I was doing an internet search whilst planning a school lesson the other day and Google suggested that what I might want to search for was the question – “Why do people sing when they are happy?” That wasn’t what I wanted to know, but it got me thinking!
The way that Google answers this is by explaining that “Singing releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in the brain. Because the deep breathing needed to sing draws more oxygen into the blood and causes better circulation, it’s also an aerobic activity and a natural stress-reducer.”
This is all good stuff and is backed up by countless studies and lots of research. I’m not sure it quite answers the question though. Rather than explaining why people sing when they are happy it explains why we are happy when we sing. It made me wonder if the link between singing and happiness is so strong that it all kind of blurs together. Of course we can be made happy by many things other than singing, and of course we can be happy and not feel the need to show it by singing! But I feel that the two things are so very linked that maybe even Google can’t separate them!
I do a lot of work with reception class children and one of the loveliest moments for me is when the children are settled in their classroom activities and all of a sudden I hear a little voice singing away to themselves as they go about their job. Often it’s a song that I’ve been teaching them (this last week it has been ‘Jump Altogether!’) and more often than not children around them will start joining in too. This always gives me a good feeling – for one, I know that they have probably enjoyed singing that song with me; secondly I know that they are probably feeling quite happy themselves (I definitely believe that a singing child is a happy child!) and thirdly (although I could probably go on), I love the way that the others join in – it’s like they are ‘in tune’ with each other in more ways than one– socialising and building positive bonds.
This is all very true when it comes to Musitots too! The children are learning all the time and even those who haven’t yet developed the skills to sing along will find their happiness in the recognition of the songs that we regularly sing together. More importantly they will find happiness in the recognition of the familiar voice that they hear singing to them – not me, but you – the grown up they spend so many happy times with. Not everyone feels confident to sing and of course you may not always know all the words but I don’t mind and your children certainly won’t! So let’s continue to make Musitots a place where we can all feel confident enough to sing along and all join in. I bet that if we do we will back up Google’s claim of releasing ‘feel-good chemicals’ so that we and the children are happier, we are all healthier and we all continue to form positive bonds with everyone there. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Thank you for as always for coming along and singing along with me (as well as everything else, it makes me feel like a rockstar!) and thank you for everything you all do to make Musitots sessions such a happy place to be!