Singing is Good For You (and Me)

Sorry about the hat

Sorry about the hat

More catching up.

Yesterday – Saturday – I got to bed at 3:40am after driving across the country from Gatwick; I was dog tired to say the least.

Even so, at 8am I jumped out of bed, showered, ironed a shirt and was out of the door heading into town by 9am.

What could motivate me to me up and at ’em after only a few hours’ sleep?

I was off to sing publicly for the first time in my life since a school concert 30 years before.

Or, more accurately, the choir that I am a part of had been invited to ‘busk’ as part of The Big Busk, a relatively new music festival in Shrewsbury set up as a tribute to a busker who was killed in 2012 and to also raise money for a charity that supports homeless or vulnerable people.

I joined the choir late last year on the suggestion, no insistence, of my wife who felt that it was time I should socialise more in our little town. We’ve moved a lot around the country over the years. My youngest who is now 8 has lived in 6 houses and if you move about a bit, particularly if you know you’ll be moving again, you don’t really bother to make lasting friendships. Even though we’re really now settled with no plans to move again I guess I’d gotten out of the habit and wasn’t making the effort to form any connections in town.

There was also the fact that I’d been pretty miserable the previous year and even though things had improved massively it was her belief, as a former choir member herself, that singing socially was really good for the heart and soul.

“Bealers, just go already!”

It’s worth pointing out that another major blocker was the ‘fact’ that I figured I had a terrible voice and couldn’t sing. However, I already had a lot of great momentum from my now locked-in self-improvement regime and was a firm believer in pushing one’s comfort envelope and to also change my narrative.

Upon further prompting from a neighbour who is also a member I finally gave in and went along for a session and I was immediately hooked. No ‘god’ songs, no hymns, no ceremony, no lessons, just a bunch of people singing popular songs from all eras accompanied by someone’s iPod in the local British Legion hall.

Wow, talk about a free uplift, I left after the first session feeling great and with a skip to my step; I now go every week without fail.

It’s hard to describe the feeling you get doing it. There are lots of sources that extol the virtues of communal singing and I totally buy it. There’s also a great sense of community. I now know a lot more people in town and am starting to make some great friends.

I go because even after a bad day I feel better afterwards; it’s as simple as that.

So, that’s why I was motivated to get up early and get rained on in Shrewsbury singing to total strangers. We did two sets. One in the town square quite early and then another after lunch that was more impromptu and definitely even more fun. It probably helped that we were now warmed up.

If you have a local choir in your town I can’t recommend enough you going and giving it a try out.

It works for me!

Word count: 575.

Time: Around an hour, including wrestling with WordPress to embed a Facebook video. Felt a bit rushed if I’m honest.

This post is one of 30 I wrote daily during April 2016 as part of the 30 Day Writing Challenge.