life and discover for yourself how voice can be used as such an inspirational tool for changing lives for the better and encourage positivity.

Build your confidence and enable yourself to deliver vocal lessons by promoting fundamental British values through singing and using voice to learn, you’ll be singing a celebration of success in no time !

3. Music Improves the Memory (and So Much More)

It has been proven that singing and music in general play a core role in the development of language, memory, listening and attention skills which is why music education is crucial.

There are children in the West Midlands who on average will have heard 30 million fewer words than those from affluent backgrounds. Imagine the difference singing could make to those children!

To help these young people, Services For Education targeted four of the most disadvantaged wards of central Birmingham offering a music making programme for 4-5-year olds called SoundTots.

It has had such a positive impact, that it is now entering phase 2 due to your support, thank you.

4. Musical Expression Can Shape a Young Person’s Identity

Creativity and expression are important in the development of a young person’s character, it helps to shape an individual and gives more opportunity of future happiness and identity, it allows the feeling of a sense of belonging.

This sense of identity will help to ground and motivate children for the rest of their lives.

Having supported delivery of our ensembles in Birmingham, the benefits are clear;  developing one’s musical genre knowledge further and allowing to build on leadership, social and team building skills in the formation of a musical band setting.

And most importantly, our pupils have great fun!

We give young singers the opportunity to express through Viva Vocals – Scratch Choir, an annual event forming a mass choir of songs learnt on the day and then performed to an audience at Birmingham Conservatoire.

There is no age cap on those wishing to sing, in fact it is very important that not only do we reach our younger generation but that we also make sure we look after our elderly generation to, as well as those with mental health concerns, encouraging musical expression beyond our youth.

We run community choirs, supporting those who will benefit greatly from avoiding loneliness by introducing them to new friends and just showing them a good time through the power of singing.

5. Cultural Significance

We need to be able to form our musicians of the future whilst they are young and inspire them to develop a career in the industry because ‘fact of the day’, the music industry helps the economy – churning a massive £5.2bn to the UK economy in 2018, according to Music By Numbers study published by UK Music.

Dance like no one is watching Sing like no one is listening and Live each day like it’s your last.

Summary.

To bring our song to an end, we’ve established that singing makes us happy but let’s emphasise a little, first shall we .

Music creates social bond, it improves physical and mental health. It’s a mood boost which is why we offer musical productions in schools and assemblies as well as school choirs and Music Wow Weeks saturating your entire school with music for a week.

Singing keeps you alert and acts as a distraction in some cases which is perfectly healthy.

Singing supports the development of memory; it has a calming effect and it’s also fun.

It improves your posture and breathing, and it allows you to explore a genre of different cultures and identity.

“Singing together with other people has scientifically been shown to enhance wellbeing, whatever age and circumstance. It is an all-inclusive, sociable activity which has the power to expand cultural understanding, educational knowledge and shared values. Our world needs this.” Anonymous

More information

I am (clearly) very passionate about singing and music in general and I love my job at Services For Education. I would love to share my passion for singing with you or your pupils. If you’re at all interested:

You can browse all of Services For Education’s services for schools here.

If you’d like to contact us about any of our music services, please feel free to email hello@servicesforeducation.co.uk or call us on 0121 366 9950.