From the third trimester, scientists say that babies hear and respond to music in the womb. Before that, they can feel the rhythm of their mother’s heartbeat and the moans and groans of her internal organs. The heartbeat becomes a calming, comforting, familiar sound for new-borns. They also recognise music that was played to them in the womb. Listening to classical music can have a positive impact on the brain development of young children. Playing an instrument is even better for the brain at any age.
Nobody teaches us to sing to small children but most of us do. If a child doesn’t hear certain frequencies by the age of five, they are unable to replicate them which can lead to being tone deaf or to have a limited vocal range and ability.
Music heals. Have you ever noticed that some people moan when they have a stomach ache? Those low tones help to heal the impaired organ. Dementia patients often repeat the same sounds. This helps the brain to heal. Autistic children sometimes learn better by hearing information via singing.
Singing releases endorphins (happy hormones) in the bloodstream. I have heard many people say that they attended my singing workshops feeling low or depressed and leaving happy. I have even had profoundly disabled people who can’t speak, attend singing and signing sessions and leave with a smile on their faces after soaking up the soundwaves and good vibrations in the session. On the other hand, sensitive souls have cried when more melancholic songs are performed or cried with empathy, as moving songs are rendered. Because of this, I try to stick to happy songs in most of my sessions.
Diaphragmatic breathing, which is part of every good warm-up for singers, lowers blood pressure, calms nerves, heals and resets the Vagus nerve, the wondering nerve which connects every organ in the body.
Each tone and word we speak or sing cause balance or imbalance at the cellular level in our bodies. Dr. Masaru Emoto Hado, a Japanese scientist, found that one word or thought can affect water molecules which are frozen, then looked at under a microscope. Think of a single snowflake and the beautiful and unique pattern each one has. When the words are positive, like peace or love, the pattern is beautiful in the frozen water. When the words or emotions are negative, like anger and hate, the patterns are distorted. Music genres have the same effect.
We are made up of 60% water. Water has a memory on a molecular level and carries messages. Armed with such knowledge, we should be mindful to use our words and thoughts carefully and positively. We can, therefore, use music as a tool to heal and change atmospheres for our benefit.
When you attend one of my singing classes, expect to breathe deeply, to relax, laugh, warm-up your upper torso, perform scales and tongue twisters and sing happy and meaningful songs from around the world. We also eat pizza and socialise. Participants have made new friends, learned new skills and were happier and more vital than when they arrived.