Smiling and Singing
Among the multitude of creative responses to the pandemic, one of the most popular has been singing. We’ve seen this in a number of ways, through online choirs forming, clap for carers performances, and even trained singers returning to their NHS roots.
Credit: NHS Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group
Opera in the pandemic
Dr Alex Aldren trained in medicine, but left the profession to become a tenor. Recently, he returned to the NHS to help out during the coronavirus crisis. He is also using his singing skills on the wards of the Royal London Hospital and Newham Hospital. You can see a clip of him performing here:
But can singing help?
Singing affects our hormones. It can help lower levels of cortisol and increase levels of oxytocin, helping us to feel more relaxed and less stressed. It can also release muscle tension and help us to sleep better, all of which have a positive impact on our wellbeing, regardless of our state of physical health.
One of the biggest perks of singing is that it makes you smile!
There are many opportunities to sing, but here are just a few suggestions of things to get involved with:
The Sofa Singers
Set up by James Sills as a response to the global self isolation during the coronavirus outbreak, The Sofa Singers brings together hundreds of people online for 45 minutes of simultaneous singing. The Sofa Singers is a free, online event which aims to bring people together from around the world to spark joy and human connection. Hundreds of singers join each week and learn a new song together; you can read more about it here.
The events take place every week, on a Tuesday evening and Friday morning. There’s also a virtual ‘tea break’, an opportunity to say hello to new people, or run to get a cuppa and chocolate digestive if you’d rather just watch and listen!
Credit: The Sofa Singer
NHS Staff: Chorus 19
If you're an NHS staff member, you may want to look at joining Chorus-19.
The NHS Chorus-19 has been set up as a means to bolster morale through song. It is a virtual choir for current and former NHS staff, aiming to help spread positive and informative messages during the Covid crisis. No previous singing experience is necessary! It's intended as a space to have fun and benefit from some musical relief, and build a sense of community through singing.