Monday, February 17, 2020

Singing in a choir: meditation for those who can’t sit still

Meditation is often suggested as a way of reducing stress, promoting emotional well-being and enhancing self-awareness.

But what if you find it hard to sit still? Then join a choir and reap the same benefits!
The other day I heard skateboarder Barry Dring being interviewed on the radio. He’s rather hyperactive and fidgets a lot.

People suggested meditation to him, but he finds it impossible to sit still.

Instead, he’s discovered crocheting (and yo-yoing and the Rubik’s cube). This enables him to focus on an intricate activity which engages the whole of his concentration. Just like meditation.

It occurred to me that singing in a choir is just the same.

When you’re concentrating on learning a song, or matching pitch with the other singers in your part, or reading lyrics, or focusing on your conductor, or any of the other activities needed when singing in a group – there is no space for anything else in your head.

That is why singers come away from rehearsals feeling unburdened by their everyday worries. There is simply no space in your head for singing and worrying.

It’s just like meditation and has all the same benefits. Ideal for those who can’t (or won’t) sit still, or who aren’t attracted by the solitude of meditation.

Being in a choir can be fun and sociable and meditative at the same time. It’s a win- win!

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Chris Rowbury




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