On the eve of Sing With Me! starting up again after what seems like forever (just the Easter holidays actually), I got to thinking about why I started the group, who I wanted to join the group and what the benefits are to them as members.
My main target audience is mummies. Daddies, grannies, grandpas, aunties, uncles and all other carers are very welcome too, but the group is really designed with mums in mind.
First let me tell you what Sing With Me! is. It’s a singing group for adults and their preschoolers. We do singing as a group of adults while the children play and we also do some basic music tuition and activities for the children.
The benefits of music education for children are well known and any parent who enjoys music themselves will want their child to also have an interest and we all know that you can’t start too early with this. However, the benefits of singing for mums are also being discussed in the media more now, in particular referring to mums suffering from postnatal depression.
So why should mums sing?
Singing makes you feel good
When we sing, our bodies produce oxytocin and endorphins. Oxytocin is the pleasure hormone and it also plays a role in social bonding. Endorphins relieve stress and anxiety and boost our happiness. Singing has been shown to make people feel really good - perhaps this is why I’m usually smiling!
A group activity like singing helps you to meet people and make friends
Singing is a great way to meet friends and bond with new people. Everyone is in the same boat, they all have children and they’re also all having a go at singing in a choir. These are two instant things in common, but it’s likely that once you get chatting you’ll find more things you share too.
You can challenge yourself and push yourself out of your comfort zone
I’m always up for a challenge and I think it’s a really good way to live your life. Donella Meadows says, “We don't need bigger cars or fancier clothes. We need self-respect, identity, community, love, variety, beauty, challenge and a purpose in living that is greater than material accumulation”. Always trying new things and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone can only lead to good experiences in the end. You might learn something about yourself - perhaps you learn that you like to sing (or maybe not so much!).
Singing is an achievement
When you hear live music I’ll bet you’re usually impressed with the sound. Well, I can say from experience that you’ll likely be impressed with the way you sound as part of a choir. Even for people who say they can’t sing, I can safely say that they will enjoy being part of a group of singers and that they will love how the group sounds singing together. You will be impressed with yourself.
You set a good example to your children
Having a go and trying new things - isn’t this what we want our children to do in their lives? There is no better way to teach our children than by showing them the way and setting a good example. Show them that it’s ok to put yourself out there, to have a go, to sometimes fall, but to get back up again and have another go. Sometimes I sing the wrong note, but it doesn’t matter, I check my music and have another go. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
If you want to come along and have a sing, please don’t feel worried. We’re a really friendly group of people and there is no judgement, only friendship, music and fun (and a drink and a biscuit!).
Sing With Me!
South Ossett Baptist Church
Term time Mondays
First session free (£5 per week after that)