For the secret of eternity is in song…
O Robin, sing! And disperse my anxiety.
I listen to the voice within your voice
that whispers in my inner ear.
Singing and music are included in the “sacred arts”, deep experiences promoting a better awareness of everything around us, as well as our inner life, encompassing spirituality, creativitiy, emotions…
Sacred arts help us to heal our wounds, to better deal with living and relationships, to open up to new experiences, to understand and express ourselves freely.
I would like to tell you about the secret of singing.
Yes, singing has got a secret. Blooming into unexpected emotions.
This secret doesn’t lie only “between the vibration of the singer’s voice and the heartbeat of the listener”, as Khalil Gibran learns. The circle of emotions is much larger…it starts not only from the voice and the heartbeat, but also from the harmony of the whole body of the singer; it goes in the air, as a sound, sometimes along with images, scents or other feelings, and it reachs another body and another soul, that will vibrate in their turn.
The emotion turns into melody; then melody goes back to be emotion.
Story of a Mother
“God respects me when I work, he loves me when I sing”
My name is Grazia, I’m the mother of Cecilia, the founder.
I’m the mother of Costanza, Camilla and Clemente, too. And in some way the mother of my patients and of my hospital, where I work as a physician in internal medicine since many years.
Since I was a child I studied piano; then, on my own, I learnt to play guitar…I sang and played music so much, I tried to discover different musical styles and artists; I wrote songs and poems, that are shyly trying to get out of my drawer.
So, music has always been an important part of my life; but just in last years I really approached singing. Thanks to the growth of my 4 C, that allowed me to regain some little “me” time…and also because of a rheumatologic disease that made any physical activity very difficult.
So, nice and slow, starting by chance thanks to a dear friend of mine, I approached to singing and to its secret.
I don’t have the privilege of a natural talent in singing; my vocal chords are poorly acrobatic, and my breathing pattern is weakened by the rheumatologic problem…but I’m working to improve, to discover and transform my voice. Once I used it unawarely, now I’m trying to train it and to grow it; in my short spare times, with patience and love, as well as I tried to act while growing my children.
I remember a baby Cecilia, just few months old; we lived in the countryside, and while I was driving the car to go back home from Turin the night, in order to keep her quiet I used to sing nursery‑rhymes that I created, telling about her. And in her turn she practised those sweet and funny vocalizations by which babies discover their own voice…those sounds that mothers keep always in their heart. The first singing esperiences of life.
The physical reactions
“And what I don’t know, that I can sing”
(F. De Gregori)
Singing can teach us to give emotions and to get emotional.
When, singing, you immerse yourself deeply in a song, you often get so emotional that you experience physical reactions such as burst of heat, chills, goose bumps, lump in the throat, even weep. That happens especially when the music, or the words, or both, are associated to important experiences or memories. The combination of music with words, infact, boosts messages and feelings, and is a powerful weapon to revive memories, sometimes bringing us suddenly in a distant past. Sweet past or awful past; joy or sorrow; good spirits or melancholy.
Fortunately singing often arouses energy and happiness, sometimes so strongly that we can’t help dancing or moving in the beat. As if the body decided itself to follow music and words.
These reactions engage the singer, but they also rebound on the listeners; and everybody resonates in different ways.
A lot of salutary effects are ascribed to singing, and actually I’m experiencing them myself: improvement of breathing, posture and facial expression; reduction of fatigue, joint pain and muscle tension; mood enhancement.
Singing I concentrate and relax at one time; sometimes I start singing laboriously, exhausted by the working day and the thousand and one worries, but little by little I regain strenght and well‑being.
Some of singing salutary effects are scientifically proven: for example, researchers observed that choral singing improves the functionality of immune and endocrine systems, lowering inflammatory cytokines and cortisol, and increasing body’s feel‑good hormones, such as serotonin and endorphins. Singing entails breathing properly, using in the right way respiratory muscles and releasing cervical, thoracic and lumbar muscles.
Singing trains facial muscles, so it acts as a natural facelift; it trains us to smile and to speak not only with our voice, but also with our visage. When we learn to sing we change automatically our way to communicate, and we practise cognitive, expressive and relational functions.
Songs with sustained melodic phrases train us similarly to some yoga exercises…
The sound of soul
“Singing is the sound of soul”
Singing voice represents our deepest identity; singing experience modifies us, inside and outside, and it’s like an inner rebirth, that enhance our capacity to communicate.
These effects are the goals of singing‑therapy, an interdisciplinary treatment method with many applications. Choral singing has even greater salutary effects, because it multiplies the positive power of singing and its cognitive and relational effects.
And think about how many variables can enhance the secret vibration of singing…to sing in a place full of beauty, colours, sounds, scents; to sing with a musical accompaniment of different instruments, high‑tech or basic, each one with its charm and features; to sing close to a bonfire, or on the seashore, or in front of a mountain landscape; under the starry sky, or in front of a big moon; inside a tent, under the rain, or in a fresh glade, surrounded by friendly trees; to sing on the road, together with our loved ones and our friends; to sing in a liturgy in line with our faith and our spirituality; to sing in the place where we feel our roots; to sing a song that moves us beacuse of a recall in text, or a distant memory; to sing in front of a fireplace in an autumn night; to sing, all of a sudden, on a bar terrace, in a late summer day, in a spontaneous choir of people who do not know each other…and then applaud themselves.
Singing, even when it’s not a good day and we don’t have a song in our heart.
Singing, anyway, and even more.
It’s the sacred secret of singing.